Text: Anonymous, “[Comment of Poe’s Literati of New York City], Daily Picayune (New Orleans, LA), vol. X, no. 146, July 15, 1846, p. 2, col. 4


[page 2, column 4, continued:]

☞ Mr. Edgar A. Poe has recently been writing for one of the Philadelphia magazines a series of papers upon the New York literati. They are off-hand sketches, and the critical opinions expressed in them appear to be sincere, and in this respect, so far as we know, they are fair enough. But these sketches have involved their author in a series of personal differences of the most rancorous description. He has been assailed in terms of unmeasured severity, and not content with efforts to impugn his critical judgments and to ridicule his literary pretensions, his enemies have assailed his personal character, and dragged his private affairs before the eyes of the public. So long as literary men confine their controversies to subjects of general interest, the public may laugh at their exhibitions of idle rage; but with their private, personal differences the public has nothing to do. We have seen with extreme regret that the controversy aroused by Mr. Poe’s stricture, has degenerated into a personal persecution of him. With this no right-minded man can sympathize. There are modes of redress for such wrongs, real or imaginary, as he may have committed besides an indiscriminate onslaught upon his character as a man. The public ought not and does not care to hear what may be the personal failings of those known to it but as authors.

It is moreover quite idle to attempt to depreciate the position which Mr. Poe has attained as an author. He has been one of the most successful contributors to our literary periodicals, and his tales have been extensively copied both here and in England. They are not only copied, but are read and remembered by thousands. They are written with such power, that you cannot forget them if you would. We might cite several of his stories, wrought with an art so consummate, that it costs you an effort of mind to feel that they are fictions, nor can you wholly divest yourself of the idea that they may be or must be truthful narrations. Yet more idle does it appear to us to ridicule the poetry of Mr. Poe. That production of his which critics and his personal enemies have most frequently endeavored to deride is “The Raven,” but the oft repeated efforts have been entirely harmless. The poem is written with extraordinary power, and it is impossible to read it unmoved. This single poem is a complete vindication of his possession of genius of the most sterling quality, and it were to be wished that it might be devoted to themes more worthy of its strength than ephemeral papers for the fashionable magazines.




The editors of the Daily Picayune in 1846 were Francis Asbury Lumsden (1808-1860), George Wilkins Kendall (1809-1867), Colonel Alva Morris Holbrook (1808-1876) and Alexander Clark Bullitt (1807-1868). Any of them might have penned the present article.



[S:0 - DP, 1846] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Bookshelf - Edgar A. Poe (Anonymous, 1846)