So terribly altered, in so brief a period ": the discourse of ageing in Edgar Allan Poe
Miquel Baldellou, Marta
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Case of M. Valdemar.” Poe’s concern with his own process of ageing as an individual sheds light on the discourse of ageing in nineteenth-century America, highlighting the contradictory conceptualisations held in relation to the elderly as indicative of the Puritan beliefs that praised the aged for being
closer to God, as well as the Transcendentalist cult of youth that began to originate at the time. Moreover, envisioning ageing as a main focus of attention in Poe’s tales also paves the ground for reinterpreting Poe’s classic and canonical texts from a new perspective, exploring Poe’s concern about his own process of ageing through the analysis of the letters, daguerreotypes, personal papers, and especially, tales pertaining to the last years of his life.