A Life Cut Short

Book - 2008
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Explores Poe's literary accomplishments and legacy against the background of his erratic, dramatic, and sometimes sordid life, including his marriage to his thirteen-year-old cousin and his much-written-about problems with gambling and alcohol.
Publisher: New York : Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780385508001
Characteristics: x, 205 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 19 cm


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Jan 16, 2017

Either Poe fans have amassed a huge amount of information about their hero or Peter Ackroyd is a clever detective as well as a fine biographer. His 160 pages are chock-a-bloc with quotations from Poe’s correspondence and notes. This is a book well worth reading.
I don’t believe in curses, but sometimes I have to wonder: the Kennedys? Edgar Allan Poe? Did the man suffer from bipolar disorder? He was symptomatic. When manic, sufferers display an abnormally irritable mood; periods of high self-esteem; flight of ideas and distractibility; unrealistic goals or activities; agitation such as pacing, hand wringing; and an increased pursuit of dangerous activities. When depressed people with bipolar disorder lose weight, have trouble sleeping and show increased psychomotor activity. They experience decreased energy; feelings of worthlessness or guilt; trouble thinking, concentrating, and/or making decisions; and have thoughts of death; contemplate suicide and/or attempt it. Left untreated, people with bipolar disorder often self-medicate with drugs and alcohol and at times, hallucinate and become overtly paranoid. I wonder.
Edgar Allan Poe—a genius writer, but what a poor soul!

Aug 08, 2016

Excellent rundown on the life of a tragic figure. Not too heavy on the literary interpretation or analysis of the poetry...don't expect that. The author's sarcasm is sometimes hilarious!


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