Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe

ISBN-10: 1416534768
ISBN-13: 9781416534761
Edition: 2007
Authors: Edgar Allen Poe
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Description: Enduring Literature Illuminated By Practical Scholarship A collection of the Gothic master's classic works in prose and verse. This Enriched Classic Edition Includes: A concise introduction that gives the reader important background  More...

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Book details

List price: $5.95
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 6/19/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 432
Size: 4.25" wide x 6.75" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.440
Language: English

Enduring Literature Illuminated By Practical Scholarship A collection of the Gothic master's classic works in prose and verse. This Enriched Classic Edition Includes: A concise introduction that gives the reader important background information A chronology of the author's life and work A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's own interpretations Detailed explanatory notes Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential.

There has never been any doubt about Poe's enormous literary significance, but, with regard to his ultimate artistic merit, there has been considerable disagreement. To some he is little more than a successful charlatan, whose literary performances are only a virtuoso's display of stunning, but finally shallow, effects. Others, however, are struck by Poe's profound probing of the human psyche, his philosophical sophistication, and his revolutionary attitude toward literary language. No doubt both sides of this argument are in part true in their assessments. Poe's work is very uneven, sometimes reaching great literary heights, at other times striking the honest reader as meaningless, pathetic, or simply wrong-headed. This is not surprising, considering the personal turmoil that characterized so much of Poe's short life. Poe was extreme in his literary views and practices; balance and equilibrium were not literary values that he prized. Scorning the didactic element in poetry, Poe sought to separate beauty from morality. In his best poems, such as "The City in the Sea" (1836), he achieved an intensification of sound sufficient to threaten the common sense of the poetic line and release a buried, even a morbid, sense that would enchant the reader by the sonic pitch of the poem. Defining poetry as "the rhythmic creation of beauty," Poe not only sought the dream buried beneath the poetic vision---Coleridge had already done that---but also abandoned the moral rationale that gave the buried dream symbolic meaning. The dream, or nightmare, was itself the content of the verse. Some readers, however, such as T. S. Eliot, have found Poe's poetry extremely limited, both in its content and in its technique. While it is true that Poe was one of the few American poets to achieve international fame during the nineteenth century, critics point out that his influence on such literary movements as French symbolism and literary modernism was largely through the superb translations and criticisms of his writings by Baudelaire (see Vol. 2), Mallarme (see Vol. 2), and Valery (see Vol. 2). Poe's theory of the short story, as well as his own achievements in that genre, contributed substantially to the development of the modern short story, in Europe as well as in the United States. Poe himself regarded his talent for fiction writing as of less importance than his poetry and criticism. His public preferred his detective stories, such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841), "The Mystery of Marie Roget" (1842--1843) and "The Gold Bug" (1843); and his analytic tales, such as "A Descent into the Maelstrom" (1841), "The Black Cat" (1843), and "The Premature Burial" (1844). His own preference, however, was for the works of the imagination, such as "Ligeia" (1838), "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), and "The Masque of the Red Death" (1842), tales of horror beyond that of the plausible kind found in the analytic stories. Just as with his poetry, however, readers have been strongly divided in their appreciation of the deeper worth of Poe's fiction. For many, they are at best merely an effective display in Gothicism, good horror stories, an enjoyable experience in vicarious terror, but nothing more. This was the view of Henry James, that other great nineteenth-century master of the ghost story, who claimed that "an enthusiasm for Poe is the mark of a decidedly primitive stage of reflection." But others have found in these carefully crafted pieces something far more profound, a way of seeing into our unconscious, that place where, for a while at least, terrifying conflicts coexist. As Poe so well put it himself in the preface to his Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840), "If in many of my productions terror has been the basis, I maintain that terror is not of Germany but of the soul."

Introduction
Chronology of Edgar Allan Poe's Life and Work
Historical Context of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe TALES
The Tell-Tale Heart
The Cask of Amontillado
The Black Cat Ligeia
The Masque of the Red Death
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Purloined Letter
The Gold-Bug Ms. Found in a Bottle A Descent into the Maelstr�m
The Pit and the Pendulum William Wilson POEMS
The Raven Lenore To Helen Ulalume
The Bells Annabel Lee To -- -- -- --
The Valley of Unrest
The City in the Sea
The Sleeper A Dream Within a Dream Dream-Land Dreams Silence Eldorado Israfel For Annie Sonnet -- To Science A Dream To -- -- -- -- Romance Spirits of the Dead To Helen Evening Star Alone
Notes
Interpretive Notes
Critical Excerpts Questions for Discussion
Suggestions for the Interested Reader

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