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Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Paperback – October 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 335 pages
  • Publisher: Louisiana State University Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807123218
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807123218
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By K. K. Woofter on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
It surprises me that one could read Hoffman's humor in this engaging critical study as anything but reverential to Poe's work. Hoffman isn't (as so many reviewers here have suggested) picking on Poe; instead, he's tempering his reverence with some very honest comments about an author whose work (like that of all authors) is not entirely consistent. I found it enlightening to read Hoffman's section on Poe's poetry, which brings out the steadfastness ofthe author's attempts, whether they succeed entirely or fail. In fact, Hoffman's honesty about the writings of Poe was this Poe devotee's first view of the author from a perspective other than absolute worship. Hoffman doesn't dwell on the misses in Poe's ouvre to belittle the author; he does it to show the experimental quality of the author's work. He illuminates the author's process and his struggle. Considering that writing is a struggle, and that "genius" is a problematic term, I think Hoffman justly humanizes Poe in this excellent, engaging book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Douglas E. Libert on April 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
i always wondered why i keep returning to read Poe and now i somewhat understand after reading Dr. Hoffman's work.This evaluation of Poe's works is lively with alot of soul to it.If you haven't read it yet and you love Poe,why do it now!There is alot of humour and psychological insight into Poe's works. the chapter on Poe and how he viewed God was a little rough but worth sticking to it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A.Trendl HungarianBookstore.com VINE VOICE on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Too many Poe books play on the reputation Poe had as a genius who lost a high number of woman he loved to TB, and drank himself to death. Hoffman can't ignore history and doesn't, but he does talk, unlike many others, about the writing. He does it in a playful, flirtacious way, yet engages a Poe fan in something beyond the 'same old, same old'. If it is the last word on Poe you want, that authoritative tome of all things Poe, go elsewhere. If you want to kick back and ENJOY a new look at one of the most influential American writers ever, buy this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Randy Stafford VINE VOICE on July 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
The short of it is that Hoffman's book does all you could want for a critical book about an author you love. (I would not recommend it for those who have not read the bulk of Poe's prose and poetry.)

In mostly clear prose, Hoffman points out reoccurring motifs and plot elements in Poe's work, makes you want to go back and re-read certain stories to find things you missed. For instance, what exactly is the relation of the old man in "The Tell-Tale Heart" to his murderer?

He finds, appropriately enough for a writer so famously concerned with unity of effect in his work, that there is a common theme and philosophy in Poe's works.

As I understand his argument, and greatly simplifying a 335 page book, Hoffman contends Poe was most obsessed with Beauty as symbolized most often by the death of a beautiful woman, "the most poetical topic in the world" according to Poe. That Beauty, which to Poe was the same as Truth, passes into another realm, a realm that we can access upon death when we are re-unified with the universe. There our powers of "ratiocination", Poe's phrase applied to the powers of Auguste Dupin, the ur-private detective of world literature, can be used unhindered by the tribulations of our flesh in this world.

This great metaphysical idea, argues Hoffman, is there in Poe's earliest poems. (Hoffman, as a poet, in not very impressed by Poe's poetry.) He thinks the idea was much better worked out in his stories and in what Hoffman claims is Poe's masterpiece: Eureka: A Prose Poem.

Hoffman has done a good job explaining what's really going on in Poe's odd -- and rather boring -- Eureka.
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