A Romantic?

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Why is Edgar Allan Poe considered a "romantic?"

-- Anonymous, January 06, 2005


It is in the sense of a literary era and movement that was an offshoot and reaction to the Enlightenment classicism of the Eighteenth Century. It sought to go beyond the science and order of reason to the ego and will of the indivudual transcending the bounds, unbound from social convention and order. At once Napoleonic and libertarian this wilder reason of the emotions birthed a special kind of philosophy and literature, especially poetry.

Though Poe was on fire for progress and discovery and new ideas it best seen in his poetry and tales that he is a Romantic(in the literary technical sense, not the amorous sentimental sense). Sometimes this is termed dark Romanticism, where the early blending of the Gothic with new poetry, the sublime and the grotesque, the horror and the beauty was more wrenching than the sentimental beauty and faierie tales Tennyson and Dickens would see at the end of their longer careers. The duality asnd tension and many other emotional aspects genuinely resonated in Poe who was authentically split himself and lived the life of the poet damned- if not darkly heroical or outrageous. The idea of rebelling against a young Rebel America was the only weak point compared to the exiled British or French poets who had to deal with more repressive political structures as well as encrusted societies and traditions.

-- Anonymous, January 11, 2005

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