Why did Edgar Allan Poe write his stories in a horrible, cruel and cold-blooded way? Did his biographical background affect him?

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Having written and produced a play (Death by the Visitation of God) about Poe's life, and having researched extensively his life through his own words as well as through the letters and journals of people who knew him well, I can state that he was definitely influenced by lhis life (his mother's death, John Allan's failure to send him to the University of Virginia with enough money to cover even half a term of expenses, his wife's ill health to name a few major instances). However, he also discovered that he was living in an age when dark literature sold papers! When he first planned to publish Berenice, White, his editor at the Southern Literary Messenger in Richmond, was appalled. He feared that a story this dark would turn readers away, In fact, it had the opposite effect and basically these dark stories helped to put that paper "on the map" so to speak. Keep in mind that Poe did not ONLY write dark works. He wrote science fiction and detective fiction as well. All writers are, to a...

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