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Exhibitions | Past

Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
October 4, 2013 through January 26, 2014

© Eduard Prüssen

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The works of Edgar Allan Poe have frightened and thrilled readers for more than one hundred-fifty years. Terror of the Soul—inspired by the preface to Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque—explores Poe's poetry, fiction, and literary criticism, with a key thematic emphasis examining his profound influence on later writers. The exhibition will feature nearly one hundred items, drawn primarily from the Morgan's holdings and The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at The New York Public Library, two of the most important collections of Poe material in the United States. In addition, a number of exceptional private collection loans will also be on view.

Poe's mastery of multiple writing genres will be represented by poem and short story manuscripts, early printed editions, letters, and literary criticism published in contemporary newspapers, magazines, and journals. On view will be such works as Annabel Lee and The Bells in Poe's own hand; one of the earliest printings of The Raven; the first printing of The Cask of Amontillado; and an unprecedented three copies of Tamerlane, Poe's earliest published work and one of the rarest books in American literature. Lesser-known writings, including A Reviewer Reviewed—Poe's never-before-exhibited critique of his own work, written under a pseudonym—and the author's annotated copy of his last published book, Eureka, provide a more complete picture of this complex writer.

Importantly, Terror of the Soul is among the first museum exhibitions to explore Poe's wide-ranging influence on fellow writers as diverse as Charles Dickens, Stéphane Mallarmé, Vladimir Nabokov, and Terry Southern. Other literary masterpieces on view include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles, Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Paul Auster's previously unpublished lecture on Poe's influence on French authors; and T. S. Eliot's annotated typescript of The Waste Land.

Lead funding for Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul is provided by Karen H. Bechtel, with generous support from Liz and Rod Berens and the Susan Jaffe Tane Foundation.

Related Programs:

Poe in the House of Morgan
Friday, October 11, 7 p.m.

Poe in the House of Morgan
Friday, October 11, 8 p.m.

Pinsky Reads Poe
Thursday, October 17, 6:30 p.m.

Dreams Terrifically Disturbed: Readings of Poe with Sound
Friday, November 22, 7 p.m.

Auster on Poe: A Conversation with Paul Auster and Isaac Gewirtz
Thursday, January 16, 7 p.m.

Poe Double Feature: House of Usher followed by Murders in the Rue Morgue
Friday, November 8, 7 p.m.

Selections from Spirits of the Dead: "William Wilson" followed by "Toby Dammit"
Friday, December 6, 7 p.m.

Gallery Talks
Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
Friday, October 25, 6:30 p.m.

Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
Friday, November 15, 6:30 p.m.

Family Programs
The Ben Jam Presents: The Curious Case of the Secret Staircase
Saturday, October 19, 2-2:30 p.m.

The Ben Jam Presents: The Curious Case of the Secret Staircase
Saturday, October 19, 3-3:30 p.m.

The Book, the Lock, and the Key
Saturday, November 9, 2–4 p.m.

Sunday Mystery Storytime in Mr. Morgan's Library
October 20, 2–3 p.m.
November 17, 2–3 p.m.
December 15, 2–3 p.m.
January 19, 2–3 p.m.

Winter Family Day
Sunday, December 2, 2-5 p.m.

Between the Lines Tour
Edgar Allan Poe: Terror of the Soul
Saturday, October 5, 11 a.m.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.