Fables of Mind: An Inquiry Into Poe's Fiction
Oxford University Press, 1987 - 273页
This revisionist study of Poe's fiction concentrates on works generally neglected by Poe critics. Operating in reverse chronological order, Joan Dayan begins with a close reading of Poe's Eureka, subtitled "Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe" and uses this cosmology to examine Poe's method in creating his fiction. This "unreadable" work, she argues, best exemplifies that method, for in his work, the bizarre, apparently nonsensical, and the most stylistically jarring lapses are the truest exercises of his fiction-making powers. In Eureka, Poe alternates between the roles of skeptic and believer, and the very question of cognition--not what we see, but how we see--comes to dominate his work. Fables of Mind makes the unprecedented argument that the issue of convertability--of the material universe, of the landscape, of the identity of woman--is the key to Poe's thought and the plot of his fiction.
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American atoms attempt beauty becomes begins Berenice body calls conceive conception consciousness convertible cosmic critical dash dead death discourse divine Domain of Arnheim dream Dwight earth Edgar Allan Poe Edwards effect Egaeus Eleonora Ellison Essay ethereal Eureka eyes fancy fiction final gives God's human Ibid idea ideal identity imagination infinite Kenneth Burke Kepler Lackobreath lady Landor's Cottage landscape sketches language Leibniz Ligeia Locke Locke's Loss of Breath material matter memory Mesmeric Revelation mind monomania Morella narrator narrator's Newton once particles passage perception philosophy Philosophy of Composition Philosophy of Furniture physical Poe takes Poe wants Poe writes Poe's poem poetic prose reader resurrection revelation rhetoric Richard Wilbur romance Rowena Sarah Helen Whitman scene seems sense shadow soul Southern Literary Messenger spirit story sublime suggest tale teeth Tell-Tale Heart things thought tion trans truth unity University Press verbal voice woman words