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2015 | 36 | 199 - 214
Article title

The man that wasn’t used up

Authors
Selected contents from this journal
Title variants
PL
CZŁOWIEK, KTÓRY SIĘ NIE ZUŻYŁ
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
Brevet Brigadier General John A.B.C. Smith, the cyborg hero of Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Man Who Was Used Up,” offers an apt figure for Poe himself as he and his fiction have been used (but never used up) by adapters. Like his eponymous hero, the biographical figure of Poe turns out to be constructed for particular ends rather than simply observed; as the myth Gen. Smith provides a stellar example of the power of military mythmaking, Poe has been pressed into service to illustrate a series of Romantic myths about authors and authorship; and both figures make more powerful impressions in their constructed avatars — in Poe’s case, in what has been called the Poe discourse — than in avowedly biographical accounts. This essay considers some of the many uses to which adaptations have put Poe the storyteller, Poe the poet, Poe the detective, Poe the doomed lover, and Poe the suffering author, while consistently blurring the lines between the biographical Poe and the stories and poems he created and ultimately ascribing to the adaptations themselves the exclusive power to embody and complete the fictional worlds he adumbrated. It concludes by asking what distinguishes the few authors like Shakespeare, Austen, and Poe from the many oft-adapted authors who have never become mythic figures.
Keywords
Year
Volume
36
Pages
199 - 214
Physical description
Contributors
author
  • University of Delaware
References
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.desklight-a3b42d32-6190-4512-90c3-dee50fa9c1db
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