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Transferential Poetics, from Poe to Warhol$
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Adam Frank

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823262465

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823262465.001.0001

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Expression and Theatricality, or Medium Poe

Expression and Theatricality, or Medium Poe

(p.47) 2 / Expression and Theatricality, or Medium Poe
Transferential Poetics, from Poe to Warhol

Adam Frank

Fordham University Press

This chapter reads the fragmented depiction of faces in several of Poe’s short stories in order to develop an account of expression that is not opposed to repression and that does not rely on idealized self-presence and interiority. It makes use of Silvan Tomkins's writing on the General Images of the affect system and the taboos on looking to describe the peculiar shamelessness of Poe’s writing. In a reading of “The Tell-Tale Heart” the chapter proposes the significance of the lifting of the taboos on looking in theatrical experience as one affective source for theater itself. It argues that Poe’s writing conveys the shamelessness of looking in theatrical experience and that this forms the basis of his writing’s appeal across cultural divides.

Keywords:   faces, repression, theater, Edgar Allan Poe, Silvan Tomkins

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