Museum News

Lecture will Reveal an Unknown Poe

On December 3, 2011 at 1:00 P.M. at the Parish Hall at St. John’s Church, the Poe Museum will present a lecture by distinguished Poe scholar Richard Kopley on his thirty years of focused research into the hidden meanings of Edgar Allan Poe’s works. Kopley’s forty-five minute talk, “My Adventures with Poe,” will change the way you see Poe and his best-known stories and poems. Kopley’s original perspectives on Poe’s timeless works will provide fresh insights into Poe’s inspirations and creative process.

Richard Kopley is Associate Professor of English at Penn State DuBois and Head of the Division of English for Penn State’s Commonwealth College. He is the author of a forthcoming volume on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter, as well as of numerous scholarly articles on Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. He is the editor of Poe’s Pym: Critical Explorations (Duke UP, 1992), Prospects for the Study of American Literature (New York UP, 1997), and the Penguin edition of Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (1999). He is also co-editor of the journal Resources for American Literary Study, past president of the Poe Studies Association, and a trustee of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum.

Kopley’s scrutiny of Poe’s works and comprehensive understanding of Poe’s life has allowed him to see Poe in new ways. One of Kopley’s theories is that Poe’s detective stories could have been a response to an unsolved mystery in his own life. According to Kopley, “Poe’s biological father abandoned the family 12 months before his sister, Rosalie, was born, and that was a very big deal at the time. I’m inferring that Poe created the detective story and the character of Dupin [hero of Poe’s stories “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Purloined Letter,” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget”] to solve mysteries in place of the mystery he can’t solve: who is Rosalie’s father?”

The lecture is free to the public, and copies of Kopley’s limited edition booklet The Very Profound Under-Current in Arthur Gordon Pym will be available for signing and purchase.