Friday, July 28, 2006

Interview with Matthew Pearl

Levi Asher interviews Matthew Pearl, author of

ASHER: You hint at a rivalry between Poe and, if I remember correctly, Longfellow. Can you shed some light about this? Since you portray both very favorably, I wonder where you stand on the matter yourself (whatever exactly the matter is, or was).

PEARL: Poe accused Longfellow of plagiarism. It became something of a sensation in the literary world because of the fight that followed. This was more or less a publicity stunt, though it got such negative publicity it backfired on Poe, as with most business decisions. Longfellow stayed out of it, for the most part, but his friends fought back against Poe. The fight was a stand-in for many other things, including Boston's rivalry with New York.

Another point of interest: was Poe as self-destructive as his legend suggests?

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