Essays and Reviews

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This is the most complete one-volume edition of Poe's essays and reviews ever published. Here are all his major writings on the theory of poetry, the art of fiction, and the duties of a critic: "The Rationale of Verse," "The Philosophy of Composition," "The Poetic Principle," and "About Critics and Criticism." Articulating Poe's passion for technical proficiency and his theory of poetic method, these essays show why he so strongly influenced the French symbolists toward the end of nineteenth century and, through them, the poetry of T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane.

Included in this collection are Poe's reviews and candid opinions of the leading literary figures of his day: Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Percy Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Margaret Fuller, among others. Here also are reviews of long-forgotten writers, reviews that are interesting not so much for their subjects as for Poe's unflinching and witty candor. Many of his then controversial judgments have been vindicated by time.

Poe particularly relished his prolonged critical war with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard and America's most respected poet of the nineteenth century, whom he accused of conventionality and plagiarism. The skirmishes in this campaign are represented here in full.

Poe wrote many articles describing the literary world in which he circulated: "The Literati of New York," the "Editorial Miscellanies" from the Broadway Journal, "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House," and his long-running series "Marginalia."

Also included are a wealth of articles on a wide variety of topics: South Sea exploration, cryptography, drama, geography, music, transcendentalism, phrenology, ancient languages, and modern cities.

As a reviewer Poe was direct, discriminating, and feared; as an essayist he was alert to any possibility that in literature there might be found a sense of unity missing from life. This volume restores an essential and often neglected part of our literary heritage.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.

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LETTER To B July 1836
5
THE RATIONALE OF VERSE November 1848
26
THE PoETIC PRINCIPLE October 1850
71
William Harrison Ainsworth
101
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
116
Edward Lytton Bulwer
142
Henry F Chorley
164
Henry Cockton
177
Susan Rigby Morgan
861
H Sigourney H F Gould and E F Ellet
874
William Gilmore Simms
891
Elizabeth Oakes Smith
906
Supplement A Reply to Critics I019
1019
Exordium to Critical Notices
1027
Prospectus of The Stylus
1033
About Critics and Criticism
1039

J F Dalton
189
Daniel Defoe
201
Henry Duncan
245
Sarah Stickney Mrs Sarah Stickney Ellis
345
The American Drama 1845
357
Bird
389
John G C Brainard
404
William Cullen Bryant
412
The Canons of Good Breeding 1839
455
James Fenimore Cooper
473
Rufus Dawes
491
Joseph Rodman DrakeFitzGreene Halleck
505
Theodore S
540
Rufus W Griswold
549
Hawks
557
Augustus Baldwin Longstreet
778
William W Lord
797
Cornelius Mathews
818
Morris Mattson
838
A Reviewer Reviewed
1046
Literary Small Talk 1839
1061
EDITORIAL MISCELLANIES FROM THE Broadway Journal
1067
October 4 1845
1073
October II 1845
1081
November 22 1845
1093
December 13 1845
1099
January 3 1846 III4
1109
THE LITERATI OF NEW YORK CITY
1118
Gillespie IIZO
1130
Anna Cora Mowatt
1137
Lewis Gaylord Clark
1204
SOUTHSEA EXPEDITION
1227
Maelzels ChessPlayer
1253
A Few Words on Secret Writing
1277
Chapter of Suggestions
1292
MARGINALIA
1309
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Informacje o autorze (1984)

Read throughout the world, translated by Baudelaire, and admired by writers as different as Dostoevsky and H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) has become a legendary figure, representing the artist as obsessed outcast and romantic failure. His nightmarish visions, shaped by cool artistic calculation, reveal some of the dark possibilities of human experience. But his enormous popularity and his continuing influence on literature depend less on legend or vision than on his stylistic accomplishments as a writer.

G. R. Thompson, volume editor, is professor of English at Purdue University. He was editor of Poe Studies from 1968 to 1980 and is the author of Poe's Fiction: Romantic Irony in the Gothic Tales.

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