e. a. poe – life and fortune


E. A. Poe was not understood by his contemporaries who confused the author’s wretched (= maledetta) private life with his poetical production. The American author was almost (= quasi del tutto) forgotten (= dimenticato)during the 19th century, and the critics confined him in a definition, limiting his works under different labels (=etichette).Only at the end of the 19th century in France the Symbolists, the so called Decadentists, re-discovered his own world and translated his stories into French, while, in England, the Pre-Raphaelites painters were attracted by his ideal of beauty, strictly connected with art and with death. One of the fathers of Aestheticism, O. Wilde, novel, took inspiration from Poe’s studies on the duplicity of man and psychotic personalities while writing The Picture of Dorian Gray.No critic can however deny (= negare) the effect and the influence Poe had on the artists who followed him (= che lo seguirono). Everyone discussed his works and took in consideration his principles stressing the ability of his genius in attracting the reader’s attention.In particular Poe’s most incredible influence is in the building up (= costruire) of detective stories : he is considered one of the fathers of this modern genre and his principles are universally accepted.In the Tales of Mystery and Terror, Poe, usually sets the action in a restricted, confined place, which represents the possibility of a return to the origins, to that constant oscillation between life and death typical of our existence.Poe was in quest of his double throughout his life (= per tutta la vita). His characters are tormented by their weaknesses (= debolezze) and forbidden (= proibiti)desires. They are alone in front of their anxieties, they do not know if their nightmares (= incubi) are real or fruit of a sensibility altered (= alterata) by anguish. They represent the fears and anguishes that tormented the author, victim of a private life marked by illnesses and deaths.

Life – Edgar Allan Poe (1809- 1849) was born in Boston from two touring actors, David Poe and Elisabeth Arnold Hopkins. They died very young, about two years after Edgar’s birth and the future writer was divided from his brother Henry and his sister Rosalie and adopted by Mrs. Frances Allan from Richmond.Edgar Allan (the second name was due to his new family’s surname) was educated in England, where his family moved. In 1820 the Allans and Poe returned to Richmond and Edgar attended the University of Virginia (1826). As a student he was quite successful, but because of his passion for gambling (= gioco d’azzardo), he got indebted and had to leave university.In Boston he wrote and published his first book, Tamerlane, and some Minor Poems , most of them dedicated to Elmira Royster, his first love already married (= già sposata).Meanwhile, Mrs. Allan died after she had refused to meet Edgar again, and so the writer joined (= si arruolò) West Point Academy, but there he only succeeded in getting expulsion (= riuscì solo a farsi espellere) from the academy.Back again in Baltimore with his aunt Marie Clemm, he began writing stories for which there was a market: he needed money as Mr. Allan had died without leaving him a cent.He published five tales (1832) and became an editorial assistant at The Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond (1835). There he married Virginia Clemm (1836), his fourteen-years-old cousin and created a reputation of his own as a keen (= molto acuto) critic.In 1837 Edgar Allan Poe left his job and moved to New York where he published The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838) in which realistic material and wild fancies (=realtà e fantasia) were combined under the influence of Melville’s Moby Dick.In the same year he began editing the Burton’s Magazine in Philadelphia, where he worked for a year writing The Fall of the House of Husher and William Wilson based on studies of double and neurotic personalities.Because of drinking, Poe lost his job in 1840 and together with his wife he found himself once more on the edge (= orlo) of poverty. Moreover Virginia burst a vessel in her throat (= si ruppe una vena in gola) and, even though she soon recovered, the writer’s restlessness began to grow.Fortunately, Poe’s former employer recommended him to the publisher of Graham’s Magazine where he worked as an editor and wrote his first detective story The Murders in the Rue Morgue.In 1843 his Gold Bug won a prize of $100 from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper.In New York he wrote The Balloon Hoax for The Sun (1844) and in The Evening Mirror, where he worked as sub editor, The Raven (1845) his most famous poem, appeared.During the second half of 1840s he was editor of a short lived weekly Broadway Journal, published his Tales and wrote For Godey’s Lady’s Book, a series of gossipy sketches (= episodi di pettegolezzi) on personalities of the day on The Literati of New York.Meanwhile his wife Virginia had died in 1847. In 1848 Poe moved to Providence and published the lecture Eureka, a transcendental explanation of the universe.Back in Richmond (1849) he got engaged to Elmira Royster, now a widow, but his drinking was to be fatal to his weak heart (= debole cuore) and the writer died in Baltimore on October 7th, 1849.As to the author’s personality, people who met him witness the coexistence in himself of two personalities: Poe was kind and devoted to the ones he loved, irritable and humoral to others. He was, for someone, a pleasant friend, amiable and talkative whose musical voice and sense of humour attracted everyone; for others was just a self-centred man (= un uomo concentrato su se stesso), a sharp (= acuto) critic, violent, immoral and drug-addict.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809- 1849) was born in Boston from two touring actors, David Poe and Elisabeth Arnold Hopkins. They died very young, about two years after Edgar’s birth and the future writer was divided from his brother Henry and his sister Rosalie and adopted by Mrs. Frances Allan from Richmond. Edgar Allan (the second name was due to his new family’s surname) was educated in England, where his family moved. In 1820 the Allans and Poe returned to Richmond and Edgar attended the University of Virginia (1826). As a student he was quite successful, but because of his passion for gambling (= gioco d’azzardo), he got indebted (= si indebitò) and had to leave university (= dovette lasciara l’università). In Boston he wrote and published his first book, Tamerlane, and some Minor Poems , most of them dedicated to Elmira Royster, his first love already married (= già sposata). Meanwhile (= nel frattempo), Mr. and Mrs. Allan died without forgiving (= senza perdonare)Edgar. The writer joined (= si arruolò) West Point Academy, but there he only succeeded in getting expulsion (= riuscì solo a farsi espellere) from the academy. Back again in Baltimore with his aunt Marie Clemm, he began writing stories for which there was a market: he needed money as Mr. Allan had died without leaving him a cent. He published five tales (1832) and became an editorial assistant at The Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond (1835). There he married Virginia Clemm (1836), his fourteen-years-old cousin and created a reputation of his own as a keen (= molto acuto) critic. In 1837 Edgar Allan Poe left his job and moved to New York where he published The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1838) in which realistic material and wild fancies (=realtà e fantasia) were combined under the influence of Melville’s Moby Dick. In the same year he began editing the Burton’s Magazine in Philadelphia, where he worked for a year writing The Fall of the House of Husher and William Wilson based on studies of double and neurotic personalities.Because of drinking, Poe lost his job in 1840 and together with his wife he found himself once more on the edge (= orlo) of poverty. Moreover Virginia burst a vessel in her throat (= si ruppe una vena in gola) and, even though she soon recovered, the writer’s restlessness began to grow. Fortunately, Poe’s former employer recommended him to the publisher of Graham’s Magazine where he worked as an editor and wrote his first detective story The Murders in the Rue Morgue. In 1843 his Gold Bug won a prize of $100 from the Philadelphia Dollar Newspaper. In New York he wrote The Balloon Hoax for The Sun (1844) and in The Evening Mirror, where he worked as sub editor, The Raven (1845) his most famous poem, appeared. During the second half of 1840s he was editor of a short lived weekly Broadway Journal, published his Tales and wrote For Godey’s Lady’s Book, a series of gossipy sketches (= episodi di pettegolezzi) on personalities of the day on The Literati of New York.
Meanwhile his wife Virginia had died in 1847. In 1848 Poe moved to Providence and published the lecture Eureka, a transcendental explanation of the universe. Back in Richmond (1849) he got engaged to Elmira Royster, now a widow, but his drinking was to be fatal to his weak heart (= debole cuore) and the writer died in Baltimore on October 7th, 1849. As to the author’s personality, people who met him witnessed (= testimoniò) the coexistence in himself of two personalities: Poe was kind and devoted to the ones he loved, irritable and humoral to others. He was, for someone, a pleasant friend, amiable and talkative whose musical voice and sense of humour attracted everyone; for others was just a self-centred man (= un uomo concentrato su se stesso), a sharp (= acuto) critic, violent, immoral and drug-addict (= dedito alle droghe)

Fortune
E. A. Poe (1809 – 1849) was not understood by his contemporaries who confused the author’s wretched (= maledetta) private life with his poetical production. The American author was almost (= quasi del tutto) forgotten (= dimenticato)during the 19th century, and the critics confined him in a definition, limiting his works under different labels (=etichette). Only at the end of the 19th century in France the Symbolists, the so called Decadentists, re-discovered his own world and translated his stories into French, while, in England, the Pre-Raphaelites painters were attracted by his ideal of beauty, strictly connected with art and with death. One of the fathers of Aestheticism, O. Wilde, novel, took inspiration from Poe’s studies on the duplicity of man and psychotic personalities while writing The Picture of Dorian Gray. No critic can however deny (= negare) the effect and the influence Poe had on the artists who followed him (= che lo seguirono). Everyone discussed his works and took in consideration his principles stressing the ability of his genius in attracting the reader’s attention. In particular Poe’s most incredible influence is in the building up (= costruire) suspence in his detective stories : he is considered one of the fathers of this modern genre and his principles are universally accepted. In the Tales of Mystery and Terror, Poe, usually the action takes place in a restricted place, which represents the possibility of a return to the origins – the womb(= ventre materno) where man is in constant oscillation between life and death -, the fear of the unknown (= ciò che non si conosce), our inner fears (= paure interne). Poe was in quest of his double throughout his life (= per tutta la vita). His characters are tormented by their weaknesses (= debolezze) and forbidden (= proibiti)desires. They are alone in front of their anxieties, they do not know if their nightmares (= incubi) are real or fruit of an altered sensibility (= alterata) . They represent the fears and anguishes that tormented the author, victim of a private life marked by tragedies.

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