Edgar Allan Poe: Racconti brevi

Struttura e analisi di alcuni Racconti brevi di Edgar Allan Poe: Racconti di raziocinio, Racconti di fantasia e del terrore (3 pagine formato pdf)

Appunto di x6elisa


Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). The Tales - Poe transferred the dualism of his complex personality into his tales, torn between logic and rationality on one side, fancy and imagination on the other.
Poe’s life itself was marked by an alternation of double ad opposite situations: he longed for love but lost all the women he loved; he longed for wealth and fame but he ruined himself through gambling and drinking.
There seemed to be two persons in him, one gentle, brilliant, endowed with rigorous logic and special sense of humour, the other irritable, sad, self-centred and morbidly sensitive.
He was unable to cope with the world outside and often even with himself, so he took refuge in a private world of his own, the world of Imagination and of his Tales, where his double personality converged.


Tales of Ratiocination. He maintained that madness and reason can co-exist. It was in fact under the prevailing guide of his reason that he wrote his Tales of Ratiocination, giving a great impulse to detective fiction and determining the future evolution of this literary genre.
The structure of these tales is always the same, made up of mysteries, misleading trails, locked doors, contradictory witnesses, etc.
But Poe was not so much interested in the plot, so he invented the formula of the brilliant private detective, Monsieur
Dupin, eccentric but rational, anticonformist but rigorously logical in his approach to the mystery crime; then he placed by his side an admiring but sometimes dull friend who, by contrast, underlined the detective’s brilliant deductions. This became the model for such future “couples” as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’ short detective stories, Poirot and Captain Hastings by Agatha Christie, etc.
Reason always triumphs in these kind of tales, and Poe goes so far as to deny the existence of the supernatural.

Edgar Allan Poe, Racconti del mistero: riassunto


Tales of Imagination and Horror. The Tales of Imagination and Horror are quite different. They are indeed a sort of unconscious confession, in which Poe ends by identifying himself with his doomed heroes and turns scenes and situations into representations of his own states of mind. For this reason he used recurring themes and features which make up the texture of this kind of tales and which can sum up as follows:
- Enclosure: Poe’s heroes are usually enclosed inside something (a building, a room, a ship, even a coffin) which acts as a protective womb, but also as a vehicle of destruction and death;
- Descent into a pit or a whirlpool, symbolizing self-investigation into the unconscious;
- Terror, which is not a tangible or a violent reality but which is used for its annihilation (destruction) and nothingness;
- Terrible anguish, rooted in and generated by a sort of masochism;
- The double, for example the presence of a second person who becomes the mirror image of the main character;
- The clock, employed in both his physical and symbolic significance;