"Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American original - a literary theorist, an erratic genius, and an analyst of human obsession and compulsion par excellence. From 1835 until his death, he was arguably the main protagonist in the story of the building of American literature. The scope of his achievements and the dramatic character of Poe's life have drawn readers and critics to him in droves." "And yet, upon his death, one obituary penned by a literary enemy in the New York Daily Tribune cascaded into a lasting stain on Poe's character, leaving a historic misunderstanding. To many, Poe is remembered as a difficult, self-pitying, troubled drunkard often incapable of caring for himself."
"Poe reclaims the Baltimore and Virginia writer's reputation and power, retracing Poe's life and career. James M. Hutchisson captures the boisterous worlds of literary New York and Philadelphia in the 1800s to understand why Poe wrote the way he did and why his achievement was so important to American literature. The biography presents a critical overview of Poe's major works and his main themes, techniques, and imaginative preoccupations."
"This portrait of the writer emphasizes Poe's southern identity. It traces his existence as a workaday journalist in the burgeoning magazine era and later his tremendous authority as a literary critic and cultural arbiter. To counter the long-lasting damage done by Poe's literary enemies, Hutchisson explores the far-reaching, posthumous influence Poe's literary and critical work exerted on the sister arts and on modern writers from Nietzsche to Nabokov."--Jacket.… (more)