The Figures of Edgar Allan Poe

Guttzeit, Gero




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(Hardback | ISBN 9783110518146 | 256 pages)


The Figures of Edgar Allan Poe is the first study to address the rhetorical dimensions of Poe`s textual and discursive practices. It argues that Poe is a figure and figurer of the emergence of the modern understanding of literature in the early nineteenth century that resulted from the birth of the romantic author and the so-called Çdeath of rhetoric`. Building on accounts of Poe as a skilled navigator of American antebellum print culture, Gero Guttzeit reinterprets Poe as representative of the vital role that transatlantic rhetoric played in antebellum literature. He investigates rhetorical figures of the author in Poe`s critical writings, tales, poems, and lectures to give a new account of Poe`s significance for antebellum literary culture. In so doing, he also proposes a general rhetorical theory of theoretical, poetical, and performative figures of the author. Beyond Poe studies, the book intervenes in current debates on the romantic origins of the modern author and demonstrates that rhetorical theory offers new ways of exploring authorship beyond the nineteenth century.