To Quote a Master: Edgar Allan Poe

No One

Orange Aide ;)
Dec 17, 2009
Firstly - an assurance to the mods that I'm not turning into a thread-starting fiend. I dislike starting threads because every time I do I hear the servers groan (I have no idea how that even works but it's what I imagine :D).

Secondly, I've struggled to think of a thread for Poe that would be non-specific enough to keep going for a while, but I think this is a good solution - we all know that Poe's work is rife with diamonds of text, short and long and I'd love to see a compilation of people's (correction, chronners) favourite quotes.

I'd like nothing more than to rattle off a few dozen right now, but obviously that wouldn't be in the best interests of the thread. So just the one:

"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."
There's so many - but A Descent into the Maelstrom was fabulously descriptive.
I became aware of a loud and gradually increasing sound, like the moaning of a vast herd of buffaloes upon an American prairie; and at the same moment I perceived that what seamen term the chopping character of the ocean beneath us, was rapidly changing into a current which set to the eastward. Even while I gazed, this current acquired a monstrous velocity. Each moment added to its speed --to its headlong impetuosity. In five minutes the whole sea, as far as Vurrgh, was lashed into ungovernable fury; but it was between Moskoe and the coast that the main uproar held its sway. Here the vast bed of the waters, seamed and scarred into a thousand conflicting channels, burst suddenly into phrensied convulsion --heaving, boiling, hissing--gyrating in gigantic and innumerable vortices, and all whirling and plunging on to the eastward with a rapidity which water never elsewhere assumes
except in precipitous descents.

And THEN the maelstrom forms and it really gets going.
Couldn't agree more J-Riff - I was looking at a few passages from A Descent into the Maelstrom, including the one you've quoted (as well as the rest of the page!).

Another of my favourite snippets from the same:

"The rays of the moon seemed to search the very bottom of the profound gulf; but still I could make out nothing distinctly on account of a thick mist in which every thing there was enveloped, and over which there hung a magnificent rainbow, like that narrow and tottering bridge which the Mussulmen say is the only pathway between Time and Eternity. This mist, or spray, was no doubt occasioned by the clashing of the great walls of the funnel, as they all met together at the bottom - but the yell that went up to the Heavens from out of that mist I dare not attempt to describe."

I can't possibly remember where I read it, but someone wrote that despite the incredible vision of the maelstrom that Poe presents us it's a shame that he never had the chance to see a tornado, the likes of which seasonally strike middle-America. It would've been something special to read of Poe's own account of something like that.
"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream by night." Edgar Allan Poe: "Eleonora"

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