Sunday, February 01, 2009

'Poe: A Life Cut Short'

"Edgar Allan Poe has become the image of the poète maudit, the blasted soul, the wanderer. His fate was heavy, his life all but insupportable. A rain of blows descended on him from the time of his birth. He once said that 'to revolutionise, at one effort, the universal world of human thought' it was necessary only 'to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple -- a few plain words -- 'My Heart Laid Bare.' But -- this little book must be true to its title.' Poe never wrote such a book, but his life deserved one."

Poe -- A Life Cut Short by Peter Ackroyd provides a brief glimpse into the equally brief life of America's gothic master, Edgar Allan Poe. (Nan. A Talese/Doubleday: 210 pp., $21.95)

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