Poe: The Trauma of an Era published

«I consider [Altamirano] superlatively well qualified. He has studied Poe’s works closely, and in my opinion knows them as intimately as do the leading American scholars and critics of Poe. His ‹historia intelectual› promises to open a whole new era …» — Kenneth Silverman, Professor Emeritus in English, New York University, author of the biography Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft Prize in American History

«A perpetual, constant struggle against the commonplace, true to the idea of the Athenaeists to go to the original sources … It is a book that forces us to read Poe in a different way.» — Vicente Quirarte, Tenure Researcher, Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, member of La Academia Mexicana de la Lengua and El Colegio Nacional

Despite the attention lavished on Edgar Allan Poe, his long-standing status as a «critical orphan» endures. He is known as much for a poem, a story and a biographical myth as for his extraordinary body of work, often written off as second rate. He is a writer obscurely cherished by lovers of the macabre, oversimplified and entangled in sophisticated theoretical analyses and judgements that fail to consider the esoteric doctrines central to his work. In other words, lost between the initiated and the profane, Poe has become a gigantic puzzle and one that needs reassembling. His writings remain elusive, while his role in the literary history of our age defies canonicity.

An intellectual history that fills this crucial gap by restoring Poe to his turbulent historical context, this book recovers the philosophical and esoteric complexity of a riddler, a satirist and a biting social critic in his struggle to make sense of the cardinal malaises and dominant ideas of a revolutionary age, confronted with a new and shattering conception of man, nature and the universe. It reconsiders the way we read, study and present Poe to future generations, decoding with exceptional clarity the enigmas of a monumental writer – a cult figure – who is inseparable from the historical consciousness of the modern world.

Available for purchase here.

Óscar Xavier Altamirano is an essayist, critic and public intellectual whose long-running work on Edgar Allan Poe has won the recognition of scholarly and general readers alike. He lives in Mexico City, which he considers the ideal environment for reading Poe.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: