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Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Edgar Allan Poe
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1833-1849

refered to by:
Junichiro Tanizaki

The Sorrows of Young Werther
Johann Wolfgang Goethe

The Cave
Tim Krabbé

[Fantastische vertellingen]
F. Bordewijk

Mary Shelley

[Terug naar Oegstgeest]
Jan Wolkers

Jorges Luis Borges

Marcovaldo: or, The Seasons in the City
Italo Calvino

Marlene van Niekerk

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Poe’s stories are remarkable for their inventiveness, their fine construction, their vivid descriptions and their psychological insight. Since their first publication, Poe’s powerful stories have captured the imagination of generations of readers. Many of the stories have been made into films or television dramas or they have been the source of inspiration for countless adaptations.
Poe’s fame nowadays rests more on his macabre tales of mystery and horror than on his poetry or literary essays. But he did not invent the horror story. In Poe’s youth, one of the most popular types of fiction was the gothic novel and his stories owe a lot to the gothic style. These novels typically dealt with mystery, horror, violence and the supernatural and the
stories often took place in dramatic, romantic settings such as ruined castles. They were extremely popular at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. Perhaps the most famous example of the genre is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818).
In the gothic elements of his stories, Poe was
tapping into an existing tradition. However he can
be credited with creating the world’s first fictional detective in the figure of C. Auguste Dupin. A number of aspects of Dupin’s character (his methods of deduction, his slightly eccentric personality and his generally low opinion of the police force) have all served as a model for many if not most detective
story writers ever since.
One idea that obviously interested Poe is the power of the imagination and how it can possess or haunt a person. We see this theme developed in a number of stories, particularly "William Wilson", "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "Metzengerstein". Poe was also
interested in analysing how a person (often a lonely figure) reacts in moments of extreme terror or despair facing death or torment. We see this in "The Pit and the Pendulum", "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Whirlpool". Poe examines the themes of revenge and punishment in "The Barrel of Amontillado", "The Red Death" and "Metzengerstein" while in the detective stories his underlying theme is the power of deductive reasoning to solve a seemingly insurmountable problem. (from:

bookweb from:
Lezen&Cetera, Pieter Steinz

Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Seven chilling tales.
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
Poe's only book-length narrative, recounting his Nantucket-born hero's adventures, misadventures, and discoveries, and his survival of shipwreck and capture by cannibals, as he journeys toward the South Pole.
Eureka, a prose poem
The creation of the world, its continued existence, and its ultimate end.
William Wilson

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The Ledge
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht,
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
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Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
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