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American TerrorThe Feeling of Thinking in Edwards, Poe, and Melville$
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Paul Hurh

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780804791144

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804791144.001.0001

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The Air of Analysis

The Air of Analysis

Resolution and Composition in Poe’s Sublime and Confessional Tales

(p.119) 3 The Air of Analysis
American Terror

Paul hurh

Stanford University Press

The third chapter argues that the analytical method on display in Poe’s detective fiction is drawn from and influential in structuring the dynamics of terror in his confessional and sublime tales. My chapter returns to the poststructuralist readings of Poe’s detective fiction, and recovers in response Poe’s own definition of analysis as a bipartite system of resolution and composition. By ascertaining the shape of analysis responsible, ultimately, for the recursive and uncanny shape of the poststructuralist debate, my chapter shows the continuity between Poe’s seemingly calculated tales of reason’s mastery over nature and his seemingly irrational tales of madness and peril. The second part of the chapter finds and analyzes the same reciprocal dynamic of resolution and composition within his sublime and confessional tales.

Keywords:   Poe, detective fiction, sublime, poststructuralism, “The Man of the Crowd,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “A Descent into the Maelström,” “The Black Cat,” “The Imp of the Perverse,” “The Tell-Tale Heart”

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