Read throughout the world, translated by Baudelaire, and admired by
writers as different as Dostoevsky and H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe
(1809-1849) has become a legendary figure, representing the artist
as obsessed outcast and romantic failure. His nightmarish visions,
shaped by cool artistic calculation, reveal some of the dark
possibilities of human experience. But his enormous popularity and
his continuing influence on literature depend less on legend or
vision than on his stylistic accomplishments as a writer.
Patrick Quinn (1918-1999), the editor of this volume, was Professor of English at Wellesley College and the author of The French Face of Edgar Allan Poe, among other works.
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