Edgar Allan Poe’s Viewpoint
Edgar Allan Poe’s viewpoint is predictable. He almost always uses a first-person narrator to tell his stories. However, only one of the three stories we collected for Poe Illustrated uses the first-person point-of view in the way Poe typically did.
A visitor to an insane asylum tells the story in System Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. He knows all that happened during his visit because he lived it. He also expresses his own opinions and knowledge about the asylum before, during, and after his visit. Poe uses this first-person style of story-telling regularly, especially in his tales of terror.
In Hop-Frog, a story about a captive dwarf’s ingenious plan of escape, a person outside the story tells what happens. Third-person narration is not Poe’s typical way of telling stories. However, three factors distinguish this example of third-person viewpoint. First, the narrator is not sure of all the facts leading up to the story. In addition, he does not enter any character’s mind as the actions unfold. Finally, he only makes a guess about the end result of the story. Consequently, the reader can only learn as many details as the narrator either knows or cares to tell. This is just one variation of many third-person story-telling techniques.
Thou At the Man is first-person point-of-view, Poe’s favorite, but with a major twist. That’s partly because in adapting the story we cheated a bit and changed Poe’s original intent. However, this is not a guilt-ridden confession—we have a legitimate excuse for changing Edgar Allan Poe’s viewpoint. But that excuse will have to wait. We will provide one in our next blog after we have convinced ourselves we have made it persuasive enough for the literary purist to swallow (if that’s possible).
Poe Illustrated Delayed Again
But there is plenty of time for us to attempt that. We have delayed publication of Poe Illustrated at least until mid-May 2021. We have an excuse for that as well and will provide it in some future blog. In the meantime, please enjoy another illustration that will be included in that book – guaranteed!« Back