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Quotes of the day: Edgar Allan Poe

Published Sunday, January 19, 2014 @ 2:44 AM EST
Jan 19 2014

Edgar Allan Poe (born Edgar Poe; January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849) was an American author, poet, editor, and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre, Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story, and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.

In January 1845 Poe published his poem, The Raven, to instant success. His wife died of tuberculosis two years after its publication. For years, he had been planning to produce his own journal, The Penn (later renamed The Stylus), though he died before it could be produced. On October 7, 1849, at age 40, Poe died in Baltimore; the cause of his death is unknown and has been variously attributed to alcohol, brain congestion, cholera, drugs, heart disease, rabies, suicide, tuberculosis, and other agents.

Poe and his works influenced literature in the United States and around the world, as well as in specialized fields, such as cosmology and cryptography. Poe and his work appear throughout popular culture in literature, music, films, and television. A number of his homes are dedicated museums today. The Mystery Writers of America present an annual award known as the Edgar Award for distinguished work in the mystery genre. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


All that we see or seem,
Is but a dream within a dream.

But as in ethics, evil is a consequence of good, so in fact, out of joy is sorrow born. Either the memory of past bliss is the anguish of today, or the agonies which are have their origin in the ecstasies which might have been.

Can it be fancied that Deity ever vindictively
Made in his image a mannikin merely to madden it?

Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities- that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.

Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.

I have great faith in fools- self-confidence my friends will call it.

I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him.

I was never really insane except upon occasions where my heart was touched.

If you wish to forget anything on the spot, make a note that this thing is to be remembered.

It is with literature as with law or empire- an established name is an estate in tenure, or a throne in possession.

It will be found, in fact, that the ingenious are always fanciful, and the truly imaginative never otherwise than analytic.

Literature is the most noble of professions. In fact, it is about the only one fit for a man.

Man is an animal that diddles, and there is no animal that diddles but man.

Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence– whether much that is glorious– whether all that is profound– does not spring from disease of thought– from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect.

Sleep, those little slices of death- how I loathe them.

Sound loves to revel in a summer night.

That man is not truly brave who is afraid either to seem or to be, when it suits him, a coward.

The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?

The customs of the world are so many conventional follies.

The most natural, and, consequently, the truest and most intense of the human affections are those which arise in the heart as if by electric sympathy.

The plots of God are perfect. The universe is a plot of God.

The realities of the world affected me as visions, and as visions only, while the wild ideas of the land of dreams became, in turn,- not the material of my every-day existence- but in very deed that existence utterly and solely in itself.

There are certain themes of which the interest is all-absorbing, but which are too entirely horrible for the purposes of legitimate fiction.

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night.

To observe attentively is to remember distinctly.

To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.

We should bear in mind that, in general, it is the object of our newspapers rather to create a sensation - to make a point - than to further the cause of truth.

Whether people grow fat by joking, or whether there is something in fat itself which predisposes to a joke, I have never been quite able to determine...

Years of love have been forgot
In the hatred of a minute.

Yes, Heaven is thine; but this
Is a world of sweets and sours;
Our flowers are merely- flowers.

Categories: Edgar Allan Poe, Quotes of the day


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