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Edgar Allan Poe Interview.

Edgar Allan Poe Interview.

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Published by zacharykelley

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: zacharykelley on May 02, 2010
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07/17/2013

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Edgar Allan Poe interviewBy: Zak KelleyQ1: What events in your early life make you get interested in the arts?A: I think every artist a bit troubled, and I think every artist pulls inspiration from that. My father, therotten scoundrel, abandoned us when I was 2. Then, the same year, my mother died. Both my siblingswere given away to other families. I was taken by the Allan family and we moved to England, where Iwas schooled in a prestigious school outside of London. My instructor there thought I had a talent for itand encouraged me to write.Although I had other interests; I loved to swim and was fond of athletics, I found that I couldaptly express myself with a pen. Even though I lived most of my life in poverty, I did experience somesuccess and was one of the earliest American writers to make a living by writing alone. Thisunfortunately was the reason I lived in poverty. That along with some other vices!Q2: What roles did mentors play in helping you develop the interests and talents you have as an artist?A: Although I had encouragement from some teachers or instructors, I would have to say that I canconsidered myself a trail blazer in the type of writings that I preferred, such as short stories and poems. Idid admire some of my contemporaries and also loathed some others who were thought by most to bein high esteem. At the age of five I could recite passages of English poetry. Later one of my teachers inRichmond said: "While the other boys wrote mere mechanical verses, Poe wrote genuine poetry; theboy was a born poet." (Petri Liukkonen, 2008).Besides that, I was mostly solo. My early life was filled with a lot of grief from the deaths of myparents, my step mother, and my step father disowning me because of my gambling and drinking.Even though I was desolate at times he would not afford me an allowance or even a mere pittance tosubstantiate a meager existence. When he died I was not mentioned in the will, even though I hadaccepted his name Allan as part of mine.
 
Q3: What was the world of art like in your particular art field when you entered it?A: In the early 1800s, the country had few American authors. Although many books were written, therewas no one who made their living solely as a writer. Most people read newspapers and gazettes thatwere filled with short stories and poetry. In fact, I entered many of these contests and submitted someof my best stories. At one point, I entered a contest in 1832 for The Saturday Courier in Baltimore. I lostout to Delia S. Bacon to a sentimental story entitled Loves Martyr. Not only did I not win the contest,but the Courier had my stories, which they published throughout 1832, I didnt receive a dime for them.The copyright laws were different then and mine were not copyrighted. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Then, in the spring of 1833, I added 6 new stories to my Tales of the Folio Club and as wellsubmitted a new poem to The Saturday Visitor on October 19
th
, 1833. I entitled it The Coliseum, and inJune of that year, I won fifty dollars for the short stories and I was told I would have also won for thepoem, but they didnt want to give both prizes to the same person. The story that won was called MSFound in a Bottle and it was published in The Saturday Visitor. I was so happy that I won, I visited each
 
of the three judges. One of the judges was a Baltimore lawyer and writer named John PendletonKennedy, who was so impressed with me that he recommended me for a job with the Southern LiteraryMessenger. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Q4: How did the major cultural, economic, and political situations of the time impact your work?A: At an early age, my mother died and I was taken in by wealthy step-parents. Thus, I was able to travelto England and was schooled as a person of high status, but I had no wealth of my own or my familysand as a college student at the University of Virginia, I engaged in gambling, drinking, and sometimesfighting and before long was $2000 in debt. My stepfather refused to pay and pulled me out of school. Icame home disgraced and penniless. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Although I had lived part of my life as a man of means, I would spend the majority of the rest of my life in poverty. This time in history, there was still slavery. In fact, some of my classmates at theUniversity of Virginia brought their slaves with them when they came to school. The IndustrialRevolution had not yet taken a grip on the country so that there were not a lot of jobs to be had forcommon people. If you didnt have a trade or an inheritance, you were probably in poverty. (ZacharyKent, 2001)Q5: What were your major accomplishments and the methods you used in your arts?A: My major accomplishments were that I was the first American author who wrote stories of themacabre and the frightening. I was able to write suspenseful, descriptive stories of murder and mysteryand dark subjects that were not in favor at the time for most American readers. Although I wrote a fullnovel, I was more at ease writing short stories. I found that the ordinary novel is objectionable, from itslength... As it cannot be read at one sitting, it deprives itself, of course, of the immense force derivablefrom totality." In other words, as soon as a reader sets a book aside, the effect of suspense orexcitement is lost. The best stories let you keep that feeling straight through, from beginning to end.
 
(Jill Lepore, 2009)I am also known as the father of the mystery novel. In fact, the award for the best mystery novelis called THE EDGAR, quite an honor. I was able to write in such a manner that things like murder,betrayal, and sadness were presented in such a way that the reader was intrigued and given to thoughtas to how something like this couldve occurred instead of being turned off because it was a subject thatwasnt popular in others writings. (Zachary Kent, 2004)Q6: What were the key opportunities you had that led to turning points in your life and art?A: I dont know if youd call them opportunities. There were many tragic and sad events in my life thatleft me alone and struggling to survive. The deaths of many of the women that I loved; my mother, mystep-mother, and my wife at the age of 20. Her name was Virginia Clemm and I loved her very much. Shedied of consumption or as you would know it, as tuberculosis. My brother also died at the age of 24 of the same disease. This left me with little to do, but write and drink. This dark misery that I found myself in would be the inspiration for many of my stories and poems. (Zachary Kent, 2001)After winning the writing contest and meeting Mr. Kennedy, he recommended me to ThomasWhite, who invited me to join the staff of the Southern Literary Messenger as an assistant editor for the
 
salary of $10 a week. While there, I reviewed 4 books in 1835 and inserted 3 of my stories. I could alsoshow my talent in editing, reviewing, and writing. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Q7: What personal choices did you make to become successful?A: I knew at an early age that I wanted to be a writer. I thought that was the best way to express myself and although I was a published author and somewhat of a celebrity, in Richmond, Virginia andBaltimore, Maryland, I never really was able, at any point in my life, to live comfortably from writing. Iwas one of the first American authors to try living on just my wages as a writer. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Success can be determined in many different ways. My most famous poem and probably thething that I am most well known for is The Raven. It is the reason the town that I died in calls theirfootball team The Ravens. I was paid $10 for it. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Q8: What hardships or roadblocks did you have to overcome to be an artist?A: I grew up without the love of my parents. My brother died at 24. My sister ended up in an institution.We were all separated when my mother died when I was 2. The woman who raised me and who I lovedvery much also died when she was very young. I didnt get along with my stepfather, who I feltabandoned me and left me to fend for myself many times in horrible conditions. When I left college,deep in debt, and returned home, the woman who I loved and was planning to marry rejected me andwhen I returned home, I learned she was promised to another man. Thus, I was so bitter; I wrote thepoem Tamerlane. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Although I had many good jobs for a writer, such as myself, with well known, establishednewspapers, my drinking and events in my personal life kept me from holding these positions for verylong. Twice in my adult life, after the death of my only true love, Virginia, I tried to marry a wealthywoman. The first one who loved me would only marry me if I would give up drinking. I could not and sheleft. The second woman I was going to marry after my visit in Virginia was named Elmira RoysterShelton, the same woman I had loved so many years before and I died on my way to see her. (ZacharyKent, 2001)Q9: What kind of limitations did run into as an artist and a person?A: I never had the money and the stature that I felt I was entitled to. I lived far below the means of aman of my talent and intelligence. The women in my life often seemed to die before I was fully able tospend time with them and appreciate them. As I said before, the Industrial Revolution had not kicked inyet. So many people, like I, were out of jobs and money and it was hard making a living as a writer whospecialized in short stories and poems. (Zachary Kent, 2001)I found when creating a new style of writing, where as many people of my time were still of theVictorian age, where the books were very religious and main stream and people werent used to readingabout the subjects that I felt I had to write about. Some of my great stories, such as The House of Usher, The Cask of Amontillado, and The Tell Tale Heart werent anywhere close to being favoredreading for the masses in the early 1800s. (Zachary Kent, 2001)Q10: What personal stories best illustrate how you became successful in the arts?

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