Presenter Information

Elizabeth C. Peek, epeekFollow

Content Category

Literary Criticism

Abstract/Description

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 argue 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 and an invitation for other disturbed authors.

Origin of Submission

as part of a class

Faculty Involvement

Emron Esplin

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Poe’s Gothic Soul in Metzengerstein: An Invitation to Look Inside

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 argue 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 and an invitation for other disturbed authors.