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Cover Art
Author Whalen, Terence, 1959-

Title Edgar Allan Poe and the masses : the political economy of literature in antebellum America / Terence Whalen.

Published Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1999]


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Bail  818.309 POE/ WHAL    AVAILABLE
Physical description x, 328 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [275]-322) and index.
Contents Pt. 1. Capitalism and Literature. Ch. 1. Introduction: Minor Writing and the Capital Reader. Ch. 2. The Horrid Laws of Political Economy. Ch. 3. Fables of Circulation: Poe's influence on the Messenger. Ch. 4. Poe and the Masses -- Pt. 2. Race and Region. Ch. 5. Average Racism: Poe, Slavery, and the Wages of Literary Nationalism. Ch. 6. Subtle Barbarians: The Southern Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe -- Pt. 3. Mass Culture. Ch. 7. The Code for Gold: Poe and Cryptography. Ch. 8. Culture of Surfaces. Ch. 9. The Investigating Angel: Poe, Babbage, and "The Power of Words"
Summary Edgar Allan Poe has long been viewed as an artist who was hopelessly out of step with his time. But as Terence Whalen shows, America's most celebrated romantic outcast was in many ways the nation's most representative commercial writer. Whalen explores the antebellum literary environment in which Poe worked, an environment marked by economic conflict, political strife, and widespread foreboding over the rise of a mass audience. The book shows that the publishing industry, far from being a passive backdrop to writing, threatened to dominate all aspects of literary creation. Faced with financial hardship, Poe desperately sought to escape what he called "the magazine prison-house" and "the horrid laws of political economy." By placing Poe firmly in economic context, Whalen unfolds a new account of the relationship between literature and capitalism in an age of momentous social change.
Subject Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849 -- Contemporary America.
Economics and literature -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Authorship -- Economic aspects -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Capitalism and literature -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Politics and literature -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Literature publishing -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Authors and readers -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
Popular literature -- United States -- History and criticism.
Mass media -- United States -- History -- 19th century.
ISBN 0691001995 (cloth : acid-free paper)