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13) American Literature I. - Edgar Allan Poe

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13. American Literature I. – Edgar Allan Poe TRAGIC LIFE:  He was born in Boston in 1809  His father left his mother after Edward was born and his mother died when he was 2  So he became an orphan and later was adopted by the wealthy Allan family and even took the name of his foster parents as his own middle name  He studied in Scotland and London but was not happy there  He went to a university of Virginia but after some time he lost all of his money because of gambling and had to leave  He also had a impressing carrier in the army - he got the highest rank without studying army university (sergant major)  In 1827 he showed his literary talents when he published his first book of poems Tamerlane and Other Poems at his own expense.  Afterwards he continued publishing poems and short stories and soon became an editor of literary magazines in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and then in New York  Poe was one of the first American writers to try making a career out of writing alone. Sometimes he had trouble finding and keeping a job and delt with stress by drinking  In 1836 he married his 13-year-old cousin Virginia Clemm, who became his life-long inspiration. The character of a beautiful cousin reappears in his poetry and short stories  She died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis and because of that Poe started drinking even more  In October 1849 he was found unconscious on the street in Baltimore and died in hospital a few days later. Biographers speculate whether it was a result of his alcoholism, a murder or a suicide, but we’ll never know HIS STYLE AND LITERARY WORK:  In his work he focuses on how the human mind works and on the psychology of his characters  Genres: horror, detective stories, gothic stories, essays, poetry, criticism  Poe’s stories were published in magazines and later included in collections (“Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque” and “The Black Cat and Other Stories”)  He is the author of the first known detective story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” with the French detective C. Auguste Dupin (this story became an inspiration for Arthur Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes) o other detective story: “The Gold Bug”  His famous horror stories are: “The Pit and The Pendulum”, “The Premature Burial” and “The Black Cat” o “The Black Cat” is told from the point of view of a man who at the end loses his sanity and commits a terrible crime  As for Poe’s poetry, his most famous poem “The Raven” is a classic in American literature. It deals with the loss of a loved woman and death. Formally it stands out because of its rhyme.

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