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ABSTRACT. Without a shadow of a doubt Edgar Allan Poe is much more than the skilled craftsman of grotesque tales and romantic fantasies. His gothic, ratiocinative and cryptic works clearly do not fit into the mythic models on which classic American literature was based but it is precisely Poe’s syncopated connection to American culture that gives his creation the power of improving the American tradition, setting the bases to American skepticism through the first-person narrations that question the suppositions of analytical philosophy. The original literary method of replacing disorder with logic and of rationalizing the impossible set by the “father of the macabre,” as well as the reciprocal aesthetic influence that constituted his Frenchness have been the subject of literary investigation for a long time. The present paper analyses Poe’s literary formation in the context of the struggle between explicit and implicit aesthetics starting with the English influence of the Lake School Poets and continuing with the German philosophy and aesthetic and the French influence. Finally, Poe’s contoured aesthetic theory (the unity of effect, the nature of poetic language, musicality of poetry, etc.) is being analyzed in the context of American culture. pp. 60-75

Keywords: unity, design, poetic beauty

Mihaela Prioteasa
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University of Craiova, Romania
Felicia Burdescu
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University of Craiova, Romania

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