Description of the Book
Eureka is a strange, eruptive, delirious book: a cosmological treatise on the origin, expansion, and collapse of the material universe that takes the form at various points of a prose poem, a polemic, a scientific report, and a malicious joke.
That the “machinery of the universe” could be, as Poe memorably put it, guessed—disclosed “through mere dint of intuition”—was as dubious a suggestion for readers in 1848 as it would be for most physicists today.
But it’s also grounds for Poe’s inclusion in a deep, submerged strain of American visionary writing that also includes Emerson’s “Intellect” (1841) and Charles Sanders Peirce’s “A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God” (1908): essays set, like Poe’s, in open opposition to what Peirce called the attempts of most philosophers to “bar off one or another roadway to inquiry.”
In the distinctly American picture these writers developed, thought was both a route to nature—“our thinking,” Emerson wrote, “is a pious reception”—and a natural phenomenon itself. To track its free and erratic movements was to watch the universe at work.
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||Edgar Allan Poe
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||Edgar Allan Poe (71+ Years of Death – Public Domain!)
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