COLLECTED WORKS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE, Vols. II AND III: Tales and Sketches by Edgar Allan Poe

COLLECTED WORKS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE, Vols. II AND III: Tales and Sketches

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Long-time, leading Poe scholar Mabbott died in 1968, as Volume I (Poems) in his edition of Poe's Collected Works was going to press. However, his assistant editors, Eleanor D. Kewer and Maureen C. Mabbott, have continued to work on the largely completed Mabbott typescript for Volumes II and III, following Mabbott's austere principles and incorporating Poe research from the Seventies. Here then are Poe's complete Tales and Sketches, including his last and unfinished story, ""The Lighthouse,"" some never-before-collected brevia, and some non-fiction work that exhibits a narrative element, a ""fanciful nature,"" or both (""Philosophy of Furniture,"" ""Cabs,"" ""A Reviewer Reviewed""). This edition presents the canon chronologically, prefacing each selection with a history of its composition and publication and an analysis of its sources, then following each with a flurry of often-fascinating, always elucidating notes. ""Purely aesthetic criticism is deliberately kept to a minimum,"" but the brief, balanced evaluations do not equivocate or fiddle about (""The Mystery of Marie Roget"" enjoyed ""a higher reputation among general readers than it deserves""). The only drawback to this definitive, graceful enterprise is that the stories themselves -- barely separated from the annotations and often swarming with line-by-line footnote symbols -- are not in the proper setting to be read for pleasure as well as studied. For scholars only, then, impeccably and awesomely so.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
Publisher: Harvard Univ. Press