Complete Tales and Poems

ISBN-10: 0394716787

ISBN-13: 9780394716787

Edition: 1975

Authors: Edgar Allen Poe

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All of the tales by the master of the detective and the macabre story. 53 of his best-known poems plus essays and criticisms.
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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 1975
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/12/1975
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 1040
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.00" long x 1.75" tall
Weight: 1.848
Language: English

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."

The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall
The Gold-Bug
The Balloon-Hoax
Von Kempelen and His Discovery
Mesmeric Revelation
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar
The Thousand-and-Second Tale of Scheherazade
MS. Found in a Bottle
A Descent into the Maelstrom
The Murders in the Rue Morgue
The Mystery of Marie Roget
The Purloined Letter
The Black Cat
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Pit and the Pendulum
The Premature Burial
The Masque of the Red Death
The Cask of Amontillado
The Imp of the Perverse
The Island of the Fay
The Oval Portrait
The Assignation
The Tell-Tale Heart
The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether
The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq
How to Write a Blackwood Article
A Predicament
X-ing a Paragrab
The Angel of the Odd
Mellonta Tauta
Loss of Breath
The Man that Was Used Up
The Business Man
Maelzel's Chess-Player
The Power of Words
The Colloquy of Monos and Una
The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion
Shadow--A Parable
Silence--A Fable
Philosophy of Furniture
A Tale of Jerusalem
The Sphinx
The Man of the Crowd
Never Bet the Devil Your Head
"Thou Art the Man"
Four Beasts in One; The Homo-Camelopard
Why the Little Frenchman Wears His Hand in a Sling
Some Words with a Mummy
Review of Stephens' "Arabia Petraea"
Magazine-Writing--Peter Snook
The Quacks of Helicon--A Satire
The Domain of Arnheim, or The Landscape Garden
Landor's Cottage
William Wilson
A Tale of the Ragged Mountains
The Spectacles
The Duc De L Omelette
The Oblong Box
King Pest
Three Sundays in a Week
The Devil in the Belfry
Narrative of A. Gordon Pym
Preface to the Poems
The Poetic Principle
The Rationale of Verse
The Raven
A Valentine
The Coliseum
To Helen
To -- --
The Bells
An Enigma
Annabel Lee
To My Mother
The Haunted Palace
The Conqueror Worm
To F--S S. O--D
To One in Paradise
The Valley of Unrest
The City in the Sea
The Sleeper
A Dream Within a Dream
To Zante
For Annie
To --
Bridal Ballad
To F--
Scenes from "Politian"
Poems Written in youth
Sonnet--To Science
Al Aaraaf
To the River --
To --
A Dream
The Lake--To --
To M. L. S--
Spirits of the Dead
To Helen
Evening Star
"The Happiest Day"
Hymn to Aristogeiton and Harmodius. Translation from the Greek
"In Youth I Have Known One"
A Paean
To Isadore
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