In many ways, the critical performances that Poe plays out before his readers in Hartmann's analysis remind one of the figure who emerges from N. Bryllion Fagin's The Histrionic Mr. Press, , 95—; see Hartmann, 62—65].
The Afterlife of Edgar Allan Poe
From my perspective, when Hartmann contends that Poe was shaping his prose by calculating in advance the probable effects on reception and future reprinting, he needs to consider alternative explanations for the textual features at issue. For instance, one finds little analysis here of the imaginative and generic imperatives to which the writing and reading and circulating of Poe's literary texts were subject.
Nor of the external events, private demons, and psychic needs, especially those outside of Poe's awareness or conscious control, that may also have shaped the author's writing for the marketplace. Putting the point less absolutely, this monograph highlights the need for systematic attention to the kind of rewards Poe sought from promoting the unreimbursed reprinting of his writing, transatlantic or otherwise, in an era with virtually no copyright protection for such reprints.
Hartmann seems to assume that frequent reprints in this era generated recognition and demand—and thereby improved monetary returns for an author's future publications even if subsequent reprints went unremunerated.
Indeed, if Poe were master of such strategies, why did so few of his published writings match the reprint success of these two works? Or with his readiness to quit, be fired, or drink himself out of various editing and reviewing jobs when he desperately needed what little economic security they provided—indeed, why in Hartmann's terms would Poe give up any position that gave him direct influence over the reprinting of his work, if only by doing it himself or urging others to do so? McGill sees this paradigm epitomized in Michael Gilmore's American Romanticism and the Marketplace , which treats such changes in the marketplace as threats to which authors like Hawthorne and Melville and Thoreau respond with mixtures of alienation and accommodation [see McGill, 10—16].
To follow these lines of inquiry would, of course, require a longer, more fully elaborated monograph, and obviously the additional time and support necessary to develop such a hypothetical version of The Marketing of Edgar Allan Poe. Hartmann again directs our attention to Poe behaviors that we find repeatedly documented in the Letters and the Poe Log , calling to mind, if not quoting, a comment by Rufus W.
Griswold New York: J. Press, ].
- The Marketing of Edgar Allan Poe (Studies in American Popular History and Culture) | ZODML.
- Puerto Rico (Modern World Nations).
- I. Introduction;
In that remarkable study, Jackson offers formulations for the reward structure in antebellum literary publishing vital to any future extension of Hartmann's project. Jackson demonstrates how these various methods of reward overlapped in the antebellum era and persisted even as they were gradually replaced by national, monetarily organized publication and payment systems in the years following Poe's death [48—52 ff.
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