How is Poe an American Romanticist? : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am doing research on Poe for school and need to write an essay on the following; How is Poe an American Romanticist? Do his short stories resemble works of other American Romanticists or not? If any one can help or give any internet sites that could help, that would be great! Thanks!

-- Anonymous, October 26, 2004


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-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

john is a gay little man

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

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-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

sam is the best farter

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

jon do u think mr m has a big nose

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

well do u think so

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

jon do u think mr mastro has a big nose

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

yes, use of faux-ancient style and gothic elements

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-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

Check out the big Gothic and Romantic web sites. Poe fits the standard qualifications for the Gothic MINUS overuse of hyperbole and metaphor which was stylishly rampant in the worst examples. Poe rarely uses a simile OR actual supernatural stock features. In other words a big difference. Even mary Shelley has a monster. Poe is mostly suggestive and psychological.(Exception "The Masque of the Red Death" set in a mediveal style setting and form).

In ideas Poe highlighted the intuitional and the new, the extraordinary sciences and theories, a romantic belief in progress. In poetry Poe was typical of the American deferral to Europe. At first imitative, Poe renounced long hyperbolc poems loaded with imagery, opposed thmes and ideas with his own unique emotional and rational take on the same subject matter("The Lake" as opposed to "The Lake of the Dismal Swamp" by Thomas Moore). That lake was an American setting though Moore was an Irish tourist. As a young man Poe imitated Byron and Shelly and others, shortening, refining thematicvally and intellectually and really more personally authentic altogether in tightly structured jewels of genius. In that way Poe became a more authentic romantic of the self.

In his poems Poe does use stock Romantic themes and imagery, of faraway, dreamy places, exagerrated reality and emotions, little gothic narrations and plots. Complaints against death, wild protestations of love, disturbing and stormy relationship with nature, unconventional(as opposed to the previous Enlightenment Century) forms and ideas.

Poe's contemporaries such as Longfellow continued to imitate Europe. They all shared one thing. No social order rebeliiousness since America had already vbeen liberated. As they trundled back to Europe they hardly seemed self aware of this. More optimistic, naif, story oriented as opposed to long philosophical themes. "Thanatopsis" by bryant which Poe admired is a good example of antoher approach to Romanticism, more conventional vis a vis Europe, but likewise American. Nature in America is the grweat sublime and unexplored, not contained in ancient ruins and histories stifling Euuropeans. Europe had to work harder to rediscover nature. Americans were either in awe or busy taming it. Death and war and tyranny were less a reality, but Poe did not have to work hard at all to experience tragedy. He was more a tragic figure than most of the Romantics with less moral wildness. He was almost prudish. I think he was more conservative like Coleridge and critical of the selfish Byronic hero though he himself had an unpleasant streak of enfant terrible. Like Coleridge he was literally afflicted into abbreviated works and short attempts at poetic theory. Coleridge hated the new Byronic pose despots(Napoleon) and the innate elitist selfishness.

Genius, natural inclination to the movement before he even read the Romantics("Alone"), but the movement gave him the inspiration and form to fit his conflcited nature. He never was overcome by discipleship or imitation.

-- Anonymous, October 27, 2004

Poe fits in the the American Romanticist. The Romantic era was about different, they drifted from the norms that was already in place when regarding literature. Literature before Poe was steady, not psychological, not thrilling. It was safe.

The romantics focused on the human psyche, horror, thrill. There were numerous Gothic elements in the Romantic era. Poe himself was an American Romanticist because each of his stories delve into a single narrator, but the narrator is driven mad. Before then, there wasn't a lot of fully developed characters that were insane. Think of the "Tell Tale Heart," the narrator was insane but he went to great lengths to say he wasn't. The Romantics weren't focused on the victims, or the good do-ers, they were focused on the insane, the dark, the gruesome.

He is similar to other authors, yes.

-- Anonymous, October 28, 2004

edgar allen poe is a great american writer

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-- Anonymous, October 28, 2004

The answer after mine was a trifle sollipsistic. Poe did strike and define Romanticism more for himself than a movement in America. What is a good point is the moral rebellion aspect that I mentioned before not being so strong in liberated America as despot encrusted Europe. The irony being that in free America morality and social opinions of Romantics even was less wild and more conservative, but presupposes a distrust of nobility, especially as elites. Byron and Shelley were heirs to the minor nobility. Other differences can be seen in comparing how Dickens saw America("Martin Chuzzlewit"), language, spirit, etc. Most were too imitiative otherwise of the European scene and when it tamed(follow Tennyson's career) so did the American side even more. Few died for their art in any sense like Poe. Melville might be another good focus for his Byronic hero Ahab and brash all embracing American idiom, looking forward to Whitman.

-- Anonymous, October 31, 2004

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