College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

 

Roger Forclaz

"Poe in Europe: Recent German Criticism"

This survey of German criticism on Poe, which carries on the installments previously published in Poe Studies, covers the period 1990-99. The books and articles discussed deal with a range of topics: from Poe's biography and the reception of his work in Germany to such textual features as the experience of terror, the death motif, the grotesque, and the arabesque as a unifying principle in Poe's creative and theoretical work. Several of these studies stress the American character of Poe's fiction--for instance, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym and "The Journal of Julius Rodman," which thematize the American dream of westward expansion--as well as Poe's modernity: his heroes and his reflections about terror have a particular relevance for our time, and his use of thanatological metaphors show him to be a precursor of T. S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett.

     

     

     

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