Poe’s Difference argues that Edgar Allan Poe has much more in common with early American, medieval, and ancient writers than with the modern and post-modern ones with whom the writer is so often associated. This book emphasizes Poe’s anachronisms to make a number of theoretical, pedagogical, literary historical, and political claims about the backwardness of antebellum U.S. culture. Some time ago Michael Colacurcio issued the challenge that "the full case for the Puritan character of Poe’s ‘horror’ remains to be made." Although going back a good deal further than just to the "Puritans," Poe’s Difference aspires fully to make precisely this case.
I’d like to thank Washington College for both monetary and research support for this project, and to thank in particular Provost Dr. Patrice DiQuinzio, Administrative Assistant to the Provost and Dean Jennifer M. Schultz, Research and Instructional Librarian Gwynneth Margaret Anderson, Research and Information Literacy Librarian Marianne L. Sade, Head of Circulation Cynthia G. Sutton, and Associate Acquisitions manager Carole E. VanVeen.
I appreciate also the always fine and prompt support I received from Peter Lang, in particular that of Acquisitions Editor Dr. Meagan Simpson, Production Editor Luke McCord, and Editorial Assistant Liam McLean.
For invaluable help securing permission from Szépművészeti Múzeum-Museum of Fine Arts Budapest to reproduce as my cover Christian Luycks’s Vanitas Still Life with Terrestrial Globe, thanks to David Derzsenyi.
And I must acknowledge finally the scholarly encouragement of Michael J. Colacurcio.←xxi | xxii→ ←xxii | 1→
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