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Published the year after "Ligeia," is Poe's most popular tale and perhaps his best. It has been a favorite of anthologists since . In its group it is the only tale with three instead of two characters, suggesting the three faculties in Poe's "world of mind"--Pure Intellect, Taste (or "poetic intellect"), and Moral Sense-which Poe elsewhere terms "mental power," "sensibility," and "intense vitality" or "Energy." The narrator functions as an observer-interpreter, as a voice for the meaning of it all, the only "central intelligence" in the story. Roderick Usher is the creative mind ("poetic intellect") in the hypnagogic or visionary state, now suffering from a psychic conflict caused by the repression of his Moral Sense or will (entombment of his sister, Madeline). Though his eye was "large, liquid, and luminous beyond comparison"--a sign of his sensibility--he lacks the "moral energy" or "vitality" necessary to true genius as defined by Poe. As with the "lofty" and "ethereal" Lady Ligeia, so here on the "threshold" (of consciousness) "there stand the lofty and enshrouded figure of the lady Madeline of Usher," whose fatal embrace of Roderick becomes (in the words of one noted critic) a "foreview of the soul's reconstitution and purification in death."

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The Literary style of Edgar Allan Poe Edgar Allan Poe ..
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Writing Style Of Edgar Allan Poe 1

Poe's writing career falls into three major periods, each marked by a shift in perspective. During the first period, 1827 to 1831, his three slim volumes of poetry expressed a strong attachment to the romantic myth of a pastoral and poetic ideal, made up of "dreams" and "memories" of a pristine paradise or Eden. These early poems celebrated Beauty and Innocence, Love and Joy as dynamic life values in the poet's feeling for the potential of harmony of mind with nature, of the "soul" with "God" or the universal "Ens." In 1831, a transition year, three of Poe's poems ("Romance," "Israfel,"and "To Helen") expressed a new commitment to a poetry of heartfelt conviction in the face of life's burdens and sorrows. During the decade that followed, 1831 to 1841, a radical change was reflected in poems and tales on the theme of death as a finality in a cosmic void of darkness and silence. His third and final period, 1841 to 1849, was marked by a return to poetry and by essays and fiction on the theme of psychic transcendentalism. Through all three of these stages Poe continued to publish comic and satiric tales, mainly parodies, burlesques, grotesques, and hoaxes.

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When Poe's three volumes of poetry from 1827 to 1831 went largely unnoticed and when he failed in his applications for editorial work and teaching, he turned to humorous and satiric fiction, then in demand. In June 1831 he submitted five stories to a contest sponsored by the with one hundred dollars offered as a prize for the best work of fiction. Although Poe did not win the prize, his five tales were published by the from January to December 1832. "Metzengerstein," the first of these stories, has been appreciated for its unity of tone and effective suspense. It is better read as a powerful allegory than a parody, burlesque, or hoax. Its Gothic devices and plot support a serious moral theme: the evil of pride and arrogant power brings about self-destruction by retributive forces from within. In "The Duc de L'Omelette" and "The Bargain Lost" (republished as "Bon-Bon," , August 1835) the Devil appears as the antagonist in the form of a mysterious stranger. The first story neatly satirizes French aristocratic vanity, hauteur, and cunning so clever as to outface and outwit the Devil himself. In part it satirizes the French affectations of , editor of the . "The Bargain Lost" is the colorful account of Pedro Garcia, a Venetian chef and metaphysician of sorts. The satiric treatment of the character types widens into a tour de force of wit and erudition at the expense of classical philosophers, tyrants, authors, and the conventional figure of the Devil himself. "A Tale of Jerusalem," based on an old theme and episode found in 's long novel, (1828), is largely a play on words. "A Decided Loss" (revised as "Loss of Breath," , September 1835) satirizes "the extravagances of Blackwood," that is, the tales of "sensation" published in . When the protagonist expresses a "wild delight" in analyzing his sensations, Poe adds a note linking this analysis with "much of the absurd of the redoubted Schelling." The reliance on grossly implausible events, comic details, historical allusions, humorous word play, and caricature in the story of a man who loses his "breath" (his voice), who is hanged but does not die, gives humorous support to the playful subtitle, "A Tale Neither In Nor Out of 'Blackwood,'" appended to the piece upon its revision.

Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, edited by Patrick F
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Poe's knowledge of the mountains southwest of Charlottesville, Virginia, gave him the title and the setting for "A Tale of the Ragged Mountains" (, March 1844). In his first use of mesmerism Poe presents Augustus Bedloe's first-person account, while in a hypnotic trance, of his seeming reincarnation as a British officer named Oldeb fighting and dying in a Middle-Eastern city during an insurrection in 1780. Rather than conclude that the narrator is unreliable or that the story is a clever ratiocinative hoax, the reader would do better to invoke a "suspension of disbelief." In "The Angel of the Odd--An Extravaganza" (, October 1844), the most absurdly comic of all Poe's tales, the author seems to be describing himself as one of "these fellows, knowing the extravagant gullibility of the age, [who] set their wits to work in the imagination of improbable possibilities-of odd accidents." The incredibilities that follow turn out to be the Angel of the Odd'srevenge on the skeptical narrator, if only in a dream after imbibing too much brandy. Another overdone satire, "The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq." (, December 1844), showed up the pretentiousness and hypocrisy of the literary establishment of magazine editors of his day-their lack of standards and integrity, their reliance on puffery and on the jargon of praise and condemnation of fellow editors and authors.

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The Poes returned to New York City in April 1844, and during the next five years Poe wrote such famous poems as "Ulalume," "For Annie," and "Annabel Lee." The popularity of "The Raven," which was often reprinted, parodied, and anthologized, made Poe more famous. for February 1845 carried 's long essay-appreciation of Poe, praising him as "the most discriminating, philosophical and fearless critic upon imaginative works who has written in America." Aided by Lowell, Poe became editor of the , for which he wrote over sixty reviews and essays, a few new stories, and in which he reprinted revised versions of his tales and poems. By fall he had, with borrowed money, bought the journal, but when it lost money, Poe, ill and depressed, stopped publication early in January 1846. In 1845, also, two volumes of his work were published: , containing twelve stories selected by Evert A. Duyckinck, and, in November, .

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(, January 1834; revised as "The Assignation," , 7 June 1845) was Poe's first story to appear in a national monthly with a wide circulation. As one of the Folio Club tales it had been assigned to "Mr. Convolvulus Gondola, a young gentleman who had travelled a good deal." Due, in part, to its inflated bathos, it has been regarded as a lampoon of Byronic passion or as a parody of . Neither of those views reckons with Poe's preference for the visionary hero, the classical, Hellenic heroine, the conventional villain, the symbolic rescue, the arabesque apartment, the love poem written in London, the painting of the Marchesa Aphrodite, or the final suicide pact. 's comment on Poe's style as "operatic" suggests that these stock elements, coupled with the overwrought diction, may, within the narrator's maturing perception, comprise a psychodrama of the self's quest for origins, for identity, and for unity. So considered, it has been read as a paradigm of Poe's own search for a lost unity of the primal self.