Lane Freeborn. Senior Seminar. 2 May 2017. The Horror Of

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Lane Freeborn
Senior Seminar
2 May 2017

The Horror of Homoeroticism: Homoerotic Encounters in Edgar Allan Poe’s Writing
"Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality."
– from “The Narrative of Arthur Gordyn Pym”

One of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest contributions to literature is the attention he brought to the short story. It can be argued that Poe was the inventor and also the perfector of this genre in American Literature, which has since rose to popularity with teachers and readers in present. Henry James first applied the term in 1883 when he called his book Daisy Miller: A Study; and Other Stories, but Poe is the propeller of its creation. The beginnings of the short story are closely
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There is something odd and strange about a Poe story, satisfying in the way it often leaves the reader uncertain over whether what has just been read was a character’s real or imagined experience or whether one can actually call a Poe ending its end of the story. This is in large part due to the fact they linger in a reader’s mind with an intriguing idea of “unfinished business. There is much unclarity in Poe’s own life as there are in his characters’ thoughts, and that is he has the ability to hypnotize his readers with the heart-thumping curiosity of unmentionables or omitted detail in Poe’s work. The indulgence in a fantastical tale of forbidden romance like “Ligeia” there exists an unexpected touch of magicness in Poe’s stories about madness, death, and deception. This obviously due to Poe’s exploration of the bizarre and perverseness of human nature. In Michael Wood’s essay, “Poe’s Tales: The Art of the Impossible,” he argues that Poe “could see being buried alive, for example, both as a gag and a nightmare. Odd changes take place in a nightmare once you have seen its potential as a gag” (16-17). Going along with Wood’s suggestion, one can consider the tragic moment of revenge and justice in Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” where a drunk Fortunato has battle with his entrapments and screams for release before recognizing in a defeated voice to the murderer that he has been a part of “a very good joke indeed–an excellent jest”

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