EdgarAllenPoe (2)“An infinity of error makes its way into our Philosophy, through Man’s habit of considering himself a citizen of a world solely—of an individual planet—instead of at least occasionally contemplating his position as a cosmopolite proper—as a denizen of the universe.” Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849)

The Morgan Library & Museum presents Edgar Allen Poe: Terror of the Soul through January 26, 2014.

According to Raymond Foy, French poet Charles Baudelaire (1821-67) saw Poe as “an alter-ego, a long-lost brother, a partner in crime, and a writer in whom he could confide his sacred fury.”

Baudelaire had this to say about Poe:

What a lamentable tragedy the life of Edgar Poe! His death, a horrible end magnified by the guttered circumstances surrounding it! All the documents I have read strengthen my conviction that, for Poe, the United States was nothing more than a vast prison through which he wandered with the feverish unrest of one who was born to breathe the air of a purer world—a great and barbarous gas-lit nightmare—and that his inner spiritual life, as a poet or even as a drunkard, was but a perpetual effort to flee the influence of this hostile milieu. A pitiless dictator is public opinion in a democratic society; do not implore from it charity, nor indulgence, nor any flexibility in the application of its laws to the multifarious complexities of moral life. One might as well say that from the impious love of liberty a new tyranny is born, the tyranny of beasts, a zoocracy, which, in its ferocious insensitivity resembles the idol of the Juggernaut.

Artwork: Ultima Thule Daguerreotype — Masury & Hartshorn