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November 11, 1950

The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe: A Psycho-Analytic Interpretation

JAMA. 1950;144(11):970-971. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920110082048

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This huge volume presents a detailed analysis of Poe's life, his vagarles, his passions and his complexes. Its author is a talented thorough-going and consistent psychoanalyst of the Freudian School. His poems and tales are here placed on the analyst's couch and are searched for the unconscious drives of his much troubled psyche. The result of this postmortem analysis is rather disastrous to the man, Edgar Allan Poe, but not in the least to his reputation as one of our great poets and story tellers. The poems and the tales represent, in the opinion of the analyst, the unconscious sublimation of the various complexes and inhibitions which served in the end to dim his genius and darken his life. "A psychopath, a cyclothymic dipsomaniac, sado-necrophilist" Poe undoubtedly was. But what will challenge the reader's critical sense is the interpretive analytic technic of the author.

Most readers are acquainted with that

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