Gothicism, Romanticism, terror, autobiography


The following paper examines Poe’s affair with German tradition, particularly Gothic and Romantic writing, through an analysis of his short story “Metzengerstein.” This short story is not only rich with the conventions of Gothic fiction, but also rings with an autobiographical tone. The added piece of Poe himself in this text implies his own Gothic origins. I imply that Poe was a natural Romantic, with the purpose of bringing his own terror to a larger audience. The German gloom in “Metzengerstein” was authentic, not an imitation. I come to the conclusion that Poe’s production of literary horror – in the face of horrific circumstances – functioned as an antidote for his own life.