On the Writing Style of Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories

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  • Topic: Gothic fiction, Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher
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On the Writing Style of Edgar Allan Poe’s Short Stories
Author: Yan Yan
Tutor: Tan Yanping
(Oriental Science & Technology College of Hunan Agricultural University, Changsha 410128 )

Abstract: This paper is devoted to the condensed study of Poe’s writing style in Poe's three short classics, "The Black Cat", "The Pit and the Pendulum", and "The Fall of the House of Usher". Despite Poe's seemingly inheritance from some literary forebears, his contribution and innovation for the literary subgenre is profound and significant. The origin term of "Gothic" can be traced back to "Goth", the notorious barbarous people of an old Germanic tribe. "Gothicism" develops gradually to indicate a grotesque style in architecture prevailing in the Middle Ages of Europe and later it is used in literature to convey the idea of "Dark Romanticism" that is excluded by the Classicists from the mainstream of the literatus. Gothic literature starts from the eighteenth century in England, and gradually forms a special school in literary world. Among the numerous celebrated Gothic classics, Edgar Allan Poe's fiction remains the most grotesque and unique. Compared to the other Gothic writers, Poe deepens the connotation of Gothic by exploring the themes of death, guilt, revenge, incest and morbid psyche as well as the supernatural mystery in these tales. Poe intends to psychologize the Gothic and has commenced to modify the traditional Gothic relationship, in which the direction of horrifying averts from outside to inside, from setting to self. The characters are more likely creative originator of the terrifying rather than passive victims or witnesses of their appalling plight, while the circumstances are merely the products of their imaginative mind. It is with Poe that the old "German" Gothic is finally brought into the contemporary setting. Darker and gloomier than the eighteenth century Gothic, Poe's performance for novelty in composition for the theme of Death achieves the uniqueness of his Gothic stories and the sole effect of terror that comes not from Germany, but from the soul.

Key Words: Edgar Allan Poe; Gothicism; Elements of Horror; Death types

论埃德加·爱伦·坡短篇小说的创作风格 作 者: 严 彦
指导老师:谭 燕 萍
(湖南农业大学东方科技学院,长沙 410128) 摘 要:本文致力于研究埃德加爱伦坡的短篇小说写作风格。埃德加爱伦坡(1809年至1849年)是美国著名作家,非常擅长写哥特式短篇小说和超自然的故事。 对“哥特式”一词的起源可追溯到“哥特”,臭名昭著古日耳曼部落野蛮的人。在当时中世纪的欧洲,“哥特式”逐步发展到建筑学的怪诞风格,后来在文学它被用来表达“黑暗想法的浪漫主义”,被古典主义者排除在主流之外。哥特式文学开始从英国18世纪,逐渐形成了著名的经典的哥特式流派,埃德加·爱伦·坡的短篇小说仍然是文学世界上最怪诞和独一无二的。 诚然,他很沉迷于死亡的主题,以及极其病态的幻想生活。坡的故事展示了一个神奇的精心收藏的图案。在他各种各样的超自然故事和戏剧化的生活以及死亡的沃波尔的影响力,超越其他感官交融渗透。在著名的作家中,坡同化了哥特式恐怖的风俗。

关键词:埃德加·爱伦·坡;哥特式;恐怖元素;死亡类型 Introduction
When Poe began his literary career, Gothic literature was very favorable. Gothic novels, with European Middle Age as its background, told grotesque stories of feudal revenge, property contention, psychological abnormality and mental deliriousness. They employed super-natural powers and brought about the effects of bloody violence, absurdness and terror. During the end of 18th century and the first half of the 19th century Gothic literature reached its climax. Most of Poe's short stories fell into the category of Gothic literature. His stories suited both popular and refined tastes with great readability and artificial originality They were different from the bulk of Gothic tales, being popular but not vulgar. By reforming the common mode of Gothic tales, he contributed a lot to the composition of modern short stories. Poe explored the spiritual world of the humans in his tales. He made Gothic tales turn inward and appear psychologically-oriented when exploring the hidden passages and cabinets in human souls. Madness, deliriousness, extremities, abnormality, spiritual division and illusion remained recurrent themes in his tales, some heroes of which were bound to certain...
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