Edgar Allan Poe rose from the depths of despair at age 22, disinherited and destitute, to become one of the greatest figures in American literature. At that age he had three dozen poems published and would go on to publish about forty more; but short stories would prove to be the genre for which his contributions were most significant. The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tell-Tale Heart are two of his most enduring works. Poe virtually invented the detective story and the notion of focusing on the process of solving the crime, rather than the criminal or the act. He was notorious for writing tales told by "irresponsible narrators," whose self-deluding ways force the reader to take an active role in deciphering the mystery.
This biographical documentary DVD from the Famous Authors Series provides a concise, 30-minute overview of the author's life and literary accomplishments.
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Hidden Likeness: Photographer Emmet Gowin at the Morgan