illustrated portrait of American author of gothic fiction Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe

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What impact did Poe have on the development of the short story in American literature? I am most interested in his short stories of horror and the impact they had on American literature.

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Edgar Allan Poe was very influential in the development of the short story in American literature.  He is considered the inventor of the detective story and also of the horror story.  He wanted his stories to focus on one effect which he achieved with his horror stories in particular. His writing was an influence not only in America but across the writing world on such people as the French poet Baudelaire and the Russian novelist Dostoevski.  The British playwright George Bernard Shaw called Poe, "this finest of fine artists,  this born aristocrat of letters".  Because of Poe, short stories became an accepted form of writing, even a lauded one illustrated by the writing world's acceptance of Poe's place in writing short stories.

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