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Edgar Allan Poe was an American author famous for his mystery-themed tales and short stories. He was also an editor and a poet.
A renowned literary figure, Poe was regarded as the father of detective fiction genre. His most memorable work in the said genre was “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” which he released in 1841. Literary experts also say that Poe might have revolutionized science fiction as well.
Early Life and Family
Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston. He was the son of two actors, Elizabeth Arnold and David Poe, Jr. He had a sister and a brother but had to be separated from them.
Poe became an orphan at such a young age. His mother succumbed to lung disease shortly after her husband left them.
Poe was taken under the wing of the couple John and Frances Allan in Virginia. There are no known documents of adoption. Growing up, Poe had a difficult time connecting with his foster father. He was able to get along better with Frances, who understood his sentiments as a young adult.
At age thirteen, Poe already knew that he wanted to write, but John strongly disagreed with him. He wanted Poe to manage the tobacco business of the family instead. Poe attended the University of Virginia for a short period of time.
However, due to financial issues in the family, he wasn’t able to finish his studies. To add to his despair, his then lover wed another man back home. With his debt and personal problems piling up, he decided to move back to Boston.
Trying Times and Trying Again
Poe began to serve in the army as soon as he returned to his hometown. During this period, he released a collection of poems, but the reception wasn’t good. He was given an opportunity to enroll at the United States Military Academy because of his good performance.
Back then, his foster family was still dealing with a lot of financial woes. He ended up getting dismissed because he appeared to have violated the protocols. This issue was still connected with his lack of funds to proceed with his schooling. This setback prompted him to move to New York. He then released his third collection of poems and received much better reception from the public.
Taste of Success
After releasing his third collection of poems, his career in writing gradually took off. He moved to Baltimore where he released his third collection of poems. The public was more receptive of his work this time around. He began to gain more attention as a poet.
A local publication gave him an award in recognition of his third poem collection, which was a massive hit. Since then, he began to expand his horizon as a writer. From poems, he began venturing into writing short stories as well.
His connections grew and many people started to recognize his eye for literature. He began working as an editor shortly after, and then moved onto journals and publications. He also became well-known for his exquisite taste as a critical reviewer. It was around this period that he married his cousin, Virginia Clemm. She was only 13 years old when they wed each other.
Real-Life Edgar Allan Poe
Many of Poe’s audiences, some of them his critics, are in a constant debate of his true personality. His literary work would always reflect a scary and fear-induced tone. He was dubbed as the father of detective genre, after all.
His stories would either be described as genius or nonsense. Contrary to this image, he was known as a warm and calm man. His colleagues would describe him as “kind-hearted” despite his high standards as a literary critic.
He also had a reasonable amount of work that centered on light, beauty, and peace. On other days, his alcoholic ways would cause a scandal. It was also rumored to be the cause of his death. Some claim to be certain about Poe incorporating his real-life experiences into his fictitious work.
“The Raven” was probably one of Poe’s most memorable poems. It is tagged as a supernatural but dramatic literary masterpiece. It is one of the most highly-rated works of his. When talking about his tales and short stories, we can’t leave out “The Murders in the Rue Morgue”, his most famous detective story in his life as a writer.
This was followed by a few more successful detective-themed stories such as “The Purloined Letter” and “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether”. His other stories revolved around torture, being burned alive, conversations with the dead, and there was even a horror story about a cat.
One of his “lighter” works in the thematic sense is “The Spectacles”, which is a story about love at first sight. It takes a slightly comedic genre, different from what Poe is universally known for. He wrote at least thirty books with a recurring theme: mystery and detective stories. Poe’s unique approach to literature remains to be an influential voice in today’s literary industry.
Here are several of the best Edgar Allan Poe’s most memorable quotes:
Edgar Allan Poe Quotes
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“We loved with a love that was more than love.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I have great faith in fools – self-confidence my friends will call it.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I was never really insane except upon occasions when my heart was touched.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I have absolutely no pleasure in the stimulants in which I sometimes so madly indulge. It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“From childhood’s hour I have not been. As others were, I have not seen. As others saw, I could not awaken. My heart to joy at the same tone.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Sleep, those little slices of death — how I loathe them.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Years of love have been forgot, In the hatred of a minute.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“The best things in life make you sweaty.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Deep in earth my love is lying; and I must weep alone.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“And so being young and dipped in folly I fell in love with melancholy.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I felt that I breathed an atmosphere of sorrow.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active – not more happy – nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“And all I loved, I loved alone.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Invisible things are the only realities.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“The true genius shudders at incompleteness – imperfection – and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Science has not yet taught us if madness is or is not the sublimity of the intelligence.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I remained too much inside my head and ended up losing my mind” – Edgar Allan Poe
“With me poetry has not been a purpose, but a passion.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“There are some secrets which do not permit themselves to be told.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I would define, in brief, the poetry of words as the rhythmical creation of beauty.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“I dread the events of the future, not in themselves but in their results.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“That which you mistake for madness is but an overacuteness of the senses.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Now this is the point. You fancy me a mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded…” – Edgar Allan Poe
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe
“It is a happiness to wonder; — it is a happiness to dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Yet mad I am not…and very surely do I not dream.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Even in the grave, all is not lost.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Every moment of the night
Forever changing places
And they put out the star-light
With the breath from their pale faces.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“To die laughing must be the most glorious of all glorious deaths!” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Stupidity is a talent for misconception.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Every poem should remind the reader that they are going to die.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“And I fell violently on my face.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“The fury of a demon instantly possessed me. I knew myself no longer. My original soul seemed, at once, to take its flight from my body; and a more than fiendish malevolence, gin-nurtured, thrilled every fibre of my frame.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore…” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Art is to look at not to criticize.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“Mysteries force a man to think, and so injure his health.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“In criticism, I will be bold, and as sternly, absolutely just with friend and foe. From this purpose nothing shall turn me.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“The idea of God, infinity, or spirit stands for the possible attempt at an impossible conception.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“We gave the Future to the winds, and slumbered tranquilly in the Present, weaving the dull world around us into dreams.” – Edgar Allan Poe
“There is an eloquence in true enthusiasm” – Edgar Allan Poe
“When a madman appears thoroughly sane, indeed, it is high time to put him in a straight jacket.” – Edgar Allan Poe