Edgar Allan Poe Quotes

As a viewed myself in a fragment of looking-glass..., I was so impressed with a sense of vague awe at my appearance ... that I was seized with a violent tremour.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Pym, the narrator, in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, ch. 8, Harper and Brothers (1838). Unnerving encounters with an alienating self.
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He made no resistance whatever, and was stabbed in the back.... I must not dwell upon the fearful repast.... Words have no power to impress the mind with the exquisite horror of their reality.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Pym, the narrator, in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, ch. 8, Harper and Brothers (1838). The aesthetic of horror.
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For the bright side of the painting I had a limited sympathy. My visions were of shipwreck and famine; of death or captivity among barbarian hordes; of a lifetime dragged out in sorrow and tears, upon some gray and desolate rock, in an ocean unapproachable and unknown.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Pym, the narrator, in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, ch. 2, Harper and Brothers (1838). Youthful fantasies of wild and extreme adventures.
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I have no faith in human perfectability. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active—not more happy—nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845), U.S. poet, critic, short-story writer. Letter, July 2, 1844, to poet and critic James Russell Lowell. quoted in Julian Symons, The Tell-Tale Heart: The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe, pt. 1, ch. 11 (1978).
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Man's real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1845), U.S. poet, critic, short-story writer. repr. In The Centenary Poe, ed. Montagu Slater (1949). "Re-Living the Old Life," Marginalia (1844-1849).
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Barnaby, the idiot, is the murderer's own son.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Review of Charles Dickens' Barnaby Rudge, Saturday Evening Post (1841). Solving the whodunit.
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The unity of effect or impression is a point of the greatest importance. It is clear, moreover, that this unity cannot be thoroughly preserved in productions whose perusal cannot be completed at one sitting.
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), U.S. author. Review of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Twice-Told Tales, Graham's Magazine (1842). Poe's famous dictum on literary composition.
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