Monday, July 9, 2012

Yes! I understand what you mean!!! ...Too bad you're crazy.

I have embarked upon the task of reading a compilation of Edgar Allan Poe's writings. Never have I been exposed to such gothic, dare I say morbid literature. In this zombie apocalypse/ vampire age era, I suppose it would not be shocking to the average person. I do think it's cool that Poe's writing is a precursor to the artistic impressions we are seeing today. It is quite clear that much of his artistry was derived from either lunacy or drug fueled thoughts free of common inhibitions. That being said, his meticulous righting style still falls together perfectly and is very well thought out.

Here's the thing that kind of shocks me about his writing. I get it! It surprises me and quite frankly concerns me. However, I am looking at the map, and Mr. Poe and I are defiantly standing on the same red dot. Now this revelation leads me to one of two conclusions. Either this Psych degree I obtained, and the years of study on mental dysfunction simply make this man's portrayals relatable. Or I am on some level stark raving mad. (I hope and pray it's the former not the latter!)

I am no literary scholar, so I won't sit and attempt to break down and critique his body of work. I am quite sure there are courses of study that examine his writings in collegiate institutions. I just wanted to pass along my personal impressions. I'll leave with you a passage from the story Ligeia. This is a love story if ever I have read one. I so completely could relate to this description of his adoration. It left me sitting and thinking and re-reading this particular portion many times over. I wonder if it will resonate with you the way it did with me. Enjoy...

There is no point, among the many incomprehensible anomalies of the science of mind, more thrillingly exciting than the fact --never, I believe, noticed in the schools --that, in our endeavors to recall to memory something long forgotten, we often find ourselves upon the very verge of remembrance, without being able, in the end, to remember. And thus how frequently, in my intense scrutiny of Ligeia's eyes, have I felt approaching the full knowledge of their expression --felt it approaching --yet not quite be mine --and so at length entirely depart! And (strange, oh strangest mystery of all!) I found, in the commonest objects of the universe, a circle of analogies to theat expression. I mean to say that, subsequently to the period when Ligeia's beauty passed into my spirit, there dwelling as in a shrine, I derived, from many existences in the material world, a sentiment such as I felt always aroused within me by her large and luminous orbs. Yet not the more could I define that sentiment, or analyze, or even steadily view it. I recognized it, let me repeat, sometimes in the survey of a rapidly-growing vine --in the contemplation of a moth, a butterfly, a chrysalis, a stream of running water. I have felt it in the ocean; in the falling of a meteor. I have felt it in the glances of unusually aged people. And there are one or two stars in heaven --(one especially, a star of the sixth magnitude, double and changeable, to be found near the large star in Lyra) in a telescopic scrutiny of which I have been made aware of the feeling. I have been filled with it by certain sounds from stringed instruments, and not unfrequently by passages from books. Among innumerable other instances, I well remember something in a volume of Joseph Glanvill, which (perhaps merely from its quaintness --who shall say?) never failed to inspire me with the sentiment; --"And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness. Man doth not yield him to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will." 

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