1809-1849 EDGAR ALLAN POE the author American poet, short-story writer, editor & literary critic, Poe is considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery & terror, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story & is considered the inventor of the detectivefiction genre. He was the first wellknown American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life & career. an orphan dropout His childhood was a miserable one. He lost both of his parents when he was very young & then was adopted by a wealthy merchant, John Allan. Poe’s time with the Allan’s was unhappy. He entered the University of Virginia & later West Point, but did not finish either. tragic loss He worked as an editor & writer most of his life, living in poverty. At 27 he married his 13 year-old cousin, Virginia, whose death in 1847 left him inconsolable. He died two years later. Theories state he may have suffered from addictions to alcohol & opium. Virginia Clemm Poe died at age 24 of tuberculosis. death theories 1857 Murder (Beating) 1860’s Cooping 1874 Epilepsy 1921 Dipsomania 1926 Heart 1970 Toxic Disorder 1970 Hypoglycemia 1977 Diabetes 1984 Alcohol Deficiency 1989 Porphyria 1992 Delirium Tremens 1996 Rabies 1998 Murder (Beating) 1999 Epilepsy 1999 Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Records show Poe died in Washington College Hospital… his cause of death remains a mystery. Poe has been called… inventor of the detective story master of the psychological horror story America’s 1st great literary critic list of works Among all his writing, his poems & short stories are more famous. Tales of the Grotesque and the Arabesque “MS. Found in a Bottle” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” “The Fall of the House of Usher” “The Masque of the Red Death” “The Cask of Amontillado” “The Tell-Tale Heart” “The Raven” “Annabel Lee” The Poetic Principle The Philosophy of Composition The Simpsons version of “The Raven” features of his work Detective & science stories Gothic elements High emotion: anger, surprise, and esp. terror! Supernatural horrors & fear of unknown Deep analysis of human psychology He noticed subconscious of human mind nearly one hundred years before Freud. He was also the first American author to use neurotic characters as main characters in his stories. evaluation Poe is a controversial & misunderstood literary figure in the history of American literature. Emerson dismissed him in three words: “the jingle man” Twain declared his prose to be unreadable Whitman was the only famous literary figure present at the Poe Memorial Ceremony in 1875 Today, Poe’s particular power has ensured his position among the greatest writers of the world. references Ciaffaroni. “Edgar Allan Poe.” AuthorStream, 2002-2011. Web. 15 Oct. 2011. The Museum of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe Museum, 2010. Web. 15 Oct. 2011.