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Old 12-29-2006, 06:00 PM   #1
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Edgar Allan Poe

I have read other threads here that discuss specific stories of his, and even one discussing a devoted visitor to his grave, but have not found one assigned to Mr. Poe in general, so that any of his stories and poems, biography etc. could be discussed. This will also (hopefully) become a reference for newcomers.

I'll go first of course:

The last line in The Murders in the Rue Morgue is in French, and although I took three years of French, I am a little rusty. I understand it to be as follows, but if anyone can provide a more accurate translation, I would appreciate reading it:

"I mean the way he has denied that which is, and of explaining that which is not."

( the original line being "'de nier ce qui est, et d'expliquer ce qui n'est pas.")
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:08 PM   #2
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Well BabelFish says its this:

"to deny what is, and to explain what is not."

Since French is not a languange i every learned im not sure about it.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:15 PM   #3
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Yeah, thanks, but I tried babelfish too, and it spit out "error 157" on my FireFox.
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Old 12-29-2006, 06:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HumanePain
Yeah, thanks, but I tried babelfish too, and it spit out "error 157" on my FireFox.
Oh well i don't use FireFox, just Opera so i wouldn't know about that.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:45 PM   #5
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The text would resemble something more of "To deny that which is, and to explain that which is not."
I was thinking also of opening an Edgar Allan Poe thread, specifically because of a question:
When it comes to his poems, do you think Edgar Allan Poe was a literal person, or a symbolic one?
I say this because a friend of mine says that the raven in "The Raven" is a representation of Lenore, but I see it more obscure and "Poeish" if the raven only were because it is; with no other meaning beyond "bird or devil".
What do you think? Can the raven indeed represent Lenore?
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Old 12-29-2006, 08:08 PM   #6
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Yes, he was a symbolic writer (in his poems that is, some of his stories have a very literal manner).

The Sleeper is a glorious example of classic symbolism: Death portrayed as Sleep.

But specifically in regards to your idea of the Raven as Lenore: that is an amazing observation! I do not think Poe intentionally tried to use Freudian symbolism in his writing, BUT, being well aquainted with those ideas that invoke horror, melancholy and other feelings in the reader, he may have instinctively written that way. Analyzing The Raven, one finds support for your idea in the 13th paragraph, last line, when he says "she shall press, ah, nevermore!", when in the prior verses, he referred to the Raven as a "he". To be sure though, he does revert to calling it a "he" in the last verse. A Freudian slip perhaps!
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Old 12-30-2006, 12:23 AM   #7
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Interesting theory indeed!

However the line: "she shall press, ah, nevermore!" Was not referring to the bird, it was referring to the character contemplating the idea that Lenore would never be there again.

"This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er
She shall press, ah, nevermore!"
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:17 AM   #8
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Agreed. Hmmm, do you think that invalidates the Raven representing Lenore? (the description of its gender as a "he".) Is there a precedent for an author symbolizing an opposite gender for the original person?
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Old 12-30-2006, 01:18 PM   #9
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I don't think the Raven represents Lenore, for the simple idea that the Raven answers "nevermore" to his query about seeing her in the afterlife. If it was a form of Lenore, she/he would be there already, and answering "nevermore" about him seeing her when it is later stated the Raven will never leave his window, as the sickening grief he feels will never leave, seems like a contradiction. If it will never leave, and he will never see her, how could the raven be Lenore? I don't think gender projection/description has anything to do with it.
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:38 PM   #10
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I agree with emeraldlonewoulf.

If anyone does not have the poem or is having trouble understanding a part of it here's a link that should help.

Please enjoy.

http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/G...ml#The%20Raven
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Old 12-30-2006, 03:57 PM   #11
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Ha, I knew it! It seems the crow cannot be Lenore.
I have held the oppinion that the crow is a nobody, but that the narrator in his frustration for the loss of Lenore had found a source of mysticism that could give him hope. This is why he gave the Raven such names as "devil" and "prophet".
He began to believe that the Raven indeed was a creature from the dead, and had decision over the afterlife.
But of course, the narrator placed his whole hopes in what the raven had to say, and as the raven could say nothing but "nevermore", his hopes were lost, as his sanity was when he decided the raven was a sort of deity.
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Old 12-30-2006, 04:20 PM   #12
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Blast! I missed out on the good portion of this conversation...

I love "The Raven"; first bit of Poe I was ever exposed to, and it shall always be near my heart.

The way this poem was set up was amazing to me. The narrator is already depressed, and thinking about someone who has died, and along comes a tap, so he answers the door. Nothing there but darkness and silence, then an echo of his own utterance (ooo, scary!). Suddenly, he hears the tap again, but realizes that it is at the window, which he goes to answer, and it all goes to hell from there...

I love the idea of how a coincidence brought about by a brainless talking bird can drive a man into insanity in less than one night.
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Old 12-30-2006, 05:58 PM   #13
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Am I the only person to place "Annabel Lee" above "the Raven"? The symbolism is deeper and more, I think, autobiographicl for the obvious reasons. I love the cadence, when spoken allowed... "in our kingdom by the sea", spoken slowly, rolling the words like water over rocks, such beauty...
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:34 PM   #14
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If you're going for cadence, one of my favorites of his poetry is "The Bells". It can almost be danced to when read aloud...
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:22 PM   #15
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"The Bells" is creepy as hell, a written crescendo, you can hear his pen hitting the page and scratching out the words... great call.
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Old 12-30-2006, 11:28 PM   #16
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I know!!
Everytime you read it, you yourself start raising your voice. I'm trying to memorize it, but I have only gotten the silver bells part.
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Old 12-31-2006, 08:57 AM   #17
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I absolutely adore his short stories as well. The Masque of the Red Death and The Tell-Tale Heart are a couple favorites, but The House of Usher and The Pit and the Pendulum are too...... I don't suppose i can actually choose. I loved his stories long before I knew Goth existed, and went through a stage at about twelve where I visually devoured everything of his i could get my hands on. I still love his work.

I think a lot of the reason I enjoy it so much is because of his ability to build suspense, and his full embrace of the horror of a particular scene. He had the ability to sink himself into the deep recesses of the human mind, where things do not have to make sense and yet still fit together. He had the ability to put his mind and soul in a place where the insane murderer is justified, where the tortured victim not only considers, but mourns and cries out, and strives to escape their fate, and the the love lorn have no surcease from their sorrow or grief. He was able to make these things vibrantly real for his readers. I think the reason his writing gets to people is because it exposes, at least on some emotional level, some possibility of ourselves living with/through such things. Or maybe I just read too much.
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question:
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answer:
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Because some people are dicks. And not everyone else is gay.
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:36 AM   #18
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No such thing as reading too much, babe!!!!!

I feel that Poe wrote in the same manner that Dylan Marlais Thomas wrote- not so much in theme, but in tone. It never seemd to me that either poet/author scratched out words on the page to stay, silent, on the page.

From Thomas' "Love in the Asylum":

A stranger has come
To share my room in the house not right in the head,
A girl mad as birds

Bolting the night of the door with her arm her plume.
Strait in the mazed bed
She deludes the heaven-proof house with entering clouds

Yet she deludes with walking the nightmarish room,
At large as the dead,
Or rides the imagined oceans of the male wards.

***

There is a certain building quality to the words chosen, ebbing always towards a point in the distance. And not just the way the words feel in your mouth, but each one is chosen, like Poe, to elicit a specific image in the mind, a certain almost unnameable emotion bordering fear and sadness, some wild desperation for a thing not named. The modern/contemporary (I hate that word) poets Susan Mitchell and Anne Lockhead have a similar style, and I hope will be as successful in developing it.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:03 PM   #19
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A Dream
Within a Dream

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

------------

I really like this one by Poe. Would anyone like to share what they think this is about? I see it as something I can interpret in two completely dissimilar ways and was wondering, which way you guys were leaning as to its meaning.

What I think;

a)

Not being able to save someone from drowning (metaphorically or physically) seems to me, an apparent interpretation but I don't quite see it that way.

I.e Drowning in the sea. A physical view.
I.e Drowning in fits of gloom. A metaphorical view.

b)

Life is a dream, an illusion, and we but live, in a dream within a dream.

--
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:08 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godslayer Jillian
I know!!
Everytime you read it, you yourself start raising your voice. I'm trying to memorize it, but I have only gotten the silver bells part.
That's called the onomatopoeia...he mastered it. The Bells is an amazing poem...the best is the last part, I read the first version that he wrote that was never published (you can't find it anywhere but that book), from a very old book about 160+ years old. It was very short, but he redid it to the masterpiece you see it now.
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Old 01-04-2007, 05:37 PM   #21
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That's one of the things I love most about the English language: onomatopoeia.
I'm not sure about other germanic languages, but no romance language has so many words that are onomatopoeias, or nearly onomatopoeias, to actions. It makes the English language look very pure, as if come out of nature itself.
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Old 01-05-2007, 02:29 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mir
Would anyone like to share what they think this is about? I see it as something I can interpret in two completely dissimilar ways and was wondering, which way you guys were leaning as to its meaning.
To answer your question, I think it was a poem written about someone who had passed away. Poe experienced much loss in his life due to loved ones dying of tuberculosis, and this more than likely was written for one of the many.
To me he is saying how happy he was and how wonderful things had been, but then the person passes away, and it was as if all that he had experienced with her had been only but a dream.
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Old 01-05-2007, 11:18 PM   #23
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The raven represents neither Lenore nor a literal bird. It represents an aspect of the speaker-- the knowledge that Lenore is forever gone. Their confrontation represents the speaker's inner conflict. In the end, he gives up hope and succumbs to the truth.

That is my take on it. I haven't read the poem in a long while, however, so I may be missing something.

Anyway, I like Poe-- nothing more. Hemingway is a better short-story writer and many are better poets. I prefer Poe to Lovecraft, but I connect deeply with neither.

I unconsciously associate Poe with Edvard Munch. Thoughts?
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Old 01-06-2007, 09:01 AM   #24
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Poe with Edvard Munch?

i equate both with a starkness and a sense of concurrent ascension and descension. The imagery of both is something that would come to resonate if you were standing alone on the edges of the earth. Everything is familiar, everything is tangible and of this world. But somehow it just isn't real.

I like how neither are aural mediums, and yet you can hear "The Bells", "the kingdom by teh sea...." You can hear the Madonna's body turn under the black lines, almost a swirl, almost a sounded shadow
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Old 01-06-2007, 03:03 PM   #25
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Actually, I have found myself trying to think of a scene in one of Poe's stories when I see a painting by Edvard Munch. Death in the Sickroom always reminds me to The Facts in the Case of Mr. Valdemar, even though that painting wouldn't be a near-accurate depiction of the setting.
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