How Did Edgar Allan Poe Influence Literature

What impact did Edgar Allan Poe have on modern literature?

What changes did Edgar help make in his time? How did those changes affect the way literature is today?

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Poe had a very strong influence on Charles Baudelaire, who translated much of Poe's work into English. Baudelaire, whose best-known work is the collection of poems titled Les Fleurs du Mal (Flowers of Evil) actually idolized Poe. The French appreciated Poe more than the Americans. Poe's work in French translation influenced many French writers and subsequently influenced Russian writers like Dostoyevsky, whose novel Crime and Punishment shows the strong influence of Poe. Poe was noted for focusing on the dark side of human nature. He is known as the father of the detective novel, and had a direct influence on Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes. Since then there have been countless thousands of detective novels published all over the world, as well as horror tales. Famous writers who follow in Poe's and Doyle's footsteps are Agatha Christie, George Simenon, and Erle Stanley Gardner. Poe was one of the first authors to write science-fiction stories and might be called the "father of science-fiction." He has also been called "the father of the modern short story." American and English writers were indirectly influenced by Poe via the French. Stephen King is a good example of a modern writer who would probably not have written most of his works if not for the precedents set by Poe.

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Edgar Allan Poe brought about several changes in the literary style of his time period.  Poe, as a writer, poet, editor and a critical writer influenced not only American literature, but he also had an impact on international literature.  He was one of the first writers to develop the genre of both detective fiction and horror.  Stories like “The Pit and the Pendulum,”  “The Black Cat,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher,” as well as poems like the “Raven” set him apart from other writes of his time.  “Many anthologies credit him as the "architect" of the modern short story. He was also one of the first critics to focus primarily on the effect of the style and of the structure in a literary work; as such, he has been seen as a forerunner to the "art for art's sake" movement.”  Poe’s style still impacts writers today. "Nearly every important American writer after Poe shows signs of influence, especially when working in the gothic mode or with grotesque humor. The French, Italians, and writers in Spanish and Portuguese in the Americas acknowledge and demonstrate their debts to Poe in technique and vision."  Steven King, Clive Barker and others have followed in the footsteps of Poe.  The genre of horror is bigger today than ever and Edgar Allan Poe was at the forefront of this style of writing.

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Poe was the father of the modern-day detective story and also the short story. He also wrote primarily of the macabre and introduced his readers to ambiguity of the characters and places so they would focus on the plot and theme.

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