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|Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Edgar Allan Poe
publisher: Querido, Amsterdam, 1833-1849
refered to by:
The Sorrows of Young Werther
Johann Wolfgang Goethe
[Terug naar Oegstgeest]
Jorges Luis Borges
Marcovaldo: or, The Seasons in the City
Marlene van Niekerk
|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: www.penguinreaders.com)
Lezen&Cetera, Pieter Steinz
|BOOKS BY EDGAR ALLAN POE:|
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.
editor-in-chief: Stacey Knecht, email@example.com
Thanks to: De digitale pioniers and
Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Design: Maurits de Bruijn
Copyright: Pieter Steinz, Stacey Knecht
All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author.