Edgar Allan Poe As Literary Critic

Edd Winfield Parks


“[Parks] rightly considers Poe’s critical writing a congruent part of American literary culture in the first half of the nineteenth century and a heritage which we out to cherish. . . . [He has] provided an excellent introduction to the subject, with straightforward analyses, objective judgments, clear style, and convenient organization.”
American Literature

“The general reader will scarcely demand a more lucid and balanced study of Poe’s career as a ‘magazinist’ than the present one.”
South Atlantic Bulletin

Edgar Allan Poe was one of the first major critics to develop and refine his critical theories through magazine articles and book reviews. Edgar Allan Poe as Literary Critic focuses on his interest in establishing an aesthetic for magazine literature, and Parks has examined Poe’s criticism at length. Poe’s efforts in the field of literary criticism have often been condemned as a rationalization of his own personal limitations as a writer, but this study contends that his critical theories far surpass such a narrow interpretation. Rather, Poe was “essentially a magazinist,” and therefore emphasized brevity, unity, and totality of effect and placed the highest value on literary types best suited to periodical literature.

Page count: 128 pp.
Trim size: 5.5 x 8.5


List price: $23.95

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Edd Winfield Parks (1906–1968) taught English at the University of Georgia for more than thirty years. He is the author or editor of more than twenty works of fiction, poetry, and literary criticism.