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Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, Volume 1

By Poe, Edgar Allan

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Book Id: WPLBN0000079566
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.7 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, Volume 1  
Author: Poe, Edgar Allan
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Literature, Literature & thought, Writing.
Collections: Classic Literature Collection
Historic
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Ebook Library

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Poe, E. A. (n.d.). Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, Volume 1. Retrieved from http://netlibrary.net/


Excerpt
The epithets Grotesque and Arabesque will be found to indicate with sufficient precision the prevalent tenor of the tales here published. But from the fact that, during a period of some two or three years, I have written five-and-twenty short stories whose general character may be so briefly defined, it can- not be fairly inferred -- at all events it is not truly inferred -- that I have, for this species of writing, any inordinate, or indeed any peculiar taste or pre- possession. I may have written with an eye to this republication in volume form, and may, therefore, have desired to preserve, as far as a certain point, a certain unity of design. This is, indeed, the fact; and it may even happen that, in this manner, I shall never compose anything again. I speak of these things here, because I am led to think it is this pre- valence of the Arabesque in my serious tales, which has induced one or two critics to tax me, in all friendliness, with what they have been pleased to term Germanism and gloom. The charge is in bad taste, and the grounds of the accusation have not been sufficiently considered. Let us admit, for the moment, that the phantasy-pieces now given are Germanic, or what not. Then Germanism is the vein for the time being. To morrow I may be any- thing but German, as yesterday I was everything else. These many pieces are yet one book. My friends would be quite as wise in taxing an astronomer with too much astronomy, or an ethical author with treat- ing too largely of morals. But the truth is that, with a single exception, there is no one of these stories in which the scholar should recognise the distinctive features of that species of pseudo-horror which we are taught to call Germanic, for no better reason than that some of the secondary names of German litera- ture have become identified with its folly. If in many of my productions terror has been the thesis, I main- tain that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul, that I have deduced this terror only from its legitimate sources, and urged it only to its legitimate results. There are one or two of the articles here, ( con- ceived and executed in the purest spirit of extrava- ganza,) to which I expect no serious attention, and of which I shall speak no farther. But for the rest I cannot conscientiously claim indulgence on the score of hasty effort. I think it best becomes me to say, therefore, that if I have sinned, I have deliberately sinned. These brief compositions are, in chief part, the results of matured purpose and very careful elaboration.

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