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ƒиплом National Beginning in American literature and Edgar Poe as one of its beginners. Characteristics of his short stories. Edgar Poe is the creator of wonderful satirical grotesque in which he laughed at unchangeable and impatient for him human defects.
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MINISTRY OF HIGHER AND SECONDARY SPECIAL EDUCATION
OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN
GULISTAN STATE UNIVERSITY
The English and Literature Department
Qualification work on speciality
English philology on the theme:
УArtistic peculiarities of short stories by E.A. PoeФФ
Numanov Golib's qualification work
on speciality 5220100,
Supervisor: Tojiev Kh.
1.1 Review of the theme.
1.2 National Beginning in American literature and Edgar Poe as one of its beginners
II. Main Part
2.1 Edgar Poe's creative life
2.2 Edgar Poe and American short story
2.4 Annabell Lee
2.5 Characteristics of Edgar Poe's short stories
2.6 Detective stories. УThe Cask of AmontilladoФ
2.7 Fantastic stories. E. Poe's Heroes
3.1 Edgar Poe's artistic manner
1.1 Review of the theme
My qualification work is devoted to the creative life and work of great American writer Edgar Allan Poe, the theme of which is УArtistic peculiarities of short stories by Edgar PoeФ. This theme is chosen for investigation because of its importance for learning English language. In the process of learning English the learning of the literature of exact country is very important. Alongside with English literature we must know American literature, which developed on the basis of English one. From the history of the English language we know that English penetrated America through British conquering of this land. Edgar Allan Poe was one of the pioneers of national beginnings in American literature, he made a great contribution to the development of American literature, and he entered the literature as a poet, critic and wonderful short story-teller. To my mind his creative activity is worth of paying attention to and the given theme is actual for investigation.
The actuality of the theme is also that because of Edgar Poe's manner of writing. It is his short stories-defective, fantastic, stories of horror - all of them, which attract the readers by their peculiar effect. Judging by Edgar Poe's words he prevered Уcommencing with the consideration of effectФ, he wanted to impress the reader, he had a specific skill of constructing his stories, and that's why he called his short stories УTales of Grotesques and ArabesqueФ. E. Poe. The philosophy of Composition
My work is aimed to investigate and to show the characteristic features, the artistic peculiarities of Edgar Poe's short stories, how the author managed to write the stories of different genres. By analyzing some stories and on their examples, I tried to show their characteristic features. As the object of investigation I have analyzed the following stories: from the series of detective stories I chose the story УThe Murders in the Rue MorgueФ, and УThe Gold bugФ, as horrible stories I took У The Tell - Tale HeartФ, У The Cask of AmontilladoФ, and Уthe Fall of the House of UsherФ The scientific novelty of my work is that it provides the rich information about Edgar Poe's creative life and his works. Analyzing the above mentioned stories I proved once more Edgar Poe's skill to tell stories which thrill readers both with fear and humor.
1.2 National Beginning in American literature and Edgar Poe as one of its beginners
The work is also of great practical value. It can be used in practice as educational material for further learning not only American literature but our national literature, we can compare Edgar Poe's artistic manner of writing detective stories with Sherlock Home's, Aghatha Christy or our Uzbek writer Tahir Malik - well known with his УShaytanatФ.
My work consists of three parts and bibliography. The first part contains the general review of the theme and some information about national beginnings in American literature, as Edgar Poe was one of the pioneers in the formation of American literature.
The second part includes items concerning Edgar Poe's creative life, his poetry and the development of American short story.
The item about characteristics of Edgar Poe's УTales of Grotesque and ArabesqueФ, where I made the analysis of his stories of horror, detective and fantastic stories.
In conclusion I summed up the work paying attention to Edgar Poe's artistic manner, and the importance of his creative activity for the world literature.
The use of Edgar Poe's short stories in original helped me with revealing their characteristic features. Besides I have used Hervi Allen's recollections about Edgar Poe's, Published in the book УSplendid people's lifeФ, M. 1984 issue 14 and Professor F. Cowles Strickland's recollections about Edgar Poe. I also found interesting remarks about Edgar Poe's activity in the article by M. Urinov. In Highlight of American literature I found the rich information about National beginnings and short stories in American literature.
Many writers paid attention to Edgar Poe's works, such as Nikolukin in his book УEdgar Poe, H. W. Krutch. УEdgar Allan PoeФ. УA study in genius New YorkФ. 1926. Edgar Allan Poe, His writing and influences, New York 1974.
The use of the material from Internet helped me to enrich my work with the information concerning Edgar Poe's creative activity and characteristics of his works.
2.1 Edgar Poe's creative life
Edgar Allan Poe is certainly one of the best known and most popular of American writers. His stories are read by children, probed with the tools of psychoanalysis by critics, and transformed into films. His poems, notably УThe RavenФ, УTo HelenФ and УAnnable LeeФ, are widely anthologized. And his critical notion that a poem should be readable in a single sitting so as not to mute its single effect is a familiar critical principle. More importantly, Poe's poetic theories, outlined in such pieces as УThe Poetic PrincipleФ, УThe Rationale of VerseФ and УThe Philosophy of Composition, had a profound influence on the French symbolist movement.
Before he became a famous poet and short- storey writer, Poe was known as a journalist and magazine editor. He wrote numerous reviews about works now forgotten while producing his own memerable tales and poems. And though he never realized his dream of founding a literary magazine of his own, be contributed to many , including those he edited. Aa a writer for popular periodicals like the У Broadway JournalsФ and Graham's У Lady's and Gentleman's MagazineФ, and as an editor of literary periodicalssuch as the У Southern Literary MessengerФ Poe came to understand very well the audiences who read his work. He aimed his work, as he wrote, У not above the popular, or below the critical, tasteФ turning the fictional conventions of his own time to odd account. In tales such as У LigeiaФ and У The Fall of the House of UsherФ, for example he put his personal stamp on the gothic horror story. He remodeled the tale of exploration in works like У A Descent into theMaelstormФ, and he developed the genre of the detective story, or У tale of racionationФ as he called it , with such stories as У The Gold BugФ, У The Murders in the Rue MorgueФ, and У The Purlioned LetterФ. Still another genre he touched on was science fiction with his fantastic storyФ The Balloon HoaxФ. As various as was Poe's genius and as varied as were the fictional subgenres he worked in, one element of his work remains consistent: his concern with the workings of the human mind.
Writers as diverse as Bandelaire and Dostoevsky admired Poe's work. Bandelaire, who translated many of Poe's tales, in fact , acknowledged Poe's influence by writing that if Poe hadn't existed Bandelaire would have had to invent him. Dostoevsky was unstiuting in his praise of Poe's revelations of minds at war with thenselves. Although Dostoevsky's own explorations of extreme states of consciosness and his dramatic depictions of behavior honed by guilt are more ambitious and monumental than Poe's sketches and tales, the Russian writer felt a kindship with Poe.
Poe's life was as tormented as the minds of his stories narrators. He was born to itinerant actors in Boston. His father died when he was a year old and his mother a year later. Edgar was and his brother and sister were taken as foster children into the Rome of a Richmond tobacco merchant , John Allan . Poe was educated in England and at the University of Vifginia, where he was provided with insafficient funds for food, books , and clothing by John Allan. Living among wealthy young men, Poe resorted to gambling , wich further worsened his financial situation and contributed what was an already seriously strained relationship with his foster father , who disapproved of his literary ambitions. The upshot was that Poe withdrew from the university and was left to make his own way as an author.
In 1837 he moned his familyfrom Baltimore to New York, where he published his only full-length fictional work, У The Narrative of Arthur Gordon PymФ. In 1840 he published his У Tales of the Grotesqu and ArabesqueФ (1840). Poe borrowed the terms У grotesqueФ and У arabesqueФ from the Romantic poet and novelist Sir Walter Scott, and meant them to suggest the terror associated with the bizarre and the beautiful associated with the poetic. He also meant to suggest that both elements were present in many stories in his collection.
УThe Fall of the House of UsherФ is among Poe's most famous and most accomplished tales. The house that falls is both the literal Usher habitation and the family it signifies. The house also represents the mind of Roderick Usher. In its density of detail, bizarre events, and uncanny tone, the story suggest gothic fiction. In its psychological richness and fainted family history, it reaches back to Greek tragedy.
УThe Cask of AmontilladoФ examplifies Poe's genius at displaying a mad narrator whose intent is to convince his listeners of his sanity. Perhaps Poe's best- known example of this type is the narrator of У The Tell- Tale HeartФ. But У The Cask of AmontiladoФ is an even richer story, with Poe pulling out all the stops in displaying multiple ironies while his narrator fels compelled to tell somebody of the perfect murder he committed fifty years before. The question is why he tells this tale after so many years.
In УThe Purloined LetterФ Poe gives way to his bent for stories of crime and punishment, this time from the outside point of view of the detective rather than from inside the criminals mind. Rather than considering what he would have done in like circumstances, the detective , Monsieur Dupin, must try to think the way the criminal thought, which is precisely what he does en route to to solving the case . The story celebrates Poe's appreciation of the rational mind and contains a number of examples of riddles and games in which Poe delighted. It also ends with an elaborate puzzle built on a complex literary allusion, which contains the key Poe uses to unlock the inticacies of the story's plot.
Poe's fictional performances delighted audience in his own time continue to engage and intrigue readers today. Even though his style is ornate and his language far from colloquial, he remains a most readable writer, largely because he builds suspense, creates atmosphere , and probes the psychological complexities of his characters' minds and hearts. If it is the horror of his stories that first draws readers in, it is Poe's psychological richness and his control of tone that continue to bring them back for repeated readings of some inmatchable stories.
American literature cannot be captured in a simple definition. It reflects the many religious, historical and cultural traditions of the American people, one of the world's most varied populations. It includes poetry, fictions, drama and other kinds of writing by authors in what is now the United States. It also includes miswritten material, such as the oral literature of the American Indians and folk tales and legends. In addition, American literature accounts of America written by immigrants and visitors from other countries, as well as works by American writers, who spent some or all of their lives abroad.
American literature begins with the legends, myths and poetry of the American Indians, the first people to life in what is now the United States. Indians legends included stories about the origin of the world, the histories of various tribes, and tales of tribal heroes.
The first American literature was neither American nor really literature. It was not American because it was the work mainly of immigrants from England. It was not literature as we know it in the form of poetry, essays, or fiction but rather an interesting mixture of travel accounts and religious writings.
The earliest colonial travel accounts are records of the perils and frustrations that challenged the courage of America's first settlers.
The purpose of the first writers was to attract dissatisfied inhabitants of the Old World across the ocean to the New. As a result, their travel accounts became a kind of literature to which many groups responded by making the hazardous crossing to America. The earliest settlers included Dutch, Swedes, German, French, Spaniards, Italians, and Portuguese, of the immigrants who came to America in the first three quarters of the seventeenth century, however, the overwhelming majority was English.
The English immigrants who settled on American's northern seacoast, appropriately called New England, came in order to practice their religion freely. They were either Englishman who wanted to reform the Church of England or people who wanted to have an entirely new church. These two groups combined, especially in what became Massachusetts, came to be known as УPuritansФ, so named after those who wished to УpurifyФ the Church of England.
The Puritans followed many of the ideas of the Swiss reformer John Calvin.
Through the Calvinist influence the Puritans emphasized the then common belief that human beings were basically evil and could do nothing about it; and that many of them, though not all, would surely be condemned to hell.
Over the years the Puritans built a way of life that was in harmony with their somber religion, one that stressed hard work, thriff, piety, and sobriety. These were the Puritan values that dominated much of the earliest American writing including the sermons, books, and letters of such noted Puritan clergymen as John Cotton and Cotton Mather. During his life Cotton Mather wrote more than 450 works, an impressive output of religious writings that demonstrate that he was an example, as well as an advocate, of the Puritan ideal of hard work. During the last half of seventeenth century the Atlantic coast was settled both north and south. Colonies still largely English were established. Among the colonists could be found poets and essayists; but no novelists. The absence of novelist is quite understandable: the novel form had not even developed fully in England; the Puritan members of the colonies believed that fiction ought not to be read because it was, by definition, not true.
The American poets who emerged in the seventeenth century adapted the style of established European poets to subject matter confronted in a strange, new environment. Anne Bradstreet was one such poet, who was born in educated in England. She both admired and imitated several English poets. Another important colonial poet, who achieved wide popularity was Michael Wigglesworth.
Twentieth century literary scholars have discovered the manuscripts of a contemporary of Wigglesworth named Edward Taylor, who produced what is perhaps the finest seventeenth century American verse. Taylor never published any of his poetry. In fact, the first of Edward Taylor's colonial poetry did not reach print until the third decade of the twentieth century.
As the decades passed new generations of American born writers became important. Boston, Massachusetts, was the birthplace of one such American born writer. His name was Benjamin Franklin. The practical world of Benjamin Franklin stands in sharp contrast to the fantasy world created by Washington Irving. Named after George Washington, the first president of the United States, Irving provided a young nation with humorous, fictional accounts of colonial past.
Another writer, James Fennimore Cooper, contributed two of the great stock figures of American mythology: the daring frontiersman and the bold Indian. Cooper's exciting stories of the American frontier have won a large audience for his books in many parts of the world.
While prose was contributing to development of an American mythology, the first poetry in the United States was also being written; Philip Freneau, one of the first poets of the new nation, wrote in a style which owed something to English models. If Freneau can be considered one of America's first great nationalist poets, William Cullen Bryant merits a claim to being one of America's first naturalist poets.
We can't help saying about such notable poets as Edgar Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne, who contributed American literature with their prose and verse.
The earliest writing in America considered of the journals and reports of European explorers and missionaries. These early authors left a rich literature describing their encounters with new lands and civilization. Beginning from these early times the American literature has been developing up to date. Such well-known writers and poets as Edgar Poe, Herman Melville, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher-Stowe, Theodore Dreiser, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway and others became the pride not only of the American literature but of the whole world literature as well. As any other literature, the American literature reflected all historical events that took place in the world. The American literature suffered different periods: romanticism, realism, modernism etc.
The period of 40s-90s is the period of late romanticism in the literature of the USA. It coincides with the creative work of Edgar Allan Poe, who is considered to be one of the pioneers of National American literature.
2.2 Characteristics of Edgar Poe's short stories
The American poet Edgar Allan Poe, was also a master of the prose tale. A gifted, tormented man, Poe thought about proper function of literature for more than any of his predecessors, with the result that he became the first great American literary critic. He Developed a theory of poetry which was in disagreement with what most poets of the mid-nineteenth century believed. Unlike many poets, Poe was not an advocate of long poems. According to him, only a short poem could sustain the level of emotion in the reader that was generated by all good poetry. Besides Poe worked as an editor and contributor to magazines in several cities. He unsuccessfully tried to found and edit his won magazine, which would have granted him financial security and artistic control in what he considered a hostile literary marketplace.
Poe was never a good businessman but he was a good editor. His writing as a critic was especially well known. For Poe was not only a man with a fine mind who was a good writer; he had very clear opinions about the art of writing and had no fear at all about publishing those opinions. If he didn't like a book or a poem or a story he cut it and the writer into pieces with his words.
During his lifetime, Poe made many enemies through his challenge to moralistic limits on literature, his confrontation with the New England literary establishment, and his biting critical style. Some readers too easily identified Poe with the mentally disturbed narrators of his tales, a belief reinforced by Rufus Griswold, Poe's literary executor. Griswold wrote a malicious obituary and memoir of Poe that combined half-truth and outright falsehoods about Poe's personal habits and conduct. Griswold portrayed Poe as envious, conceited, arrogant, and bad-tempered. Griswold's portrait severely damaged Poe's reputation and delayed a serious consideration of the writer's place in American literature. But Poe's later rediscovery by the French poets Charles Baudelaire, Stephane Mallarme, and Paul Valery helped restore his reputation.
But was he? Poe was born in Boston in January of 1809 the son of traveling actors. His father deserted the family. After his mother died in 1811, Poe becomes a ward of John Allan, a wealthy Richmond merchant. The Allan family lived in Great Britain from 1815 to 1820 before returning to Richmond. In 1826, Poe enrolled at the University of Virginia. There he acquired gambling debts that John Allan refused to pay. Eventually, Poe was forced to withdraw from the university.
Poe's relationship with Allan deteriorated, and the young man enlisted in the USA army in 1827. During the same year, Poe's first book was published. Its title was УTamerlane and other PoemsФ, by Уa BostonianФ. While waiting for an appointment to the US Military Academy, Poe published his second volume of poems: УAll Araaf, УTamerlaneФ, and УMinor poemsФ(1829). Both collections show the influence of the English poet Lord Byron. In 1830, Poe entered the US. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y., where he excelled in the4 study of languages. But he was expelled in 1831 for neglecting his duties.
Poe's УPoemsФ (1831) contained two important poems Уto HelenФ and УIsrafelФ. He began to publish tales in the early 1830's while living with his aunt Maria Clemm and her daughter Virginia. Poe suffered financial difficulties, especially after being ignored in John Allan's will. He received help from American novelist John P. Kennedy in winning an editorial post with the Уsouthern literary messengerФ in Richmond. In 1836, Poe married Virginia Clemm, his 13year old cousin. For the УMessengerФ, Poe contributed reviews, original or revised poems and stories, and two installments of УThe Narrative of Arthur Gordon PymФ.
Poe produced several of his finest tales in the late 1830's, including УLigeiaФ, УThe Fall of the House of UsherФ, and УWilliam WilsonФ. These and other stories were incorporated into УTales of the Grotesque and ArabesqueФ (1834). In 1841, he became an editor of УGraham's MagazineФ, to which he contributed УThe Murders in the Rue MorgueФ.
Poe won greater recognition with УThe God BugФ (1843), a prize winning tale that appeared in Philadelphia's Dollar Newspaper. The poem У The RavenФ (1845) made him famous. Two more collections У TalesФ and У The Raven and the other PoemsФ, appeared in 1845. Early in 1845, Poe antagonized many people with a scathing campaign against the popular. American poet Henry Wadworth Longfellow for supposed plagiarism. At a public appearance in Boston later that year, Poe admitted to being drunk, which further alienated the public.
Poe's later years were colored by economic hardship and ill health. Nevertheless, he published the story УThe Cask of AmontilladoФ (1846), УThe Philosophy of CompositionФ (1846), and part of his УMarginaliaФ, a collection of critical notes written for various periodical during the 1840's.
Virginia Poe died of tuberculosis in 1847, after five years of illness. Poe then sank into poor health, and his literary productivity declined. In the middle and late 1840's, he sought to support himself as a lecturer. His lecture on УThe UniverseФ was expanded into Eurika: A Prose Poem(1848), which explores the mysteries of the Universe.
In 1849, Poe became engaged to marry the widowed Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton, his boyhood sweetheart. On his way to bring Mrs. Clemm to the wedding, Poe stopped in Baltimore. On October 3, he was found semiconscious and delirious outside a tavern used as a polling place. The cause of his death four days later was listed as Уcongestion of the brainФ, though the precise circumstances of his death have never been fully explained.
As professor F. Cowles Strickland shard, that Edgar Poe drank too much, that he learned how to drink; the trouble is that he didn't. Most men did not drink badly of another man just because he drank; but if the man didn't know how to drink if he drank too much or at the wrong time of day or in the wrong place then men felt that drinking was wrong. Poe was one who didn't know how. But he didn't drink all the time. If that had been true he could no have written anything. There were long periods when Poe didn't drink at all; but there were other periods when he felt he couldn't continue to exist without drinking. Thus Poe, created trouble for himself. This is not the only example of how Poe did the wrong thing, knowing that it was the wrong thing. Apparently it was a part of his character to do so. Poe recognized this problem in himself. In his story УThe Black CatФ he wrote;
УWho has not, a hundred times, found himself doing wrong, doing some evil thing for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Are not we humans at all times pushed, ever driven in some unknown way to break the lay just because we understand it to be the law?Ф Edgar Allan Poe; Storyteller. The story УThe Black CatФ US inf. Argency. W.D.C. 1996 p8
Poe had lived a hard life, and during most of that life the dreams he dreamed remained only dreams. He drank to escape from the troubles of the real worlds. He escaped into his dream world in his poems and in many of his finest stories. Poe himself said that he was a dreamer. Think, he said, think of that moment when you are about to go to sleep, but are mot yet sleeping. You dream strange dreams. If you go to sleep you forget them. Poe claimed that he could come near to sleeping and then call himself back to the real world, remembering the dreams of the half world from which he had just come. These, he said, were the materials of some of his writings. If he said it, we may believe that it is true. But in addition to that, he filled his poems and his stories with the dreams he dreamed when not asleep yet. Poe began his career as a poet and composed or revised poems throughout his career. A tone of amused distance can be detected even in poems that critics consider serious. However, these elements coexist with themes that are more typical of the Romantic Movement, such as dreams and nightmares.
As it was mentioned, Poe's creative life coincides with the period of Romanticism in American literature, and this was the age of Romanticism in Europe. And American still considered Europe to be the best source of new ideas. One of the most important Romantic ideas was the escape from reality, poems and stories could take people out of real life into a dream world where they felt and say and heard things that never were and never will be.
And besides, it was the time, when the United States went through some of the greatest changes in its history of the 19th century it was still mainly a country of farmers. Trade and manufacturing were growing more important with each decade but it was not until the 1870's that a majority of Americans were making a living in non-farming occupation . In the middle of the century Negro slavery was still fact of American life. But after Civil War the nation entered a period of vast commercial expansion. Railroads Stretched form one end of the country to the other. Factories were built. Cities grew bigger. Fortunes were made. Edgar Poe was against the business, which was made mot to the favor of the country, he was a son of his century and an American patriot and tried to rise the American people's level of beauty and to prove that the poetry might exist in America. He wrote about it in his article УPoets and American PoetryФ. He didn't separate himself from that that created railways, factories, he said УweФ about УallФ who could create both a locomotive and poetry.
Poe handled such material through images and tropes designed to signify uncertain states of consciousness represented as lakes, seas waves, and vapors.
Nearly all Poe's criticism on poetry was written for the magazines for which he worked. Although the pieces were published intermittently, they reflect a remarkable coherent self-conscious view of poetry and the creative process. Poe wrote УThe Philosophy of CompositionФ to explain how he composed УThe RavenФ. The essay opposes the romantic assumption that the poet works in a Уfine frenzyФ of pure inspiration. Instead, Poe wrote a carefully deliberate account of poetic creation. The essay analyses the central role of УeffectФ the conscious choice of an emotional atmosphere that is more important than incident, character, and versification. Poe also offered his famous pronouncement that the death of a beautiful woman is the most poetical topic in the world. In УThe Poetic PrincipleФ (1850).
Poe clamed that poetry works to achieve an elevating exciting of the soul, an emotional state that could not be long sustained. He further declared that a long poem is a contradiction in terms.
Poe believed that a poem's emotional impact was enhanced by music or Уsweet soundФ. He thus devoted considerable attention to techniques of versification, especially in his essay. УThe Rationale of VerseФ (1848)
Poe's УSonnet To ScienceФ(1829) subtly shows how beauty is destroyed by the coldness of the modern scientific intellect. УTo HelenФ(1831) is a brilliant example of precision and balance and perhaps Poe's classic poetic statement on the idealization of women.
Despite its theatrical effects and stylistic flaws, УThe RavenФ (1845) is Poe's best-known poem and one of the most famous works in American literature. If treats his favorite theme, the death of a beautiful woman.
This theme also appears in УThe SleeperФ (1841) and УUlalumeФ (1847). In all three poems, Poe chose elaborate musical and metrical effects, aspects of his verse that have been widely criticized and parodied.
Reflecting his interest in musical effects, Poe made no rigid distinction between music and poetry. УEldaradoФ (1849), which originated as a song of the American West about the California gold rush, is an outstanding example. Poe went beyond the poem's topical mature. The theme is universalized, as a knight learns that the true Eldarado is a wealth beyond this world.
The brilliance of Poe can be seen in the two poems УIsrafelФ and УAnnabel LeeФ. The poems are as melodious as Bryant's but more dramatic in their effects. УIsrafelФ is Poe's poetic apology for himself, while УAnnabel LeeФ mourns the death of a beautiful girl, a recurring subject in Poe's writing.
One of the most remarkable things about the pair of poems is their melody. They are sinkable, not as a popular or concert song is, but with a wild kind of word music. As we read these lines, aloud or to ourselves, we will probably be able to understand why Poe was considered so skillful a poet. The rhythms of УIsrafelФ are rapid; the lines move fast. The beat is strong and skillfully varied. The vowel sounds are higher than in ordinary writing, helping to make the voice that reads them sound like a musical instrument such as the harp.
It is worth nothing that the above mentioned poems have nothing to do with America. Unlike those of some of his contemporaries, Poe's subjects and themes were either universal or exotic. He had little interest in the topical or everyday occurrences, seeking instead to avoid factuality or logical clarity that would make a poem understanding to the common intellect. For the most part, Poe's poems do not truly illuminate they are not expected to have plot. He continually emphasized estrangement, disappearance, silence, oblivion, and all ideas which suggest nonbeing. If was the idea of approximating nothingness that most excited him in his own poetry and that of other poets.
Here below I want to present Edgar Poe's two selections.
In the motto, taken from the Koran, Poe took a few liberties with the description of Israfel by adding the words, УWhose heart strings are a luteФ. The words were probably suggested by a passage in a poem, УLe RefusФ by the French poet, Beranger (1780-1857). The song embodies Poe's wish for a beauty superior to that of earth, more approaching the divine. The final stanzas voice the poet's despair at the restritions of his environment. The poem first appeared in Poe's Poems (1831) and was carried several times in later editions.
УAnd the angel Israfel , whose heart-
Strings are a lute, and who has the
Sweetest voice of all God's creatures,Ф-
In Heaven a spirit doth dwell
УWhose heart-strings are a luteФ,
None sing so widely well
As the angel Israfel,
And the giddy stars (so legends tell),
Ceasing their hymns, attend the spell
Of his voice, all mute.
In her highest noon,
The enamored moon
Blushes with love,
While, to listen, the red Levin
(With the rapid Pleiades, even,
Which were seven,)
Pauses in Heaven.
And they say (the starry choir
And the other listening things)
That Israfeli's fire
Is owing to lyre
By which he sits and sings-
Of unusual strings.
But the skies that angel trod,
Where deep thoughts are a duty,
Where Love's grown-up God,
Where the Houri glances are
Imbued with all the beauty
Which we worship in a star
Therefore, thou art not wrong,
Israfel, who despisest
An unimpassioned song;
To thee the laurels belong,
Best bard, because the wisest!
Merrily live, and long!
The ecstasies above
With thy burning measures suit-
Thy grief, thy joy, thy hate, thy love,
With the fervor of thy lute-
Well may the stars be mute!
Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely-flowers,
And the shadow of thy perfect bliss
Is the sunshine of ours.
If I could dwell
Hath dwelt, and he where I,
He might not sing so wildly well
A mortal melody,
While a bolder note than this might swell
From my lyre within the skyФ
This poem, which was the last on Poe wrote, is believed by many critics to be an idealization of his wife, Virginia Clemm, who died in 1847. It was published posthumously in the New York УTribuneФ of October 9, 1849. In six stages of alternating four and three stress line, the poem has been called Уthe culmination of Poe's lyric style in his recurrent theme of the loss of a beautiful and loved womanФ
2.4 Annabel Lee
УIt was many and many a year ago,
In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee;-
And this maiden she lived with no other thought
Than to love and be loved by me.
She was a child and I was a child,
In this kingdom by the sea,
But we loved with a love than was more than love-
I and ma Annabel Lee-
With a love that the winged seraphs of Heaven
Covered her and me.
And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this kingdom by the sea,
A wind blew out of a cloud by night
Chilling my Annabel Lee;
So that her highborn kinsmen came
And bore her away from me,
To shut her up in a sepulcher
In this kingdom by the sea.
The angels, not half so happy in Heaven,
Went envying her and me:
Yes! That was the reason (as all men know:
In this kingdom by the sea)
That the wind came out of the cloud chilling
And killing my Annabel Lee.
But our love it was stronger by far than the love
Of course who were older than we-
Of many far wiser than we-
And neither the angels in Heaven above
Nor the demons down under the sea,
Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee:
For the moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And the stars never rise I see the bright eyes
Of the beautiful Annabel Lee;
And also, all the night ride, I lie down by the side
Of my darling, my darling, my life and my bride,
In her sepulcher there by the sea-
In her tomb by the side of the seaФ.
Now what Edgar Poe wrote about himself in his УThe Philosophy of CompositionФ,
УThere is a radical error, I think , in the usual mode of constructing a story. Either history affords a thesis or one is suggested by an incident of the day or, at best, the author sets himself to work in the combination of striking events to form merely the basis of his narrative designing, generally, to fill in with description dialogue, or authorial comment, whatever crevices of fact, or action, may, from page to page, render themselves apparent. I prefer commencing with the consideration of an effect. Keeping originality always in view for he is false to himself who ventures to dispense with so obvious and so readily attainable a source of interest I say to myself, in the first place, of the innumerable effects, or impressions of which the heart, the intellect, or (more generally) the soul is susceptible, what one shall, I , on the present occasion, select?Ф Having chosen a novel, first, and secondly, a vivid effect, I consider whether, or the converse, or by peculiarity both of incident and tone afterward looking about me (or rather within) for such combinations of event, or tone, as shall best aid me in the construction of the effect.
The strict subordination of artistic means to poetic conception created the beauty and harmony of Poe's verses, which made Bodler admire, and Rahmaninov compose music for Poe's УBellФ, and Valeriy Brussov the translator of Poe's poems do investigations about the greatest poet of New America, whom he considered to be УA hopeless realistФ
Edgar Poe and American short story.
While describing Edgar Poe's creative activity we can't help mentioning about the American short story development of the 19th century, as it was the time when the writer created his best short stories, when readers were enjoyed by his highlights.
From the beginning of time, man has been interested in stories. For many thousands of years stories were passed from generation to generation orally, either in words or in song. Usually the stories were religious or national in character.
There were myths, epics, fables, and parables. Some famous examples of story-telling of the Middle Ages are УA thousand and one nightsФ, Chaucer's УCanterbury TalesФ and Boccachio's УDecameronФ.
Perhaps it can be said that the short story is well suited to American style of life and character. It is brief (If can be read usually in a single sitting). It if concentrated (The characters are few in number and the action is limited).
Dr. J. Berg Esenwein in his book Уwriting the short storyФ defines the short story as follows:
УA short story is a brief imaginative narrative, unfolding a single predominating incident and a single chief character; it contains a plot, the details of which are so compressed, and the whole treatment so organized, as to produce a single impressionФ.
A good shorts story should (1) narrate an account of events in a way that will hold the reader's interest by its basic truth; and (2) it should present a struggle or conflict faced by a character or characters. The plot is the narrative development of the struggle as it moves through a series of crises to the final outcome. The outcome must be the inevitable result of the traits of the character involved in the struggle or conflict.
The short story is the literary form to which the United States made early contributions. In fact, early in 19th century America, the short story reached a significant point in its development. Three American writers were responsible for this development; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Washington Irving, and Edgar Allan Poe. It was the latter who defined the literary form in his review of Hawthorne's УTwice-Told TalesФ.
In his review, Poe asserts that everything in a story or tale every incident, every combination of events, every word must aid the author in achieving a preconceived emotional effects. He states that since the ordinary novel cannot be read at one sitting, it is deprived of У the immense force derivable from totality.Ф For Poe the advantage of the short prose narrative over the novel was that it maintained unity of interest on the part of the reader, who was less subject to the intervention of Уwordily interestsФ caused by pauses or cessation of reading as in the case of a novel.
УIn the brief tale, however, У Poe states, Уthe author is enabled to carry out the dullness of his intentions, и т.д.................
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