is not ligea a symbol of poe's love for opium : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

is ligea purely the symbol of an intense opium induced dream, or more exactly, is she the drug itself, strangely beautiful and inspiring, and existing totally in the imagination of poe's character. Most of his work was based on the imagination, was it not, as well possibly inspired by opium, absynthe, etc.?

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2003


Many of Poe's work reflect on the women not neccessarily dying, but having TROUBLE dying. While I know he used opium, I don't believe opium played a major part in his writing. I think Ligeia was another character based on the many women in his life that died.

She may be inspiring, beautiful as a statue - but that doesn't make her a drug.

-- Anonymous, November 05, 2003

Only parallel to the experience of trance or suspension("To Annie" details his own near suicide using such drugs) which has little to do with the drugs themselves. Sleeping, dreaming, undead, haunting, returning- these are very common in Poe and betray something underneath much more important than a chemical which he held as the core center of his poetic vision and imagination.

Drugs and alcohol do not help and usually come after in vain attempts to sustain and repeat strong emotional inspiration states that were so vital to the Romantics if not all poets. Baudelaire wrote Les Paradis Artificiels" about this trap and delusion. Stephen King wrote "On Writing: A Memoir of the craft" to likewise dispel this and other popular myths about the sources of creativity. Poe's solitary account of a horrific case of the DT's is not very fertile a source and shows the difference between a plain nightmare and the artisitc genius.

-- Anonymous, November 06, 2003

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