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A Descent into Edgar Allan Poe and His Works: The Bicentennial

Beatriz González Moreno and Margarita Rigal Aragón

Today Edgar Allan Poe is a well-known and highly regarded author. When, a hundred years ago (1909), a group of Poe acquaintances, fans and scholars got together at the University of Virginia to commemorate Poe’s birth centenary, they had to do so in order to modify the persistent misstatements of his earlier biographers, and to correct the unsettled judgment of his literary rank.
Now, in 2009, many Poe fans and scholars are gathering together once more to honour Poe on the second centenary of his birth. Different types of events (theatrical and musical performances, book auctions, etc.) and academic conferences have been celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic, acclaiming Poe’s literary rank again. This volume brings together a wide range of scholars with varied critical approaches and succeeds in shedding new light on E. A. Poe on the occasion of his Bicentenary. The book is organized into three principal sections; the first part focuses on the reception of Poe in Great Britain, France, and Spain; the second revisits some of Poe’s main legacies, such as his stories of detection, the Gothic, and Science Fiction; and the third deals with the aesthetic quality of his narratives and also offers an analysis of his work integrating Text Linguistics within the broader study of social discourses.


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Fernando Galván Poe versus Dickens: an Ambiguous Relationship 3


Poe versus Dickens: an Ambiguous Relationship1 FERNANDO GALVÁN UNIVERSITY OF ALCALÁ Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens are undoubtedly, if not the two great- est, at least, two of the greatest writers in English in the fi rst half of the nineteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic. Although one is famous for his short tales of horror and detection and his poetry, and the other for his long realist novels, there are however some suggestive parallels, en counters and misunderstandings in their lives and writing careers which I intend to explore in this essay, examining how admiration and personal confl ict characterized their relationship. Poe was born on 19 January 1809 and Dickens on 7 February 1812, and the early stages of their writing careers coincided almost exactly in time. But Poe’s untimely death at the age of 40, on 7 October 1849, marks a clear difference with Dickens, who died twenty-one years later, on 9 June 1870, at the age of 58. Most of Dickens’s major works were thus pub- lished after Poe’s death: Bleak House (1852–53), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1855–57), Great Expectations (1860–61) and Our Mutual Friend (1864–65). Even David Copperfi eld, which commenced publication in April 1849, could not have been known in full to Poe because it was not completed until October 1850, one year after Poe’s death. But Dickens had certainly published other well-known and widely appreciated works in the two decades prior to Poe’s death, such...

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