The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 460
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Since he damns most of Poe's poetry and criticism, and insists
that his claim to fame rests only on a handful of great tales, the
reader perhaps has the right to expect him to be thorough, for
once, in his criticism of them. The reader is not entirely disap-
pointed here, for Lindsay writes critical comments-some of them
fairly extensive-on The Black Cat, William Wilson, Metzenger-
stein, A MS. Found in a Bottle, Berenice, Ligeia, The Fall of
the House of Usher, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, The
Tell-Tale Heart, The Gold Bug, the three detective stories, The
Man of the Crowd, A Descent into the Maelstr6m, and a few
others. He considers Ligeia to be Poe's finest tale, and among the
best he ranks Morella (the earlier form of Ligeia), The Fall of
the House of Usher, the three detective stories, and The Man
of the Crowd.
Undoubtedly his criticism of the tales is the best part of his
book, but even here his work is often marred by his obsession
with a search for psychological overtones and meanings, confes-
sions of Poe's feelings of guilt, and symbols of Poe's suppressed
or subconscious emotions-of insecurity, fear, frustration, lust,
sadism, incest, betrayal-most of which is entirely unconvincing.
He refers once or twice to the Gothic tales of horror and crime
which were so popular in Poe's time and earlier, but he cannot
conceive of the possibility that Poe might have been trying to
satisfy the demands of readers for such stories or that an artist
might be capable of imagining plots and situations foreign to his
personal experience. He insists that such stories are autobiograph-
ical and intensely personal.
Perhaps the book will stimulate a good many replies and thus
prove to be of considerable value after all.
D. M. McKEITHAN
The University of Texas
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/529/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.