A biography of Edgar Allan Poe becomes at once an exercise in discrimination. Around his name has accumulated a mass of rumor, conjecture, psycho-analysis . Edgar Allan Poe has 83 ratings and 16 reviews. Anastacia said: I don’t write many reviews, as I don’t write them well. I find it difficult to describe ho. Based on exhaustive research in the Poe family archive, Quinn extracts the life from the legend and describes how they both were distorted by early biographies .
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Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Renowned as the creator of the detective story and a master of horror, the author of “The Red Mask of Death,” “The Black Cat,” and wllan Murders of the Rue Morgue,” Edgar Allan Poe seems to have derived his success from suffering and to have suffered from his success.
Biographers have seldom resisted the opportunities to confuse the pathologies in the stories with the events in Poe’s life. Against this tide of fancy, guesses, and amateur psychologizing, Arthur Hobson Quinn’s biography devotes itself meticulously to facts. Based on exhaustive research in the Poe family archive, Quinn extracts the life from the legend, and describes how they both were distorted by arthut biographies.
Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Edgar Allan Poeplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Nov 26, Anastacia rated it it was amazing Shelves: I don’t write many reviews, as I don’t write them well. I find it difficult to describe how I feel about a work of creativity — for me it’s like describing what water tastes like. I don’t really enjoy putting those feelings and stirrings into actual words, anyway. I write this in defense of what I feel are some unfair comments that I feel misrepresent the book.
If you’re ever in the mood to read a page biography of Edgar Allan Poe, by God, read this book. I read this by accident; reading on I don’t write many reviews, as I don’t write them well.
I read this by accident; reading on a Kindle offers both a blessing and curse of not being as able to judge a book by its cover. Or, in this case, its heft. If I knew, I don’t think I would have bought it in the first place. By and large as a voracious reader, I am loathe arthuur make such a commitment. I want something new; I need instant literary gratification.
I am happy I didn’t realize its length until much later or I’d have missed a tremendous opportunity to dig in to Quinn’s meticulously researched presentment of the “true” life of one of history’s finest minds. I object to comments that suggest that Quinn merely edgzr to discredit every slander against Poe. Quinn adroitly examines Poe’s life and writings and while it is clear he deeply admired the man, there is no hesitation by Quinn to point out Poe’s faults and weaknesses.
In my mind, it is a stunning offering of judiciousness and integrity in a sea of cheap recitation of supposed scandal and evgar.
Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography
This is one of the strongest arguments for reading it at all; Quinn had to know the length of his book would not work to his favor, and yet he exhaustively pursued facts to great lengths.
These truths are indeed far less exciting to contemptuous minds, but he reported the life of Poe with conviction. I don’t see him trying to prove the rumors false because of sheer idolatry, I see this as the work of a true scholarly historian: He is tender but fair. It is certainly true that Quinn spends an awful lot of time on tedious details, the most unfortunate of which is the book’s own beginning.
It’s a shame, because so many readers myself included will grow impatient and will shelve the book out of complete boredom. I purchased the book several months ago and did just that; it was only because I had nothing else to read that I gave it another chance.
There is such a thing as too many details, and here Quinn fails. For those who can get through pof beginning, I think it’s an extraordinary read. I respectfully disagree that one must be “hyper-literate” to understand Quinn’s writing. I cannot help but note the irony of a complaint of “flowery” biofraphy “hyper-literate” language in a page biography of Edgar Allan Poe, a literary legend.
I’m at a loss for words to defend po a complaint, but it made my day. Is there anything you can’t do? It’s also a lesson to all of us that words and insults are powerful and the wounds they cause may never heal. Poe wasn’t a perfect man, but who among us are? What’s remembered of him is sadly tinged with baseless slander, and that’s a damn shame because there is so much more to him than I would have ever known had I not read this book.
It’s not for everyone, but it’s truly amazing in its humanness. In this regard, it is probably the best biography I have ever read, and I think history is better for Quinn’s conviction and integrity.
As much as I enjoyed it, I was relieved to find that a not insignificant portion of the book the end is appendices and references. For the reader on the fence, know that the end comes quicker than expected. Unfortunately the same can be said of Poe’s own end, no zing intended. Dec 07, Katie McVay rated it it was amazing. Want to know Mr. But don’t expect to hobso it done this decade. And it tends to use flowery language that only the hyper-literate can understand. I had to go back and re-read some passages several times to figure out what the biographer was trying to say.
The book seamlessly combines a chronological hobdon of Poe’s personal and professional life with tidb Want to know Mr. The book seamlessly combines a chronological account of Poe’s personal and professional life with tidbits of letters, photos, and personal correspondence that reveal the fragile, sensitive, self-possessed, bitter, tender, arrogant, artistic genius that Poe was.
Biographer Quinn spent biogralhy studying the man, went to great lengths to acquire even the most seemingly inane artifacts accounting ledgers from Poe’s stint at West Pointand leaves no detail unrevealed in his quest to cut to the criticak of his subject.
I started this book six months ago and hope I criitical finish it. It’s utterly fascinating and frustratingly good.
Nov 28, Lilah rated it really liked it. An excellent compilation of material on Poe’s life. Probably the best biography written on him for its lack of a narrative approach. Apr 16, Rhonda rated it it was amazing. Quinn did the most comprehensive analysis of Edgar Allan Poe than anything else I have come across. Poe is my favorite poet and author. I have taught him for many years but have always had questions about him and his esoteric life.
Edgar Allan Poe: A Critical Biography by Arthur Hobson Quinn
Quinn has answered all my queries in a very detailed fashion This book is definitely a vast undertaking as it tilts about three pounds in girth and just shy of pages. With all that said, I definitely recommend this biography for anyone wh Wow With all that said, I definitely recommend this biography for anyone who wants a thorough depiction of Poet’s life.
Jan 19, Paul Haspel rated it it was amazing Shelves: Edgar Allan Poe finally got the biographer he deserved in — almost a century after his death — when Arthur Hobson Quinn of the University of Pennsylvania published this masterpiece of literary biography. In densely packed pages, Quinn clears away the accumulated mass of falsehood, distortion, and misinformation that had gathered around Poe. In the process, he presents the reader, as criticzl writer had done before and few have approached since, with the true life and personality of a great Am Edgar Allan Poe finally got the biographer he deserved in — almost a century after his death — when Arthur Hobson Quinn of the University of Pennsylvania published this masterpiece of alan biography.
In the process, he presents the reader, as no writer had done before and few have approached since, with the true life and personality of edyar great American author. In one of the most unfortunate decisions ever made by a major American writer, Poe chose a long-time enemy, one Rufus Griswold, to serve as his literary executor. Yet today, the Poe-as-villain image fostered by Griswold still endures.
It is as if some people find that image too cool, too grungy, too Goth, to let go of. Quinn diligently sought out all the primary-source documents then available regarding Poe and his life and times. The story of Mr. A Critical Biography75 years after its publication, remains the definitive Poe biography.
Every reader who is interested in Edgar Allan Poe’s life and work should read this book. Jul 05, Sharon Buxton rated it it was ok.
Oct 30, Julia Harris rated it it was amazing. Probably the most comprehensive and accurate biography on Poe out there. Not only does he detail his life using accurate and reliable sources, Quinn lays to rest many false rumors perpetuated by Griswold hobsom and effectively.
Don’t plan on reading it in any hurry but it is worth the time.
Aug 08, the book witch rated it really liked it. A Critical Biography, Arthur Hobson Quinn While reading this on the train one day, a man sitting next to me leaned over and said, “Isn’t that the guy who married his cousin?
They were married and loved each other, but we http: They were married and loved each other, but were not “in love” in a romantic sense of the word, according to my interpretation of Quinn’s analysis. How does one explain that to a stranger on the train without first highlighting Poe’s extremely complicated relationship with his foster family who adopted him after both of his parents died? I had a teacher in fifth grade English who had our class read several of Poe’s short stories.
She realized immediately that I had fallen in “book love” and gave me a paperback copy of some of her favorites. I have that book around here somewhere, and have pulled it out every few years to remind myself of those first favorites.
I remember drawing in pencil a picture of a man with a “tell tale brain” as part of some follow-up activity for the former.