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In the essay Poe challenges those who suggest that writing is a mysterious process prompted solely by the imagination. Although the it offers a number of precepts for good writing, at the end of the essay, Poe undercuts his step-by-step instructions by insisting that all writing should have an "under-current" of meaning.
Because he never demonstrates how to create that "under-current," Poe's essay never completely reveals the process that makes his work so powerful. Quite coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, this was the day Edgar Allan Poe would give his recitation of "The Raven" at the home of Anna Lynchthe well-known literary salon hostess.
Lynch described Poe's performance that night as "electrifying" in a letter to the poet Sarah Helen Whitmanwho later had a short-lived relationship with Poe.
Granted, Poe was known for his intent performances, but his reading "The Raven" on a night of full moon and devastation must have enhanced the drama and haunting effect of his poem. Poe's poem had dazzled many readers, and numerous printings of "The Raven" appeared in magazines and newspapers around the country and abroad after its initial appearance in The New York Evening Mirror on 29 January in which it was printed as an "advance of publication" copy that would appear in the American Review the next month.
On 19 Novemberalmost a year after its initial appearance in the Mirror, "The Raven" was published by Wiley and Putnam in a collection using the famous poem in its title, The Raven and Other Poems. Two days later, the book was reviewed in the Mirror by the poet and editor George Pope Morrisa friend of Poe's.
Morris described Poe's poetry this way: We feel dream land to be more real and more touching than the actual life we have left" Thomas and Jackson, p.
A month later, Thomas Dunn Englisha poet, physician, editor, politician, and sometime friend of Poe's, wrote a review in the New York monthly magazine the Aristidean and described Poe's poetics in the following terms: Poe would later use these two approaches to his poetryoncern with effect and constructiono chart the process he used in composing "The Raven" and to suggest that "no one point in its composition is referable either to accident or intuition" p.
But this dissertation would come much after Poe had enjoyed the fame his "raven" had brought him. With this newfound popularity and his position as owner and editor of The Broadway Journal, Poe was finally able to live in a fashionable neighborhood near Washington Square Park at 85 Amity Street.
In this neighborhood and in his role as editor, Poe came into contact with prominent writers and artists of his time and because of the appeal of "The Raven," his fame as a poet grew at home and abroad. This idyllic time, however, was short-lived.
In addition, his wife's poor health and her displeasure with the gossip about Poe's "affairs" and his "pending institutionalization" to cure his "insanity" prompted Poe's move from the city to the country in Fordham Thomas and Jackson, pp.
Shortly after this move, Poe wrote "The Philosophy of Composition," partly to build on the popularity that "The Raven" had afforded him and partly to counter the negative criticism written about his poetry and the numerous parodies of "The Raven" that had appeared in the press.
Having earned the reputation of the "tomahawk critic" for his harsh analyses of other poets' works, Poe's poetry received similarly harsh appraisals; though praised by many, his poetry was also called "childish," "puerile," and "absurd" Thomas and Jackson, p.
One of Poe's answers to such criticism was "The Philosophy of Composition," an essay that purports to detail the method he used to write poetry, a method that proceeds with "the precision and rigid consequence of a mathematical problem" p. Referring to this note from the famous British novelist Charles Dickens is a purposeful pose on Poe's part to grant his treatise credibility.
The basic premise of his dissertation seems to derive from two of England's most prominent authorsickens and William Godwin, a philosopher and novelist and the father of Mary Shelley.
In his letter to Poe, Dickens remarked that Godwin wrote the second volume of his popular novel, Caleb Williamsfirst and then "cast about him for some mode of accounting for what had been done" p. Although Poe believed that Godwin did not "precisely" follow the method Dickens suggested, Poe, nonetheless, asserts that the overall approach of keeping the end "constantly in view" is essential to effective composition p.
He appears to base his philosophy of composition on this revelation from Dickens about Godwin's writing process. Poe's ostensible purpose in publishing "The Philosophy of Composition" is simple: No other author, Poe observes, had had either the desire or ability to do so.
Unlike other poets and novelists who resist "letting the public take a peep behind the scenes," Poe promises to reveal all p. To create a desired effect a writer must determine which combination of tone and incident best provokes this effect ordinary incident and peculiar tone, peculiar incident and ordinary tone, peculiar tone and peculiar incident.
He then must decide upon a suitable length, one that sustains "unity of impression" p. The length should be directly proportional to the merit of the subject, or, in Poe's words, "the extent of a poem may be made to bear mathematical relation to its merit" pp.
The length, however, should be sufficient enough to induce an effect, or, in Poe's words, "a certain degree of duration is absolutely requisite for the production of any effect at all" p. However, no "literary work" should require more than "one sitting"; otherwise, Poe argues, "the vastly important artistic element, totality, or unity, of effect" is lost p.
After determining length, the author must choose a theme that is "universally appreciable" and induces pleasure p.
Then the writer must decide what form is appropriate to that purpose: Having set these parameters for writing in general, Poe turns to the specific requirements needed to create an effective poem. He allows that poetry can embrace both "Truth" and "Passion" but not at the expense of "Beauty"; "the true artist will always contrive, first, to tone them into proper subservience to the predominant aim, and, secondly, to enveil them, as far as possible, in that Beauty which is the atmosphere and the essence of the poem" p.
In using his experience of writing "The Raven" as a concrete example of how to write a poem, Poe, again, defers to "experience" rather than "inspiration" as the arbiter of the best choice of tone for poetry: He continues by posing a rhetorical question: Poe provides a simple, clear answer: Such clarity on Poe's part may be why critics and poets so often quote this part of his advice.
After determining length and tone, Poe advises the poet to choose a mechanism, a pivot, around which the poem would be constructed.The Philosophy of Composition: Edgar Allan Poe (–) Had I been able, in the subsequent composition, to construct more vigorous stanzas, I should, without scruple, have purposely enfeebled them, so as not to interfere with the climacteric effect.
And here I may as well say a . “The Philosophy of Composition” is a literary essay by Edgar Allan Poe (). First published in , it is about the mysteries of artistic creation/5. writing comparative essays xl cyber crime essay videos essay on personality of abdul kalam advantages and disadvantages of scientific inventions essay dijana ihas.
Descriptive Essay - The Baseball Diamond - The Baseball Diamond Many people don't understand the point in playing baseball. Why would someone swing a stick, hit a ball, and try to get back to where they started before the ball returns.
Der Untergang des Hauses Usher, seltener auch Der Fall des Hauses Usher oder Der Fall des Hauses Ascher (original: The Fall of the House of Usher), ist eine Kurzgeschichte des amerikanischen Autors Edgar Allan Poe, die in Burton’s Gentleman's Magazine und überarbeitet in der Sammlung Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque erschien.
Eine deutsche Übersetzung der Geschichte von . Poe Museum; Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, – October 7, ) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement.
Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is considered the inventor of the detective-fiction genre.