There’s a Poe page on the website, but I haven’t actually reviewed the works of Poe much.
Perhaps I’ll do a bit of that in the future.
For now, I’ll do this more obscure Poe tale since it is this week’s Deep Ones reading over at LibraryThing.
Review: “Eleonora”, Edgar A. Poe, 1841.
There’s a sense of spiritual autobiography and personal clairvoyance and introspection in this story. How the narrator reacts to the death of his beloved Eleonora mirrors Poe’s reaction to his wife Virginia’s death.
Yet, Virginia died in 1847.
The plot is relatively simple in its barebones.
The narrator loves Eleonora. Eleonora becomes ill, and the narrator renders a curse on himself, “a penalty the exceeding great horror of which will not permit me to make record of it here”, if he ever marries another woman. But Eleonora dies and, years later, he marries another woman. Continue reading →
Edgar Poe and his work fascinates me, and this isn’t the first book about him I’ve reviewed.
It’s “Edgar Poe” and not “Edgar Allan Poe” because, as a Poe scholar suggested, on a newsgroup devoted to him on the 200th anniversary of his birth, Poe only added the “Allan” to his name twice — and why honor the stepfather who sabotaged Poe’s life at crucial times? (Not that Poe was incapable of self-sabotage as he demonstrated.)
A retro review from February 26, 2009 on the 166th anniversary of his mysterious death.
Review: Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-Ending Remembrance, Kenneth Silverman, 1991.
Silverman doesn’t seem to like Poe much.
Poe’s desperate poverty, his supporting a sick wife and her mother by writing alone, doesn’t, to Silverman, really justify Poe’s recycling of his early work, the occasional puff piece on writers and editors he wanted to ingratiate himself with or the near plagiarism of other authors. His mysterious death had to be the result of drinking too much or a sudden withdrawal from liquor. Never mind the bouts of illness that plagued him, especially in his last two years, and the contemporary testimony that he had a peculiar susceptibility to even small amounts of alcohol. No such sentiments for Silverman.
Those poems? Well, they’re famous, especially “The Raven”. But he lied about how it came to be written. It wasn’t really a calculating, almost mathematically composed piece. “Tamerlane” just shows a young Poe as a would-be Byron, the desire of a future soldier and poet to conquer the world.
The infamous Eureka? Mostly bad philosophy mixed with a popular astronomy work of the day. Continue reading →