E A Poe’s Attitude Towards Sensationalism in How to Write a Blackwood Article
The image of Edger Allen Poe in the minds of readers is of the murderer and a mad man, and his work has been printed since 1827. His literary work includes “Short tale stories, poems, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of book reviews and essays” (Hogle 25). Edgar Allan Poe’s sensational literature is filled by his thoughts of sensationalism in his short stories of contemporary literature. Sensationalizing a character or figure by exaggerating its appearances and performances to make up stories for gaining public attention is sensationalism. Its basic aim is to attain readership and cover headlines of magazines and newspapers by following the lifestyles of celebrities and public figures (Law 3-5). The concept of sensationalism begins in the stories at the start of the 18th century when editors of the magazine started to publish stories related to sensational characters. In these stories, the authors wanted to shock readers by sensation and disbelief and the purpose of sensationalism was to make the readers feel horrified, feared, sexually excited and creating suspense for them. Poe’s literary work on sensationalism was a reflection of his feared, mentally tortured and unstable thoughts that resulted in masterpieces of sensational stories and tales that were hot cake for publishers. These sensations gained popularity amongst the readers, because big cities started to emerge at that time, and industrialization was emerging very rapidly. People, especially women, wanted to escape from the everyday routine, therefore, these sensational stories provided relief for them (Law 3-5). At the beginning of the story “How to Write a Blackwood Article,” character Signora Zenobia is sensationalized and described by the writer Edger Allen Poe in a different style of thoughts and ideas in his fictional world. The character of Psyche Zenobia is a reflection of Poe’s negative side of his mind and pessimistic thoughts. At the beginning of the story, Zenobia introduces herself as a Suky snob, and she specifically pointed out her enemies who called her a snob, which is the most conscious character and known as Suky which is a rude version in minds of her enemies (Hayes, The Cambridge Companion, 96). “My dear madam,” said he, evidently struck with my majestic appearance, for I had on the crimson satin, with the greenagraffas, and orange-coloredauriculas. “Mydearmadam,” said he, “sit down. The matter stands thus: In the first place, your writer of intensities must have very black ink, and a very big pen, with a very blunt nib. And, mark me, Miss Psyche Zenobia!” he continued, after a pause, with the most impressive energy and solemnity of manner, “mark me! —that pen—must—never be mended!Herein, madam lies the secret, the soul, of intensity (Poe 233). The writer sensationalizes Zenobia’s character by adapting the interesting terms that create a sensation to his narrative story. Whereas factual perspective of her name Psyche means “Butterfly,” which she refers to a dress that was a multi color satin, with an Arabian mantle over it.