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Edgar Allan Poe
Transcript of Edgar Allan Poe
Who is he?
Literary style and Themes
U.S. American short-story writer, poet, critic, and editor
part of the American Romantic Movement
considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre
He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone
Born in Boston on January 19, 1809
He was the second of three children
His father abandoned their family in 1810
His mother died a year later from tuberculosis
Poe was then taken in by tobacco merchant, John Allan, and his wife Frances Valentine Allan in Richmond, Virginia.
His other siblings went to live with other families
Born as Edgar Poe
Even though the Allans never formally adopted him, they gave him the name Edgar Allan Poe
Poe and Frances seemed to form a bond, but he never had a good relationship with John
Poetic verses found written in a young Poe’s handwriting on the backs of John’s business sheets reveal how little interest Poe had in the tobacco business.
Money was an issue between Poe and John Allan.
Years later he heard that Frances Allan, the only mother he had ever known, was dying of tuberculosis and wanted to see him before she died, but by the time Poe returned to Richmond she had already been buried.
John Allan married his second wife and had many quarrels with Poe over the children born to John, which led to his "father" disowning Poe.
Poe secretly married Virginia, his cousin, on September 22, 1835.
He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21
Virginia died on January 30, 1847 from tuberculosis at the age of 24
Poe published his first book, Tamerlane and Other Poems in 1827.
Before going to West Point, he published a second collection Al Aaraaf, Tamberlane, and Minor Poems in 1829
After leaving the academy, Poe focused his writing full time.
He moved around in search of opportunity, living in New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Richmond.
Returning to Richmond in 1835, Poe went to work for a magazine called the
Southern Literary Messenger
There he developed a reputation as a cut-throat critic, writing vicious reviews of his contemporaries.
This aggressive-reviewing style and Poe's combative personality strained his relationship with the publication, and he left the magazine in 1837.
He returned to New York, where he worked briefly at the Evening Mirror before becoming editor of the Broadway Journal and, later, sole owner.
The Broadway Journal failed in 1846 and Poe moved to a cottage in the Fordham section of The Bronx, New York. Known today as the "Poe Cottage".
Eureka: A Prose Poem (1848)
Annabel Lee (1849)
The Fall of the House of Usher (1839)
Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1939)
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)
The Masque of the Red Death (1842)
The Pit and the Pendulum (1842)
The Purloined Letter (1845)
The Cask of Amontillado (1846)
The Oval Portrait (1850)
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1850)
Poe's best known fiction works are Gothic. His most recurring themes deal with questions of death, including its physical signs, the effects of decomposition, concerns of premature burial, the reanimation of the dead, and mourning.
Beyond horror, Poe also wrote satires, humor tales, and hoaxes. For comic effect, he used irony and ludicrous extravagance, often in an attempt to liberate the reader from cultural conformity.
His fiction often included elements of popular pseudosciences
claim, belief or practice which is falsely presented as scientific
He believed that work of quality should be brief and focus on a specific single effect.
To that end, he believed that the writer should carefully calculate every sentiment and idea.
His final days remain somewhat of a mystery.
Died October 7, 1849
He was taken to Washington College Hospital where he died
On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker
At the time, it was said that Poe died of "congestion of the brain." But his actual cause of death has been the subject of endless speculation.
Poe's reputation was badly damaged by his literary opponent Rufus Griswold, who had been sharply criticized by Poe. Griswold took his revenge in his obituary of Poe, portraying the gifted yet troubled writer as a mentally deranged drunkard and womanizer. He also penned the first biography of Poe, which helped create some of these misconceptions in the public's minds.
While he never had financial success in his lifetime, Poe has become one of America's most enduring writers. His works are as compelling today as there were more than a century ago. A bright, imaginative thinker, Poe crafted stories and poems that still shock, surprise and move modern readers.
Dr. John Joseph Moran, who was Poe's attending physician, gave his own detailed account of Poe's appearance that day: "a stained faded, old bombazine coat, pantaloons of a similar character, a pair of worn-out shoes run down at the heels, and an old straw hat".
Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring. Some sources say Poe's final words were "Lord help my poor soul."
All medical records, including his death certificate, have been lost.
Griswold's book was denounced by those who knew Poe well, but it became a popularly accepted one. This occurred in part because it was the only full biography available and was widely reprinted . Letters that Griswold presented as proof of this depiction of Poe were later revealed as forgeries as well.
One of Baltimore's spookiest traditions occurs every year on January 19, Poe's birthday, at the cemetery where the famous author is buried. A mysterious man steps out of the shadows at the Westminster Church Yard, wearing a black coat and hat, with a scarf covering his face. He stops at Poe's grave, and leaves a half-full bottle of cognac and three roses. Then he steals away into the darkness. It has been like this every year since 1949.
No one knows who he the man is or why he enacts this tribute to Poe year after year. Over time, he has simply become known as "the Poe Toaster," a reference to the toast (of cognac) that he seems to be offering Poe. The roses he leaves are believed to be in memory of the three persons buried at the site of the Poe Monument: Poe, Maria Clemm, and Virginia Poe.
Poe is buried on the grounds of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, now part of the University of Maryland School of Law in Baltimore
Unidentified person (or more probably two persons in succession, possibly father and son)
In 2010 there was no visit by the Toaster, nor has he appeared any year since, triggering speculation that the 75-year tradition has ended
Poe's early detective fiction tales featuring C. Auguste Dupin laid the groundwork for future detectives in literature.
Poe has received not only praise, but criticism as well.
He was also known as a writer of fiction and became one of the first American authors of the 19th century to become more popular in Europe than in the United States.
Poe in Film and Music
Poe has himself appeared in a Batman comic, as a wild biker with a companion raven on the handlebars in a 1970 Roger Corman film, and once in a Stroh's beer commercial several decades ago.
Many are adaptations of Poe's work, others merely reference it
The Simpsons has made several references to Poe's works.
The original "Treehouse of Horror" episode contains a segment in which James Earl Jones reads Poe's poem "The Raven".
"Lisa's Rival" features Lisa competing against a girl who recreates a scene from "The Tell-Tale Heart".
In the episode "Saturdays of Thunder", a TV advert shows Poe's tombstone being cleaned by Dr. Nick Riviera.
In "The Following," an American television series that tells the story of a cult of serial killers, the murders committed reflect the life and works of Poe, due to the cult's obsession with his literature
Poe's work has been in the public domain for a very long time.
The 2013 South Park episode "Goth Kids 3: Dawn of the Posers" used Poe as a central character to bring the plot forward
Not actual representation of Edgar Allen Poe
By Leniann Plasencia and Lauren Chaney
University of Virginia
When Poe went to the University of Virginia in 1826, he didn't receive enough funds from Allan to cover all his costs.
He turned to gambling to cover the difference, but ended up in debt.
He returned home only to find out that his neighbor and fiancée Elmira Royster had become engaged to someone else. Heartbroken and frustrated, Poe left the Allans
United States Military Academy at West Point
Poe and Allan briefly reconciled, and Allan helped Poe gain an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point
Poe decided to leave West Point by purposely getting court-martialed.
On February 8, 1831, he was tried for gross neglect of duty and disobedience of orders for refusing to attend formations, classes, or church. After only eight months at West Point Poe was thrown out.
After getting kicked out, Poe lived with his Aunt and there he met Virginia
Biographers and critics often suggest that Poe's frequent theme of the "death of a beautiful woman" stems from the repeated loss of women throughout his life, including his wife.
There he alienated himself from other writers by publicly accusing Henry Longfellow of plagiarism, though Longfellow never responded.
73 short stories and 53 poems
In "The Philosophy of Composition", an essay in which Poe describes his method in writing "The Raven", he claims to have strictly followed this method. It has been questioned, however, whether he really followed this system.
William Butler Yeats was occasionally critical of Poe and once called him "vulgar".
Ralph Waldo Emerson reacted to "The Raven" by saying, "I see nothing in it".
Aldous Huxley wrote that Poe's writing "falls into vulgarity" by being "too poetical".
Some experts believe that alcoholism led to his demise while others offer up alternative theories, including Rabies, epilepsy, carbon monoxide poisoning are just some of the conditions thought to have led to the great writer's death.
Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in this condition, and it is believed the clothes he was wearing were not his own.
The raven motif has been used in an episode of "The Simpsons."
Poe was named in Beatles' lyrics in the song "I Am the Walrus."
Lou Reed's concept album, titled "The Raven," featured interpretations of Poe's works by actors, including Steve Buscemi and Willem Dafoe.
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."
"I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him"
The Raven and Other Poems (1845)
A Dream Within a Dream
The Black Cat (1843)
The Tell-Tale Heart (1843)
A 1953 animated short "The Tell-Tale Heart" was nominated for an Oscar but also censored with an X-rating by the British Board of Film Censors.
"Edgar Allan Poe." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 05 Dec. 2014. <http://www.biography.com/people/edgar-allan-poe-9443160>.
Meslow, Scott. "Pop Culture's Undying Edgar Allan Poe Obsession." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company, 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2014. <http://www.theatlantic.com/ entertainment/archive/2012/04/pop-cultures-undying-edgar-allan-poe-obsession/256417/>.
Meyers, Jeffrey. Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992. Print.
"MPT: Knowing Poe: The Poe Library: News: The Poe Toaster." MPT: Knowing Poe: The Poe Library: News: The Poe Toaster. Maryland Public Television, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014. <http://knowingpoe.thinkport.org/library/news/toaster.asp>.
"Poe's Life." Edgar Allan Poe Museum : Poe's Life, Legacy, and Works : Richmond, Virginia. Poe Museum, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2014. <https://www.poemuseum.org/life.php>.
"Search - List of Books by Edgar Allan Poe." Edgar Allan Poe: Quotes, Life and Career, Death, Literary Style and Themes, Legacy, Poe in Popular Culture, Selected List of Works, Further Reading, and a List of Books by Author Edgar Allan Poe. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014. <http://www.paperbackswap.com/Edgar-Allan-Poe/author/>.
Shmoop Editorial Team. "Edgar Allan Poe Major Works." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 07 Dec. 2014. <http://www.shmoop.com/poe/major-works.html>.