Edgar Allan Poe

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Critical notes e biografia dell'autore (tutto in lingua inglese) (2 pagine formato doc)

Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most controversial figures of 19th century American literature.
He was characterized by his psychological instability, bad temper and dissolute behaviour. He became famous in Europe thanks to the traslation of French writers such as Charles Baudelaire. He had great importance in literature, especially in short story, because he introduced innovative elements. In Poe’s works is often present the theme of the “double”, which he felt so close to himself because on one hand he was an idealist and a visionary, but on the other hand he had great power of ratiocination and was capable of a close observation of mnute details. Poe firmly believed in art as a rigorous and rational application of a series of principles and techniques in order to produce an art object.
A poem had to be appreciated as an example of pure poetry completely devoid of any message or moral teaching. The only aim of the poetry is to give pleasure and to reach what he called “the beauty above”, the pure beauty. This induced Poe to write poems notable for their sound and imagery and he gave musical effect because he defined poetry as “the rhythmic creation of beauty”. Poe is best known as a writer of short stories. He used the words grotesque, arabesque and ratiocination to define their characterstics. The grotesque is associated with humor and satire while the arabesque with emotion and imagination. The grotesque implied fear and orror and the ideas of losing control of impulses and ideas, instead the arabesque was the celebration of the power of human being to master, control and organize. The grotesque and the arabesque often intermingled because fear, horror and terror could assume a comic and satirical connotation, while the rational working of the mind could become horror and impotence. An example is The Tell-Tale Heart in wich the protagonist carefully plans a murder, but is defeated by the horror of what he himself has done. The term ratiocination is connected to the detective story. Poe is considered their inventor. He invented Monsieur Dupin, who is a genius who showed all his genius in solving very complicated cases and only him, using reason and intuition, turned vey complicated into comprehensible case. Poe’s short stories have one principle in common and it is the single effect. A skilful writer was to be very careful about the planning of a tale and had to avoid any elements which could disturb the achieving of its effect. The eventsand their combination were to be directed towards single result. The foundamental condition was that the tale had to be quite short and that it could be read all togheter. So the reader could grasp the pattern without having his attention diverted by interruptions. He strongly believed in the development of a national literature and could that a brilliant criticism could help. His works included literary criticism. Life and works: Edgar Allan Poe was born in 1809 in Boston. His father abandoned the fami