Saturday, October 1, 2016


As if I don't have enough ongoing projects, I'm now launching The Poe Project.

In all of the entries relating to this project, I will be analyzing the prose stories-- largely though not exclusively short stories-- of Edgar Allan Poe.

Wikipedia claims that Poe seems to be one of the first, if not the first, authors who sought to make writing into a career. One might see this as forming a meaningful contrast to the older tradition of the European Romantics, some of whom belonged to the upper classes and so didn't have to worry about money quite as much as Poe did;. Poe probably wished he had been born into wealth, but if he had been, he might have concentrated principally on verse, and he might never have written nearly as much prose fiction as he did, since that was his prime source of revenue during his life-time.

Poe also seems to depart from most of the earlier writers of horror, SF and fantasy in that he was consistently writing for a popular audience; for people who read magazines rather than privately printed books. Again, though the author may not have liked this situation, as a result of his pecuniary troubles Poe seems to be the first writer to truly mine the domain of the *metaphenomenal* (my term for all fantasy-constructs) as his main focus, at least in prose.

As I've expatiated on the Archetypal Archive for several years now, I break the phenomenality of stories down into three categories, as listed here.  I will not be critiquing Poe's stories on any basis except as each of them falls into one of three phenomenal categories: the naturalistic, the uncanny, or the marvelous. It's my intention to break down how many of the prose stories fall into each domain, to get a better sense of what he did, and when. In this I'll be guided by the 1983 Running Press reprint tome, THE UNABRIDGED EDGAR ALLAN POE, which purports to print all of Poe's works in chronological order.

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