Scholar Joseph Nazare says that while “The Raven,” Edgar Allan Poe’s most widely known work, has become an indisputable part of pop culture — with references ranging from football team names to a “Simpsons” spoof — we may not have been interpreting it correctly all this time. On Thursday, December 8, at 7 p.m., Nazare will explore this issue in a lecture entitled “Psychopomp and Circumstance: Rereading ‘The Raven’” at New York University’s Furman Hall, 245 Sullivan Street, room 216. The event is free and open to the public; for further information call 212.998.2400.

Nazare will look closely at the poem, considering it against the backdrop of Poe’s own explanatory essay on “The Raven” and his Gothic tales. The titular raven, Nazare suggests, is not just some generic “bird of ill omen” but a psychopomp — a bird (according to mythological lore) that conducts human souls from the land of the living to the land of the dead. In re-reading “The Raven” we might recognize that the speaker is not simply a bereaved lover plagued by “mournful and never-ending remembrance.” He faces something else entirely.

Nazare, who received his Ph.D. in English from NYU, has taught at Montclair State University and at NYU. He has published articles in Studies in the Novel, Extrapolation, Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts, and Henry James Review.

This event is sponsored by the NYU Law School and the Office of Government and Community Relations.

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