Edgar Allan Poe is one of the great geniuses of universal literature. Around his life, which did have unusual episodes, legends have been woven that end up tarnishing the enormous value of his work. In particular, he was an extraordinary storyteller, endowed with infinite creativity.
The world of mystery and horror literature was one before Edgar Allan Poe and another after him. This great American writer is considered the inventor of the genre of detective literature. He was also the renovator of Gothic literature and he gave the horror genre an exquisite psychological component.
“I have no faith in human perfection. Man is now more active, not happier, or more intelligent, than he was 6000 years ago.”
-Edgar Allan Poe-
He led a life surrounded by hard and even tragic experiences. It is known that there were critics interested in showing him as a depraved and chaotic being. They largely succeeded. However, although it certainly was not a model of balance, it was not the monstrous being that they wanted to make see.
A difficult childhood
Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston (United States) on January 19, 1809. His parents were two traveling theater actors. He had two brothers. His parents died when he was just 2 years old. Both he and his brothers were adopted by different families.
Edgar came to the family of John Allan, a wealthy businessman who adopted him out of charity. The death of his mother, as well as the traumatic relationships he had with his stepfather were two recurrent themes in his life and in his work.
With his adoptive family he lived for a few years in England and Scotland. Apparently, from those experiences took the Gothic atmosphere so characteristic in his work. Then all returned to the United States, where Edgar Allan Poe studied in the best schools.
A turbulent youth
The first writings of Edgar Allan Poe were born when he was 14 years old. At that time, he fell madly in love with the mother of one of his classmates. That platonic love lived when she died suddenly.
In his youth, he was also a great sportsman and a staunch amateur astronomer. He entered to study Languages at the University of Virginia. There he began to get used to the game and alcohol. This led to his being expelled. His stepfather hired him as an employee in one of his companies, but it did not last long.
In 1827, he secretly published his first book Tamerlane and other poems. Then he enlisted in the army, where he lasted two years. Later, his stepfather helped him get a new job, but he was fired again. Meanwhile, he published two other books of poems. In 1832, he went to live in Baltimore and there he married his 13-year-old cousin.
A writer “damn”
Edgar Allan Poe was disinherited by his adoptive parents. To survive, he began working in several newspapers, making notes and criticizing art. His sharp and elegant style generated him certain notoriety. Meanwhile, he continued to publish his work. The gold beetle and El Cuervo and other poems consecrated it in literature.
His young wife died of tuberculosis in 1847. His painful illness increased Poe’s fondness for drinking and drugs. It is said that at that time he began to ingest laudanum, an opiate with strong effects. Also at that time he began to show health problems.
He started looking for a new woman with anxiety, almost with desperation. I went from one relationship to another without any concrete. It is said that at that time tried to kill himself with laudanum, but he was overcome by a strong vomit that prevented it.
The end of his life
In those years he returned to meet a fleeting love of youth: Sarah Elmira Royster. The flame was lit again between the two and they agreed to marry on October 17, 1849. However, shortly after the compromise was made, the writer mysteriously disappeared.
They found him on October 3 on the street, very confused and with clothes that did not belong to him. One of his friends took him to the hospital, where he died on October 7. It was never known what happened during those days of strange disappearance.
His autopsy also disappeared and so far it is unknown what was the exact cause of his death. It can be said that Poe’s work influenced all the great writers who came after him. He is powerful and profound.