College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

 

Earl M. Herrick
"Poe's Treatment of 'J' and 'U' in his 'Autography'"

It has been suggested that Poe's omissions of the letters 'J' and 'U' in the alphabetical lists which occur in his "Autography," along with the fact that those letters can be pronounced to form the word "Jew," show that he is anti-Semitic. This paper proposes instead that Poe's omissions are part of an inside joke based on how letters were arranged in printers' type cases, and it suggests that those who have concluded from these omissions that he is anti-Semitic simply do not know the printing trade well enough to have gotten the joke.

 

 

 

 

     

     

     

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