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Poe, unquestioned master of the 'Grotesque and Arabesque," is fully represented here, but the volume also includes generous selections from his poetry and critical writings. Together they amount to a portrait of a complex personality, that of a conscious aesthete, the most exotic of American writers, who had at the same time engaged in an astonishing variety of interests. Nor are the 'Grotesque' tales the simple manipulations of terror that they seem; David Galloway's introduction reveals their author as a profoundly serious writer, whose investigations of extreme states of consciousness have a particular relevance for our time.
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"Poe's work as a whole is a series of haunting improvisations on themes from the macabre that are hard to categorise, dazzlingly original and posthumously influential on an extraordinary range of writers from Baudelaire and RL Stevenson to Yeats, Wilde and Borges" (Observer)
"His work continues to enthral. His greatest tales (The Fall of the House of Usher, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum) radiate a dark humour and mockery that strike an oddly modern note" (Sunday Times)
"If genius is an exceptional capacity for imaginative creation, Poe had it in spades" (Daily Mail)
"His reputation as a master of the grotesque and macabre has veiled the real cause of his fame: an astonishing mastery of language and literary technique which made Arthur Ransome, himself no mean story technician and a considerable literary critic, liken his stories to rare coloured goblets or fantastic metalwork" (Independent)
'The most original genius that America has produced' Alfred, Lord Tennyson
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