By James Werner
Investigates the connections among Poe and the nineteenth-century flaneur - or jogging city observer - and the centrality of the flaneur to Poe's literary goals and intimate but ambivalent dating along with his surrounding tradition.
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Extra resources for American Flaneur: The Cosmic Physiognomy of Edgar Allan Poe (Studies in Major Literaryauthors, 33)
Can’t be too brief. Can’t be too snappish. Always a full stop. And never a paragraph” (282). In the “tone elevated, diffusive, and interjectional,” [t]he words must be all in a whirl, like a humming-top, and make a noise very similar, which answers remarkably well instead of meaning. This is the best of all possible styles where the writer is in too great a hurry to think” (282). The “tone metaphysical” relies on big words and footnotes referencing Kant so as to “look erudite and…frank”; the “tone transcendental” utilizes small words, written upside down, and innuendo—“Hint every thing—assert nothing” (283).
162–3) As is evident from the quote above, Poe devoted considerable attention to the physical product itself, particularly with regard to appropriate illustrations. Thomas in 1843, “We shall make the most magnificent Magazine as regards externals, ever seen. The finest paper, bold type, in single column, and superb wood-engravings (in the manner of the French illustrated edition of ‘Gil Blas’ by Gigoux, or ‘Robinson Crusoe’ by Grandville” (224). ’ … Instead of the ‘fulllength portraits’ promised in the Prospectus…we shall have medallions, about 3 inches in diameter” (232).
The more positive implications usually have reference to ideals of utility: the commodity is designed and packaged to emphasize its ease of consumption. It is made readily available through wide distribution at an affordable price. Above all, the commodity must “speak for itself” in its packaging; it must represent itself to its best advantage by displaying its desirable attributes effectively. The commodity must be an advertisement for itself and facilitate its own sale, with an explicit and persuasive presentation of its convenience, versatility and effectiveness.