Edgar Allan Poe

“The Raven” read by Christopher Walken

On this date in 1848  Edgar Allan Poe was found delirious in a gutter in Baltimore, Maryland under mysterious circumstances; it was the last time he was seen in public before his death.

Frye in “The Survival of Eros in Poetry”:

Occasionally one discovers a writer who is not satisfied to inhabit his world unconsciously, or by instinct, or whatever the right term is.  Thus Poe’s Eureka is an essay on speculative cosmology which sounds as though it were using scientific or philosophical language, but which Poe himself says at the beginning he wishes to be considered as a poetic product.  Paul Valery’s note on Eureka remarks that cosmology is primarily a literary art: it is based, not on scientific or philosophical ideas of its time, but on metaphorical  analogies to them that appeal to poets.  The purpose of such cosmologies is to give us some notion of the kind of context within which literature is operating, the imaginative counterpart of the worlds explored by intellect and sensation.  Since then a good many such speculative cosmologies have emerged, some disguised as historical or scientific treatises, and eventually, one hopes, we shall have a clearer notion of what kind of world our creative writers are living in. (CW 18, 266)

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