American Literary Criticism in the Nineteenth Century Criticism: Edgar Allan Poe - Essay

Criticism: Edgar Allan Poe

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Foerster, Norman. “Poe.” In American Criticism: A Study in Literary Theory from Poe to the Present, pp. 1-51. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1928.

[In the following excerpt, Foerster discusses Poe's critical writing, which Foerster claims was devoted to resisting provincialism of two types: excessive respect for the literature of Europe, and excessive devotion to the literature of America.]


With his usual critical acumen, Poe saw that a people's literature may be provincial in either of two opposite ways. At the beginning of his essay on Drake's overrated poem ‘The Culprit Fay,’ he wrote an analysis of the state of American...

(The entire section is 17757 words.)