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Romancing the Shadow: Poe and Race

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Overview


Edgar Allan Poe's strength as a writer lay in fabricating fantisies in settings far removed from his own place and time. This dislocation renders the attitudes embedded in his fiction open to interpretation, and over the years some readers have found Poe to be virulently racist, while others found him morally conflicted, and still others detected a subversion of racism in his works' subtle sympathies for non-white characters. As a nineteenth-century Southerner, Poe was a deeply ambiguous figure, evading race issues while living among them, and traversing the North-South border with little sensitivity to its political implications. In this tightly organized volume, a handful of leading Americanists revisit the Poe issue, re-examining what it means to speak of an author and his work as racist, and where the critic's responsibility lies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195137101
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 320
  • Lexile: 1620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 1.30 (h) x 8.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Louisiana State University

University of Pennsylvania

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Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Introduction: Poe, Race and Contemporary Criticism
1 Average Racism: Poe, Slavery, and the Wages of Literary Nationalism 3
2 The Poetics of Whiteness: Poe and the Racial Imaginary 41
3 Edgar Allan Poe's Imperial Fantasy and the American Frontier 75
4 Poe, Persons, and Property 106
5 Black, White, and Gold 127
6 Presence of Mind: Detection and Racialization in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" 157
7 "The Murders in the Rue Morgue": Amalgamation Discourses and the Race Riots of 1838 in Poe's Philadelphia 177
8 Poe's Philosophy of Amalgamation: Reading Racism in the Tales 205
9 "Trust No Man": Poe, Douglass, and the Culture of Slavery 225
Bibliography 259
Contributors 277
Index 279
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