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Edgar Allan Poe - Robinson 1 Russell Robinson English...

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Robinson 1 Russell Robinson English 131-77 L. Miles, Instructor 10, December 2009 Portrait of Poe Edgar Allan Poe was born January 19, 1809 in Boston, Massachusetts. From a very early age, he was fascinated with the written word. In his book, Lives of Poets, Michael Schmidt writes, “At the age of fourteen Poe regarded poetry as instrumental, writing verses to woo girls, or miserable verse when he failed to do so.” (Schmidt 441) His writing was enhanced by his mental disorders and the fact Poe was an alcoholic. There have been many biographies written about Poe’s life that misleads readers into thinking that these troubles were the cause of his writing. Events in his life, including an 1848 suicide attempt, may have given him a better perspective of life. The characters that Poe created were “characterized by the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is adventurous, mysterious, or idealized.”(Cat par. 1) Edward Davidson states,” Taken altogether, These conditions of consciousness which Poe exposed did not suggest that Poe was revealing himself or aspects of his own inner being but was actually detailing certain stages and varieties of what might be termed the ‘Romantic consciousness’”(130) Edgar Allan Poe is simply a misunderstood romantic.
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Poe is considered one of the most beloved and respected writers in American literature, even though this wasn’t always the case. Critics in the time of Poe panned many of his works. In an 1829 review of “Fairyland” (1829), editor James Neal wrote, If E.A.P. of Baltimore --- whose lines about “Heaven”, though he professes to regard them as altogether superior to anything in the whole range of American poetry, save two or three trifles referred to, are, though nonsense – would but do himself justice, might make a beautiful and perhaps magnificent poem. There is a good deal to justify such hope.
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