The Purloined Letter Criticism

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Poe's stories have not always been criticized for their literary merit alone. As Roger Asselineau notes in his entry on Poe for American Writers, "the most contradictory judgments have been passed on Edgar Allan Poe's character and works." Asselineau remarks that even Poe's chosen executor, the Reverend Rufus Griswold, "branded him a perverse neurotic, a drunkard and drug addict." On many occasions, this negative sentiment about Poe's vices tainted the author's literary reputation.

Of course, not everybody thought Poe's writing was degenerate. In 1845, the year "The Purloined Letter" was reprinted in Tales of Edgar A. Poe, reviewer George Colton noted of this story and the other tales of ratiocination that "the difference between acumen and cunning, calculation and analysis, are admirably illustrated in these tales." In fact, favorable response to "The Purloined Letter" was widespread. As Eric W. Carlson notes in his entry for the Dictionary of Literary...

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This section contains 444 words
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Buy The Purloined Letter Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
The Purloined Letter from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.