Edgar Allan Poe, Quoth The Raven, “Nevermore!”
“All that we see or seem Is but a dream within a dream” – Edgar Allan Poe
World’s greatest gothic American writer. Author of some of the strangest macabre tales in the English language. He wrote horror, poetry, short stories, criticism and was a master of suspense. Poe was enthralled with the mystery of love and beauty. He had a cousin in Baltimore, Virginia Clem he married her. Poe lived in poverty throughout his career and his personal life is often as dark as his writings. He was haunted by the loss of his mother and his wife who died of tuberculosis at the age of 24. At the age of 41, Poe was mysteriously found dead in Baltimore. Many consider him as the father of detective stories. In 1841 he wrote “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” which is considered to be the first detective story which started the whole tradition of detective fiction. His masterpiece, The Raven in1845 became a huge breakthrough and became a big bestseller, creating a sensation when he published it.
In his own work, he demonstrated a brilliant command over language and technique in addition to inspired and original imagination. He paid huge attention to two things which are form and style. As a literary critic, he identified two cardinal rules for the short story forms; it must be short enough to read in one sitting and every word must contribute to its purpose. By mastering these rules Poe commands the reader’s attention and rewards them with an intense and singular experience which he called as the Unity of Affect. Poe’s story uses violence and horror to explore paradoxes and mysteries of love, grief, and guilt. A psychological intensity that is characteristic of Poe’s writings, especially the tales of horror that comprise his best and best-known works. These stories—which include “The Black Cat,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart”—are often told by a first-person narrator, and through this voice, Poe probes the workings of a character’s psyche
“The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Purloined Letter,” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget”—are recognized as the works which established the major characters as C. Augustus Dupin and literary conventions of detective fiction.
Edgar Poe is most often remembered for his short fiction, his first love as a writer was poetry, which he began during his adolescence. His early verse reflects the influence of such English romantics as Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, yet foreshadows his later poetry which demonstrates a subjective outlook and surreal, mystic vision.
Poe successfully unites his philosophical and aesthetic ideals. In his psychological piece, a young scholar is emotionally tormented by a raven’s ominous repetition of “Nevermore” in answer to his question about the probability of an afterlife with his deceased lover.
Charles Baudelaire noted in his introduction to the French edition of “The Raven”: “It is indeed the poem of the sleeplessness of despair; it lacks nothing: neither the fever of ideas, nor the violence of colors, nor sickly reasoning, nor driveling terror, nor even the bizarre gaiety of suffering which makes it more terrible.”
Experimenting with combinations of sound and rhythm, he employed such technical devices as repetition, parallelism, internal rhyme, alliteration, and assonance to produce works that are unique in American poetry for their haunting, musical quality.
Today, Poe is recognized as one of the foremost progenitors of modern literature, both in its popular forms, such as horror and detective fiction, and in its more complex and self-conscious forms, which represent the essential artistic manner of the 20th century
Written By; Mohit Vyas
Editor and Team Lead: Ashutosh Sharma