Edger Allan Poe

Best known for his poems and short fiction, Edgar Allan Poe, born in Boston on

Jan. 19, 1809, deserves more credit than any other writer for the transformation
of the short story from tale to art. He for the most part created the detective
story and perfected the psychological thriller. He also produced some of the
most influential literary criticism of his time. Poe died Oct. 7, 1849. Poe\'s
parents were touring actors; both died before he was three years old, and he was
taken into the home of John Allan, a wealthy merchant in Richmond, Va., and
baptized Edgar Allan Poe. His childhood was uneventful, although he studied for
five years in England between the years of 1815 through 1920. In 1826 he entered
the University of Virginia, however, he only attended for a year. Although a
good student, he ran up large gambling debts that Allan refused to pay. Allan
prevented his return to the university and broke off Poe\'s engagement to Sarah

Elmira Royster, his girlfriend. Having no where to turn, Poe enlisted in the
army. He had, however, already written and printed his first book at his own
expense: Tamerlane and Other Poems, verses written in the manner of Byron.

Temporarily approved, Allan secured Poe\'s release from the army and his
appointment to West Point but refused to provide financial support. After six
months Poe apparently contrived to be dismissed from West Point for disobedience
of orders. His fellow cadets, however, contributed the funds for the publication
of Poems by Edgar A. Poe. Poe next took up residence in Baltimore with his
widowed aunt, Maria Clemm, and her daughter, Virginia, and turned to fiction as
a way to support himself. In 1832 the Philadelphia Saturday Courier published
five of his stories, all comic or satiric. Poe, his aunt, and Virginia moved to

Richmond in 1835, and he became editor of the Southern Literary Messenger and
married Virginia, who was not yet fourteen years old. His contributions
undoubtedly increased the magazine\'s circulation, but they offended its owner,
who also took exception to Poe\'s drinking. In New York City, then in

Philadelphia and again in New York Poe sought to establish himself as a force in
literary journalism, but with only moderate success. He did succeed, however, in
formulating influential literary theories and in demonstrating mastery of the
forms he favored, highly musical poems and short prose narratives. The tale Poe
considered his finest, "The Fall of The House of Usher," which was to become
one of his most famous stories. Virginia\'s death in January 1847 was a heavy
blow, but Poe continued to write and lecture. In the summer of 1849 he revisited

Richmond, lectured, and was accepted anew by the fiancee he had lost in 1826.

After his return north he was found unconscious on a Baltimore street. In a
brief obituary the Baltimore Clipper reported that Poe had died of congestion of
the brain. The short story is a prose narrative that can be told or read on a
single occasion. It is believed to be the oldest form of prose fiction.

Originating with primitive accounts of supernatural encounters, short narratives
have existed in the form of parables, fairy tales, folk tales, legends, and
fables throughout history. Edgar Allan Poe perfected what has come to be known
as the classic form, as opposed to the later hard-boiled form developed in the

1920s. The classic form is the story in which a seemingly impossible crime has
been committed and the detective relies on his or her superior perception,
intellect, and often arcane knowledge to solve the mystery. The fall of The

House of Usher Edgar Allan Poe’s, " The Fall of the House of Usher" takes
on the same basic literary themes as do most of his stories, suspense
imparticular. However, he also uses the supernatural in this story as well.

Poe’s vast description enables the reader to place himself with the narrator,
and get a better feeling of what is truly going on with the story. Using a
nameless narrator allows the reader to use his imagination on to what the
narrator looks like; is it the reader himself? Poe? or a figment of Poe’s
imagination? That is to forever be unknown. However, it is also part of the
reason Poe’s work has become the superlative of the short story. The story
takes place mainly in the House of the Usher family, the exact location in is
not mentioned, however, the surroundings seem very gloomy; the house itself is
described as decaying, Poe obviously was trying to