He was unusual in that he strived to earn his living through writing alone, which resulted in a life of financial hardship and near poverty. The work that catapulted Poe onto the New York literary scene in January was The Raven , a poem that was immediately copied, parodied, and anthologized.
Poe in the Army
He is now one of the most widely read American writers of the 19th century. His appeal extends from young readers who enjoy being terrified by the macabre tales of mystery and imagination, such as The Tell-Tale Heart , to literary critics who appreciate his pioneering analysis in The Philosophy of Compositio n of how poetry creates its effect on the reader.
Poe lives on, not only in American culture but European as well, in drama, film and television, and music. And when television emerged that accelerated, so that generations of viewers have watched his stories on screen, and continue to do so. Adaptations of particularly the more macabre stories appear regularly on television. Music of the 20th century is infused with the works of Poe. Terry Brown produced Hop-Frog, a ballet based on a story by Poe in There are many more. Pop music, too, has drawn inspiration from the writings of Poe. When the Beatles compiled images of their heroes for the cover of Sgt.
Britney Spears named her concert tour Dream Within a Dream, incorporating lines from that poem, and other Poe works, into her show. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Allan's refusal to help him led to a final break between the two, and in March Poe went out on his own.
Poe then signed up for a five-year term in the U. In his Tamerlane and Other Poems was published at his own expense, but the book failed to attract notice. By January , serving under the name of Edgar A.
Perry, Poe rose to the rank of sergeant major. He did not want to serve out the full five years, however, and he arranged to be discharged from the army on the condition that he would seek an appointment at West Point Academy. He thought such a move might please John Allan.
That same year Al Araaf, Tamerlane and Minor Poems was published in Baltimore, Maryland, and it received a highly favorable notice from the novelist and critic John Neal. Poe visited Allan in Richmond, but he left in May after he and Allan had another violent quarrel. The West Point appointment came through the next month, but, since Poe no longer had any use for it, he did not last long. Lacking Allan's permission to resign, Poe sought and received a dismissal for "gross neglect of duty" and "disobedience of orders. Poe lived in Baltimore for a while with his aunt Maria Clemm and her seven-yearold daughter, Virginia.
In he published Poems by Edgar Allan Poe and began to place short stories in magazines. In he received a prize for "Ms. In Poe married his cousin Virginia—now thirteen years old—and moved to Richmond with her and her mother. Although excessive drinking caused him to lose his job in , he had written eighty-three reviews, six poems, four essays, and three short stories for the journal.
Edgar Allan Poe is born
He had also greatly increased its sales. Losing this job was extremely distressing to him, and his state of mind from then on, as one biographer put it, "was never very far from panic. The panic increased after In two years he boosted its circulation from five thousand to twenty thousand and contributed some of his best fiction to its pages, including "The Fall of the House of Usher. But there was trouble at Burton's, and in Poe left to work as the editor of Graham's Magazine.
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It was becoming clear that two years was about as long as Poe could hold a job, and though he contributed quality fiction and criticism to the magazine, his drinking, his feuding with other writers, and his inability to get along with people caused him to leave after His wife, who had been a vital source of comfort and support to him, began showing signs of the consumption or tuberculosis, an infection of the lungs that would eventually kill her.
When his troubles became too great, Poe tried to relieve them by drinking, which made him ill. Things seemed to improve slightly in ; the publication of the poem "The Raven" brought him some fame, and this success was followed in by the publication of two volumes, The Raven and Other Poems and Tales.
But his wife's health continued to worsen, and he was still not earning enough money to support her and Clemm. Poe's next job was with Godey's Lady's Book, but he was unable to keep steady employment, and things got so bad that he and his family almost starved in the winter of Then, on January 30, , Virginia Poe died.
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Somehow Poe continued to produce work of very high caliber. In he published the ambitious Eureka, and he returned to Richmond in to court a now-widowed friend of his youth, Mrs.
Edgar Allan Poe Biography
On the way he stopped off in Baltimore, Maryland. No one knows exactly what happened, but he was found unconscious on October 3, , near a saloon that had been used as a polling place. He died in a hospital four days later. It is not hard to see the connection between the nightmare of Poe's life and his work. His fictional work resembles the dreams of a troubled individual who keeps coming back, night after night, to the same pattern of dream.
At times he traces out the pattern lightly, at other times in a "thoughtful" mood, but often the tone is terror. He finds himself descending, into a cellar, a wine vault, or a whirlpool, always falling. The women he meets either change form into someone else or are whisked away completely. And at last he drops off, into a pit or a river or a walled-up tomb. Bittner, William R. Poe: A Biography.
Related Edgar Allan Poe: A Biography
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