History as a Battle for the Mind: Edgar Poe as a Cultural Warrior
On Edgar Allan Poe's 211th Birthday
In this New Lyre Podcast, David Gosselin (founder of the Chained Muse) and Matthew Ehret discuss the real story of Edgar Allan Poe as a cultural warrior who stood on the frontlines as defender of the greatest humanist traditions upon which the young republic’s survival was based during the tumultuous 1820s-1840s. While few people either in Poe’s own lifetime or in the 160 years since his mysterious death have truly understood his role in world affairs- due largely to a concerted effort to slander his memory- Poe’s insight into the nature and purpose of mind, natural law and the creator remain beautifully showcased in his many works and especially in his last great prose essay titled ‘Eureka: An Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe’.
While he is most known as a “master of the macabre” due to the dark and disturbing topics that emerge in many of his works, the fact is that Poe is operating on a higher level of artistic composition than most realize by investigating the outcome of souls that are in disequilibrium and in opposition with themselves resulting in perverse, self-destructive decisions and outcomes.
The fact that Poe considered Eureka the most important work of his life (to be seconded only by his goal of creating a new political-history-art-literary magazine guided by Eureka as it’s manifesto) should not be overlooked. This essay’s contents not only take aim at the two false modes of thinking promoted by the oligarchy of deductive vs inductive logic that cripples the mind from making discoveries of either the external or internal universe, but Poe also targets the political-economic extensions of this modality of thinking in the form of British intelligence controllers Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill whom he attacks by name.
Enjoy the discussion below and don’t take the words of the speakers as truth without diving into a joyful study of Poe’s stories, poems and non-fiction starting with Eureka available free for download here.
The article written by Matthew Ehret discussed in this video can be found here: