Download American Flaneur: The Cosmic Physiognomy of Edgar Allan Poe by James Werner PDF

By James Werner

Investigates the connections among Poe and the nineteenth-century flaneur - or walking city observer - and the centrality of the flaneur to Poe's literary goals and intimate but ambivalent dating along with his surrounding tradition.

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Additional resources for American Flaneur: The Cosmic Physiognomy of Edgar Allan Poe (Studies in Major Literaryauthors, 33)

Sample text

And Poe conceived of an elite group of magazinists forming a coalition in direct opposition to such publications, writing, “If we do not defend ourselves by some such coalition, we shall be devoured, without mercy, by the Godeys …et id genus omne” (247). Poe’s plans for his ideal magazine, which he first named the “Penn” and later the “Stylus,” offer further insight into his attempts to work within the periodical format while simultaneously resisting the economic forces that determined it. Hayes argues that the remarkable success of the cheap pamphlet novel led Poe to abandon his hopes for the book as a medium, and to “believe that owning and editing a magazine offered the best way for him to determine the course of American literature” (93).

Hayes argues that the remarkable success of the cheap pamphlet novel led Poe to abandon his hopes for the book as a medium, and to “believe that owning and editing a magazine offered the best way for him to determine the course of American literature” (93). According to Hayes, the pamphlet novel “made the book, as a material object, a loathsome thing, a disposable commodity”; yet Poe 32 AMERICAN FLANEUR “recognized the allure of its convenience and portability” (92). Poe’s magazine would be costly (at a subscription price of $5 per year), but Poe “imagined a magazine which would be worth keeping while cheap books fell by the wayside” and cheap periodicals were readily “pitched” (Hayes 93).

162–3) As is evident from the quote above, Poe devoted considerable attention to the physical product itself, particularly with regard to appropriate illustrations. Thomas in 1843, “We shall make the most magnificent Magazine as regards externals, ever seen. The finest paper, bold type, in single column, and superb wood-engravings (in the manner of the French illustrated edition of ‘Gil Blas’ by Gigoux, or ‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Grandville” (224). ’ … Instead of the ‘fulllength portraits’ promised in the Prospectus…we shall have medallions, about 3 inches in diameter” (232).

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