Text: G. Richard Thompson, “Current Poe Studies,” Poe Newsletter­, April 1968, vol. I, No. 1, p. 4


[page 4, column 1:]

Current Poe Studies

The primary purpose of this column is to keep students of Poe and his times informed on work in progress or contemplated. It is our hope that duplicated efforts brought to general attention will result in cumulative and cooperative collaboration. We desire to list here new books, research in progress (including M.A. theses), symposiums on Romanticism, fugitive Poe references, queries, and general Poeana. We earnestly request students of Poe to send all odds and ends of such information to the Editor of the Poe Newsletter, who will attempt to present it in some orderly fashion.

Particularly important to any further study of Poe are matters of the bibliography. The four bibliographical projects described immediately following represent a loosely collaborative effort on the part of Poe scholars to organize and keep track of the volume of writing on Poe; the individual addresses of the bibliographers and reviewers are given below, but any offprints or information sent directly to the Poe Newsletter will be reproduced and sent to the bibliographers concerned.

Annual Poe Bibliographies

Richard P. Benton (Trinity College), with the gracious consent of Kenneth W. Cameron, Editor of the Emerson Society Quarterly, will move his Poe bibliography to the Poe Newsletter. This bibliography will appear annually in our fall issue, with annotations. Notices or offprints of publications on or relevant to Poe will, of course, be most helpful. Address Professor Benton in care of the English Department, Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. 06106. Review of European Scholarship on Poe. Claude Richard (Université de Montpellier) will initiate in the fall Poe Newsletter a running column devoted to European scholarship on, and the European literary context for, Poe and Dark Romanticism. This will be a bibliographical review-essay complementing Benton’s annotated current bibliography. M. Richard requests European scholars to send offprints or notices of their articles to him in care of the Centre d ’Etudes Anglaises et Nord Américaines, Faculté des Lettres, Université de Montpellier, 34 — Montpellier, France.

Bibliography of Poe Criticism 1827-1967

J. Lasley Dameron (Memphis State University) and I. B. Cauthen, Jr. (University of Virginia) are currently working on a complete bibliography of Poe criticism, a project now underwritten by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Professor Dameron invites all manner of help in collecting entries not generally listed in standard bibliographies. Address him in care of the English Department, Memphis State University, Memphis, Tenn. 38111. Dameron has recently published Edgar Allan Poe: A Checklist of Criticism 1942-1960 (Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1966). This Checklist represents a preliminary step in the compilation of the complete bibliography and extends Cauthen’s “A Descriptive Bibliography of Criticism of Edgar Allan Poe, 1827-1941” (Unpub. Master’s Thesis, University of Virginia, 1942). The Checklist contains 123 pages of annotated bibliographical entries (including 28 pages of foreign entries) and a highly useful 17-page coded index. The Checklist was published in an issue of 500 copies, of which approximately 200 are available from the Bibliographical Society, c/o Alderman Library, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va. 22901.

Descriptive Bibliography of Poe Dissertations and Theses

In response to J. Albert Robbins ’ challenge to Poe scholars to create the basic research tools, the Poe Newsletter is undertaking an annotated bibliography of Ph.D. dissertations and Master’s theses devoted to or relevant to Poe. Tentatively, the annotations will include both an abstract and a brief critique; for works not already abstracted in DA, one will be provided. Those interested in serving on the editorial staff, and those wishing to provide a reference to a thesis or dissertation should write to G. R. Thompson, Editor, Poe Newsletter. In addition, notices of Master’s [column 2:] and Doctor’s theses in progress would be appreciated for this news column; work in progress associated with the attainment of a degree will be listed in each fall issue of the newsletter.

The Harvard Poe

Thomas Ollive Mabbott (St. John’s University) has offered the following report on the state of the Complete Poe:

“The Editor of the Poe Newsletter has asked me to send a report on the state of the Complete Works of Poe I am editing for Harvard Press. It is a long way from completion even now, but I am reading proof on the first volume — the Poems — at present. The Prose Fiction is almost ready for the printer. Poe text copy — almost all Xerox pasted up — for the stories is complete. The verbal variants of other authorized texts have been gathered, introductions and commentaries written and typed for almost everything. Final verification of references — by no means a simple matter — is our next task.

“The critical and miscellaneous prose texts are about three-fourths pasted up. Identification of unsigned articles in periodicals Poe edited took time, but far more evidence is available than Harrison had in 1902, and the number of doubtful items is small, surprisingly so to me, I confess. We have about twenty-five percent more material than Harrison. It is not claimed that we can identify every item in the New York Evening Mirror, where Poe was one of four staff members who could use the editorial ‘We, ’ nor in the Broadway Journal where he was one of three. But perhaps we have all we should wish for. Both sides of Poe’s Correspondence are to be printed so far as texts are now available. Great emphasis is laid throughout the edition on the explanatory notes.”

New Index to the Harrison Poe

Until the Harvard Poe is published, the Harrison edition of 1902 is being kept in print by AMS Press. Burton R. Pollin (Bronx Community College, City University of New York) has compiled a Dictionary of Names and Titles in Poe’s Collected Works, to be published mid-June by Da Capo Press. It will supplant the Harrison Index itself, which never made any claim to being highly accurate or complete, and will run to nearly 250 pages, as opposed to Harrison’s 40 pages. In its accuracy and completeness, this new index promises to be the most useful research tool in Poe studies in twenty years and will doubtless be the basis for any future Index to a new edition of Poe.

New Poe Studies in Progress

James W. Lee writes that a pamphlet on Poe by Robert Jacobs is scheduled for publication in the Southern Writers Series late this year or early in 1969. The Minnesota American Writers pamphlet on Poe is being written by Roger Asselineau, publication date uncertain. R. H. W. Dillard (Hollins College) and W. R. Robinson (University of Florida) are writing a book on the “Poe tradition” in the Southern short-story for Louisiana State University Press, publication date uncertain.

Just Published

Rutgers University Press published in February Poe the Detective: the Curious Circumstances Behind the Mystery of Marie Roget, by John Walsh, with a foreword by Thomas Ollive Mabbott. Mr. Walsh has investigated the actual circumstances of the murder of Mary Rogers, combing the newspapers of the time thoroughly; he makes observations not only on Poe’s detective work but also on his methods of composition. Scheduled for review in a later issue of the Poe Newsletter (as are other recent publications on or relevant to Poe).


“I would appreciate information on any extant copies of the Spirit of the Times (a Philadelphia newspaper that commenced in 1838) for the years 1839-1844 — other than those listed in Winifred Gregory, American Newspapers, 1821-1936, A Union List. Apparently Poe had some connection with this paper and I would very much like to see unrecorded copies.” — J. A. Robbins, English Department, Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. 47401.

G. R. T.


Associated Article(s) and Related Material:

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[S:1 - PSDR, 1968]