Thursday, March 31, 2011

Durst, Claudia, book editor Social & Psychological Disorder in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe

Durst, Claudia, book editor Social & Psychological Disorder in the Works of Edgar Allan Poe
Greenhaven Press see Gale/Cengage 2010 163p 26.50
978-0-7377-5017-1 hs Poe, Edgar Allen - Criticism E-BN
Social Issues in Literature(Gale)

Comprised of eighteen articles that detail the life of Edgar Allan Poe and how his own mental illness and life events factored into his writing. An excellent addition to literary criticism especially the connection to social issues of the times. Grades 8-12. The editor pulls together eighteen articles from books and journals that tell the life of Edgar Allan Poe, his own struggles with forming close bonds to people, his mother and wife’s premature deaths and his struggle with mental illness and how those events were reflected in his writing. Each article is prefaced with a lengthy annotation, author’s credentials, and source of the writing. The only concern is that quotes within the articles are not sourced since the articles are lifted from a larger work. The student would have to go back to the original work to view the article’s bibliography. An annotated table of contents provides a quick reference point for the student researcher. The well indexed book leads students to critical analysis of many of Poe’s poems and short stories. Character names appear in the index as well as themes that span more than two of his writings. This is a first place to start research concerning Poe’s semi-autobiographical writings and his struggle to be accepted by the larger community. Once again the Social Issues in Literature series has done an outstanding job of relating pieces of writing to current social and psychological issues such as the insanity defense, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses. Grades 8-12. McNicol,Lois

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