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Library of America Edgar Allan Poe Edition

Edgar Allan Poe
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Library of America Edgar Allan Poe Edition : Titles in Order

Book 2
This is the most complete one-volume edition of Poe’s essays and reviews ever published. Here are all his major writings on the theory of poetry, the art of fiction, and the duties of a critic: “The Rationale of Verse,” “The Philosophy of Composition,” “The Poetic Principle,” and “About Critics and Criticism.” Articulating Poe’s passion for technical proficiency and his theory of poetic method, these essays show why he so strongly influenced the French symbolists toward the end of nineteenth century and, through them, the poetry of T. S. Eliot and Hart Crane.

Included in this collection are Poe’s reviews and candid opinions of the leading literary figures of his day: Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Percy Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Margaret Fuller, among others. Here also are reviews of long-forgotten writers, reviews that are interesting not so much for their subjects as for Poe’s unflinching and witty candor. Many of his then controversial judgments have been vindicated by time.

Poe particularly relished his prolonged critical war with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard and America’s most respected poet of the nineteenth century, whom he accused of conventionality and plagiarism. The skirmishes in this campaign are represented here in full.

Poe wrote many articles describing the literary world in which he circulated: “The Literati of New York,” the “Editorial Miscellanies” from the Broadway Journal, “Some Secrets of the Magazine Prison-House,” and his long-running series “Marginalia.”

Also included are a wealth of articles on a wide variety of topics: South Sea exploration, cryptography, drama, geography, music, transcendentalism, phrenology, ancient languages, and modern cities.

As a reviewer Poe was direct, discriminating, and feared; as an essayist he was alert to any possibility that in literature there might be found a sense of unity missing from life. This volume restores an essential and often neglected part of our literary heritage.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
Book 1
In this complete and uniquely authoritative Library of America collection, Edgar Allan Poe’s well-known tales of “mystery and imagination” and his best-known verse are collected with early poems, rarely published stories and humorous sketches, and the ecstatic prose poem Eureka.

Poe’s poetry is famous both for the musicality of “To Helen” and “The City in the Sea” and for the hypnotic, incantatory rhythms of “The Raven” and “Ulalume.” “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Cask of Amontillado” show his mastery of Gothic horror; “The Pit and the Pendulum” is a classic of terror and suspense. Poe invented the modern detective story in “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and developed the form of science fiction that was to influence, among others, Jules Verne and Thomas Pynchon. Poe was also adept at the humorous sketch of playful jeu d’esprit, such as “X-ing a Paragraph” or “Never Bet the Devil Your Head.” All his stories reveal his high regard for technical proficiency and for what he called “rationation.”

Poe’s fugitive early poems, stories rarely collected (such as “Bon-Bon,” “King Pest,” “Mystification,” and “The Duc De L’Omelette), his only attempt at drama, “Politian”—these and much more are included in this comprehensive collection, presented chronologically to show Poe’s development toward Eureka: A Prose Poem, his culminating vision of an indeterminate universe, printed here for the first time as Poe revised it and intended it should stand.

A special feature of this volume is the care taken to select an authoritative text of each work. The printing and publishing history of every item has been investigated in order to choose a version that incorporates all of Poe’s own revisions without reproducing the errors or changes introduced by later editors. Here, then, is one of America’s and the world’s most disturbing, powerful, and inventive writers published in “the first truly dependable collection of Poe’s poetry and tales.”

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America’s best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
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