Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

There is ... a class of fancies, of exquisite delicacy, which are not thoughts, and to which, as yet, I have found it absolutely impossible to adapt language.... Now, so entire is my faith in the power of words, that at times, I have believed it possible to embody even the evanescence of fancies such as I have attempted to describe.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Marginalia 150," Graham's American Monthly Magazine of Literature and Art (1846). Entranced by the "ineffable."
To revolutionize, at one effort, the universal world of human thought, human opinion, and human sentiment.... All that he has to do is to write and publish a very little book. Its title should be simple—a few plain words—"My Heart Laid Bare." But—this little book must be true to its title.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Marginalia 194," Graham's American Monthly Magazine of Literature and Art (1848). Expressing the torment of repression.
What can be more soothing, at once to a man's Pride, and to his Conscience, than the conviction that, in taking vengeance on his enemies for injustice done him, he has simply to do them justice in return?
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Marginalia 252," Southern Literary Messenger (1849). Pride eclipsing reason in the attempt to justify revenge.
To see distinctly the machinery—the wheels and pinions—of any work of Art is, unquestionably, of itself, a pleasure, but one which we are able to enjoy only just in proportion as we do not enjoy the legitimate effect designed by the artist.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Marginalia 266," Southern Literary Messenger (1849). reason vs. Passion.
In the tale proper—where there is no space for development of character or for great profusion and variety of incident—mere construction is, of course, far more imperatively demanded than in the novel.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Marginalia 273," Southern Literary Messenger (1849). Stressing form over psychological realism.
It is the curse of a certain order of mind, that it can never rest satisfied with the consciousness of its ability to do a thing. Still less is it content with doing it. It must both know and show how it was done.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Marginalia 70," United States Magazine, and Democratic Review (1844). Driven by the need to explain the "modus operandi" of every activity.
The usual derivation of the word Metaphysics is not to be sustained ... the science is supposed to take its name from its superiority to physics. The truth is, that Aristotle's treatise on Morals is next in succession to his Book of Physics.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Pinakidia 157," Southern Literary Messenger (1836). Betraying ambivalence to transcendentalism.
Tell a scoundrel, three or four times a day, that he is the pink of probity, and you make him at least the perfection of "respectability" in good earnest. On the other hand, accuse an honorable man, too petinaciously, of being a villain, and you fill him with a perverse ambition to show you that you are not altogether in the wrong.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. "Pinakidia 233," Southern Literary Messenger (1849). The self shaped by the world.
What I here propound is true: ... if by any means it be now trodden down so that it die, it will "rise again to ... Life Everlasting."
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Preface, Eureka, George P. Putnam (1848). Poet as martyred prophet.
If in many of my productions terror has been the thesis, I maintain that terror is not of Germany, but of the soul.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Preface to the Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840). Poe's most passionate and credible defense of his short stories' authenticity and originality.