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Edgar Allan Poe: A Study in Genius

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0781268356
ISBN-10: 0781268354
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Reprint Services Corp (March 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781268354
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781268356
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,246,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on January 11, 2002
Format: Textbook Binding
This biography essentially takes the (to my mind) correct and psychological tack to validating Poe's genius, though it be of a very peculiar sort. The problem (as any lost soul who chances upon this esoteric review of an out-of-print biography has probably guessed) is that the psychology of the time (1926) was inundated by Freudianism. Thus, we have the word "neurotic" and "neurosis" springing up time and time again when it is not at all clear that this verbal crutch serves as more of a hindrance than a help to understanding Poe. But perhaps this is just a semantic quibble. For, whatever you may call it, there was something truly out of the ordinary in Poe's psychological makeup and this, Krutch contends, is what makes for the genius of his works: They were born of the living realities that tormented his own mind, not concocted artifice.
I think Poe's quote on pages 127-128 serve best to illustrate this point, "-whether all that is profound-does not spring from disease of thought-from moods of mind exalted at the expense of general intellect. They who dream by day are cognizant of many things who dream only by night. In their gray visions they obtain glimpses of eternity, and thrill, in awaking, to find that they have been upon the verge of a great secret. In snatches, they learn something of the wisdom which is good, and more of the mere knowledge of which is evil. They penetrate, however rudderless or compassless, into the vast ocean of the "light ineffable."-To anyone associated with Romantic poetry or mystic religious literature, the adjective that springs to one's mind here is not "neurotic" but rather mystical and/or Romantic.
Poe like all the great mystics and Romantics (St. John of The Cross, Shelley, Yeats etc.
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