Edgar Allan Poe was a writer whose creativity touched many aspects of the human experience. He was an American poet and short-story writer whose writings influenced numerous writers of the 19th century. His work influenced both the Gothic and Romantic movements of literature.
Whether or not you believe that his works have affected your life, there is no denying that they have been influential to millions of people across the globe. His words are still remembered and have shaped creative work that is still produced today.
The first major writer in America to write about criticism, the theory of composition and the principles of creative art, Poe was also a master of language and an innovator of literary forms. His literary masterpieces changed the course of American literature and influenced later writers in such diverse genres as fantasy, horror, science fiction and detective fiction.
Creativity and the Artist
Poe firmly believed that an artist should create work with the intention of making an effect on the reader’s mind. He viewed the “emotions” of the heart as the most important factors in producing art, and thus used every creative power at his disposal to achieve this goal.
For example, Poe’s short stories often featured fear as their primary effect, creating an atmosphere of dread and anxiety in his readers. He aimed to produce these effects by employing a variety of different elements, such as the evocative imagery, the use of depressive tones and the use of lyrical rhetoric, all of which help to enhance the emotional impact of his writing.
Another significant aspect of Poe’s creativity is that he was able to apply his ideas and techniques to many different subjects and genres, including poetry, prose, drama, and music. This demonstrates his ability to combine various artistic elements into one cohesive piece, a feat not easily accomplished by most other writers.
Creativity and the Artist
In his essay, “The Philosophy of Composition,” Poe states that it is the artist’s job to choose what effect he wants to achieve in the minds of the reader. He further states that the reader’s emotions are “the greatest determinant of what he reads and what he feels in his heart,” and that the artist should select from among these innumerable feelings and impressions to write about.
This concept is often a difficult one for modern artists to understand, especially in the age of technology and social media. However, it is an important one and can be very beneficial for writers of all levels.
While it may be tempting to think of Poe as a lone genius, there were many others who helped him along the way. Some of them were close friends, who helped him to see his vision and provide him with advice and support. Other close friends were his editors, who encouraged him and pushed him to write more. These relationships ultimately helped him to become a successful author and to make a good living from his writing.