Project

Remedial Poe

Program

Research Fellowships for Recent Recipients of the PhD Degree , ACLS Fellowship Program

Department

English

Named Award

ACLS Carl and Betty Pforzheimer Fellow

Abstract

What is the place of literature in a multiply mediated world? “Remedial Poe” answers this question by following the red thread of Poe’s promiscuous remediation to tell a story not about genius, but about media, about the experience of culture beyond the hegemony of the written word. Poe was a profoundly and self-consciously literary artist, but his work announced the surpassing of literature. Considering the uptake of Poe’s works and name in illustration, film, music, comics, animation, voice recording, and the web, “Remedial Poe” argues that the aesthetic categories of atmosphere, graphicality, voice, animation, immersion, and mash-up explain Poe’s influence in a pervasively mediated world. The post-literary modernity of Poe lies in his production of aesthetic experiences at once intense and exteriorized, immersive and ephemeral. Poe’s poems and tales are simultaneously indelible and provisional: one never forgets them, but one can always change them.