Analysis of Poe's Successes and Failures in Poetry and Fiction

1745 Words7 Pages
An Analysis of Poe's Successes and Failures in Poetry and Fiction Edgar Allan Poe's career may have been a failure considering what he set out to do, but he did achieve some success and notoriety in his own lifetime. His most successful poem was, of course, "The Raven," a piece he composed to satisfy popular taste. But some of his short fiction was popular as well. As an editor and publisher, however, Poe did not quite achieve the greatness he sought. His legacy grew only after his death, thanks to his literary executor R. W. Griswold, who "won more permanent attention for him after his death by exaggerating his neurotic debility and inherited dipsomania to make him an almost Satanic figure" (Bradbury 206). This paper will examine Poe's poetic and short story successes and failures, and show how he was not quite the "Satanic figure" that the reading public preferred to imagine him to be. Poe's own life is as full of melancholy and darkness as his many tales and poems. Perhaps the greatest example of his failure as a literary man, however, is found in his inability to achieve any form of stable income through his work with literature. This, of course, is no indication of his literary merit. Neither Herman Melville nor Nathaniel Hawthorne, contemporaries of Poe, had much financial success as novelists but their places in the canon of American Literature is firmly secured; and so too is Poe's. Born in Boston, Poe's life kept mainly to the Eastern Coast (he died in

More about Analysis of Poe's Successes and Failures in Poetry and Fiction

Open Document