Conservation of Delight : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

In the poem "Eureka," Poe parenthetically wrote: "...the absolute amount of happiness remaining always the same...." By this he meant that any increase in happiness must be counter-balanced by an equal decrease in happiness, and vice versa.

In your everyday life, do you experience such a balance?

-- Anonymous, September 30, 2004


omg this is soooo cool, poe ate a burger.. isnt tat sooooo cool.. omg

-- Anonymous, October 05, 2004

Dear omg,

If you have any understanding of my post, are you able to rephrase it?

-- Anonymous, October 06, 2004

Peter, did he mean karma? I guess in life, it could mean that you can never be too happy because if you were, then you'd be too sad, and that would negate everything back to balance, right?

Anyway, why do you know so much about Poe?

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2004

Poe probably did not believe in karmic reincarnation.

Another poet, the Iraqi Anwari Soheili, had similar thoughts:

"If you have lost possession of a world, Be not distressed, for it is nothing; And have you gained possession of a world, Be not overjoyed, for it is nothing. Our pains, our gains all pass away; Get beyond the world, for it is nothing.

Many others thought similarly, including Greek Stoics and Hindu Samanas.

My knowledge of Poe is very limited. Having read only a few of his distinctive writings, I can only make comments on how they affect me.

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2004

Residue of the Enlightenment, the ingerent balance of all things. Poe's Romantic intuitive thrust however is e=very much concerned with the emotions and the ggreat swings from life to death. Like Yeats he developed an entire mystical aestheticism expressed in cosmological terms of a repeating cyclical nature. Poe's is more scientific and closed, and much less to do with Hinduism despite the New England Transcendentalists whom he derided. It is not hard rather to see Poe viewing the universe in terms of his own art and personal experience, seeking some order and happiness in promise if not in reality. Surely the limits of nature guarenteed that the awful decline into the abyss was but part of a repeated aspiration. Poe clung to the happiness and the art he possessed if only briefly or in memory and wished to save some immortality or answer now and not in a Christian afterlife promise alone. Though the angels were far more perfect surely he thought in his own mortal, lesser degree he was superior by virtue of his wildness and passion unbound. See "Israfel" or "The Descent into the Maelstrom".

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2004

Do you think so? But I wasn't talking about karma as reincarnation... About the other statement, I find that it's an entirely different concept, much about the balance of life and how life goes on in a manner like a circle(so cliche), not entirely related to the conservation of delight. What distinct works of Poe have you read?

-- Anonymous, October 07, 2004

P.E. Murphy's "repeating cyclical nature" seems to be a kind of conservation. The total remains the same, the changes in the parts balance each other.

My favorites are the ratiocinative writings: Gold Bug, Purloined Letter, Melzel's Chess Player. To me, Philosophy of Composition was a tour de force. I would list about fifteen other works, but am out of time.

-- Anonymous, October 08, 2004

By the way, what is the Purloined Letter about? I had trouble understanding it...

-- Anonymous, October 15, 2004

"The Purloined Letter" is about a detective who finds a stolen letter by imagining how the thief thought when he hid the letter.

I'm sorry but I won't be able to further discuss this matter. Due to the vile crudity of this Poe forum, I have decided to stop participating.

Best wishes.

-- Anonymous, October 19, 2004

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