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

Edited By 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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Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo Functions and Values of Description, Metaphorical Image and Comparison in “Ligeia”: a Discursive-Rhetorical Study 107


Functions and Values of Description, Metaphorical Image and Comparison in “Ligeia”: a Discursive-Rhetorical Study EDUARDO DE GREGORIO-GODEO UNIVERSITY OF CASTILLA-LA MANCHA This paper delves into the discursive-rhetorical functions of description, metaphorical image and comparison in the fantastic short story in general, and in Edgar Allan Poe’s “Ligeia” in particular.1 Assuming the basic prem- ise that “the description of strange and inexplicable beings happens to be a crucial element in the aesthetics of the fantastic as a genre” (Herrero 1997: 452), comparisons, metaphors and analogies may well contribute to shed- ding light on the inexplicable and enigmatic dimension that, at a textual level, comes to characterise these types of short stories.2 By exploring the description of the enigmatic fi gure of Ligeia in the short story by Poe sim- ilarly titled, this piece will examine the value of such discursive-rhetorical strategies in the context of what may be taken to be “one of the key dimen- sions to the fantastic atmosphere upon which this type of stories is based, namely the description of beings whose mysterious identity is beyond the laws of the natural and the known” (Ibid.). Through an integration of Text Linguistics within the broader study of social discourses, the theo- retical framework underlying this contribution approaches the short story from the French Tradition of Discourse Analysis, where description in general and comparisons and metaphorical images in particular are taken to be discursive-rhetorical strategies incorporating different functions and exerting various effects upon the reader. In an attempt to “integrate the...

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