College of Liberal Arts

Department of English

 

REVIEW

Burton Pollin
"A Flawed Poe Guide"

We all know the need for a well-wrought and reliable compendium of factual material about the contents and major features of Poe's works, his life and friends, and his major critics, as well as about the outstanding scholarly research in these areas, bibliographic background, and major editions of the canonic works during his life and subsequent 150 years, but The Poe Encyclopedia, edited by Frederick S. Frank and Anthony Magistrale (Greenwood Press, 1997), fails to deliver this. Unlike excellent "companions" that organize material usefully into meaningful and associative topics, such as those of John R. Hammond and Eric Carlson, this volume arranges everything alphabetically and bewilderingly. The three indexes have numerous errors of omission and misleading terms for various types of materials. Above all, the book betrays a decided lack of firsthand examination of various books and articles, which are cited almost by hearsay, while it ignores major and indispensible aids for understanding Poe and his influence, often citing or using old, uncorrected editions (such as Harrison's) and passing over those of the last half decade. Errors and typos abound even in the cited texts and references. The book is well-bound and capably presented in differentiated type; it may be useful for the tyro in Poe studies, but certainly not for any demanding, well-versed scholar.

 

 

     

     

     

Heading using the h3 tag

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

The Poe Studies site is normally maintained by Tanya Gonzales. Please feel free to e-mail comments, queries, and suggestions.

Department of English, PO Box 645020, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5020, 509-335-2581, Contact Us