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The pit and the pendulum and other tales - Edgar Allan Poe

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The pit and the pendulum and other tales
Edgar Allan Poe
Oxford University Press
UK Publication Date

Since their first publication in the 1830s and 1840s, Edgar Allan Poe's extraordinary Gothic tales have established themselves as classics of horror fiction and have also created many of the conventions which still dominate the genre of detective fiction.
Yet, as well as being highly enjoyable, Poe's tales are works of very real intellectual exploration.
Abandoning the criteria of characterization and plotting in favour of blurred boundaries between self and other, will and morality, identity and memory, Poe uses the Gothic to question the integrity of human existence. Indeed, Poe is less interested in solving puzzles or in moral retribution than in exposing the misconceptions that make things seem `mysterious' in the first place.
Attentive tothe historical and political dimensions of these very American tales, this critical edition selects twenty-four tales and places the most popular - 'The Pit and the Pendulum', `The Fall of the House of Usher', `The Masque of the Red Death', `The Murders in the Rue Morgue, and `The Purloined Letter'- alongside less well-known travel narratives, metaphysical essays, and political satires.

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David Van Leer taught at Cornell and Princeton Universities, and was Professor of English and American Literature at University of California, Davis. He was a regular contributor to The New Republic on American culture from the seventeenth to twentieth centuries, and the author of Emerson's Epistemology: The Argument of the Essays (1986) and The Queening of America: Gay Culture in Straight Society (1995).

I picked up The Pit and The Pendulum and Other Stories by Edgar Allan Poe, a collection which just got a convenient small hardcover reprint from Oxford University Press.

John DeNardo, Kirkus Reviews

With scholarly annotations and bibliography, an informative introduction, and useful chronology, Oxford University Press has produced a highly attractive volume suitable for all species of reader.

Chris Hill, The Fortean Times

Bound in glorious purple, this new edition of Edgar Allan Poe's tales from Oxford World's Classics reprints some neglected Poe tales among the usual classics.

Oliver Tearle, Interesting Literature

This is a fine introduction to not only the man himself but also the genre of Gothic fiction... Check it out if you have not already.

Ian Macleod, Frightfest

2nd Edition
Keyword Index
Horror tales, American.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages
xxviii, 338

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