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Title: The use and importance of the comic in the works of Edgar Allan Poe
Author: Coria , César Augusto Hernández
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis examines the use and importance of the comic in the tales, novels, essays, poems and critical reviews of Edgar Allan Poe. The text begins by exploring the most important verifiable sources of humour and comedy in this author. The possibilities to link Poe's work to American and "Southwestern humor", Greek and Roman authors, Augustan comic writing, and the comic elements of Gothic literature, are discussed in the first chapters. The resulting insights into Poe's use of the comic are then contrasted with an analytical approach to the texts, which help to understand and to show the strong ludic character of his writing, and the significant role it gives to the reader. The comic is not seen here as a mere textual feature, but as an ever present tone. Through a link to the mutable nature of satire, the comic becomes an axis that allows us to relate together the various literary and journalistic genres Poe practiced, and to consider them as a whole. His "tomahawk" reviews and his essays are thus recognized as part of his creative efforts since they also admit a comic reading as parodical texts or sometimes hoaxes, designed to mock the intellectual environment of the time while challenging or amusing the reader. Irony, seen first as the most important comic strategy in Poe, gains weight after the analysis process and is regarded as a structuring tool; a philosophical device that helps the author to gather and give coherence to his personal views on life, art and literature, as he does in Eureka. In the end, and besides the critical role of his humour, the comic in Poe may also be seen as a consequence of his own theoretical approach to creative writing that made him conscious of the. self referential character of modern literature.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available