Essays and Reviews
This is the most complete one-volume edition of Poe's essays and reviews ever published. Here are all his major writings on the theory of poetry, the art of fiction, and the duties of a critic: "The Rationale of Verse," "The Philosophy of Composition," "The Poetic Principle," and "About Critics and Criticism." Articulating Poe's passion for technical proficiency and his theory of poetic method, these essays show why he so strongly influenced the French symbolists toward the end of nineteenth century and, through them, the poetry of T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane.
Included in this collection are Poe's reviews and candid opinions of the leading literary figures of his day: Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Percy Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Margaret Fuller, among others. Here also are reviews of long-forgotten writers, reviews that are interesting not so much for their subjects as for Poe's unflinching and witty candor. Many of his then controversial judgments have been vindicated by time.
Poe particularly relished his prolonged critical war with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard and America's most respected poet of the nineteenth century, whom he accused of conventionality and plagiarism. The skirmishes in this campaign are represented here in full.
Poe wrote many articles describing the literary world in which he circulated: "The Literati of New York," the "Editorial Miscellanies" from the Broadway Journal, "Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House," and his long-running series "Marginalia."
Also included are a wealth of articles on a wide variety of topics: South Sea exploration, cryptography, drama, geography, music, transcendentalism, phrenology, ancient languages, and modern cities.
As a reviewer Poe was direct, discriminating, and feared; as an essayist he was alert to any possibility that in literature there might be found a sense of unity missing from life. This volume restores an essential and often neglected part of our literary heritage.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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LETTER To B July 1836
Theory of Poetry
THE PHILosophy of CoMPosition April 1846
THE RATIONALE of VERSE November 1848
THE PoETIC PRINCIPLE October 1850
William Harrison Ainsworth
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Edward Lytton Bulwer
Susan Rigby Morgan
H Sigourney H F Gould and E F Ellet
William Gilmore Simms
Elizabeth Oakes Smith
Supplement A Reply to Critics IOI9
Exordium to Critical Notices Ioz7
Prospectus of The Stylus IO33
About Critics and Criticism IO39
Henry F Chorley
J F Dalton
Sarah Stickney Mrs Sarah Stickney Ellis
The American Drama 1843
John G C Brainard
William Cullen Bryant
The Canons of Good Breeding 1839 455
James Fenimore Cooper
Joseph Rodman DrakeFitzGreene Halleck
Rufus W Griswold
Augustus Baldwin Longstreet
William W Lord
A Reviewer Reviewed IO46
The Literary and Social Scene IO55
Literary Small Talk 1839 IO6I
EDITORIAL MiscELLANIES FROM THE Broadway Journal
October 4 1845 Io3
November 1 1845 Io85
December 13 1843 IO99
January 3 1846 III 4
THE LITERATI OF NEW YORK CITY
Anna Cora Mowatt
Lewis Gaylord Clark I2O4
A Few Words on Secret Writing
Chapter of Suggestions I292
Note on the Texts
Notes I493 Notes
G R THOMPSON
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