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Eureka: A Prose Poem

Edgar Allan Poe

Book Overview: 

Eureka is Poe's attempt at explaining the universe, using his general proposition "Because Nothing was, therefore All Things are". In it, Poe discusses man's relationship to God and the universe or, as he offers at the beginning: "I design to speak of the Physical, Metaphysical and Mathematical – of the Material and Spiritual Universe: of its Essence, its Origin, its Creation, its Present Condition and its Destiny". In keeping with this design, Poe concludes "that space and duration are one" and that matter and spirit are made of the same essence.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ence that an attempt to bring together any two differences will result in a development of electricity. All existing bodies, of course, are composed of these atoms in proximate contact, and are therefore to be considered as mere assemblages of more or fewer differences; and the resistance made by the repulsive spirit, on bringing together any two such assemblages, would be in the ratio of the two sums of the differences in each:—an expression which, when reduced, is equivalent to this:—The amount of electricity developed on the approximation of two bodies, is proportional[37] to the difference between the respective sums of the atoms of which the bodies are composed. That no two bodies are absolutely alike, is a simple corollary from all that has been here said. Electricity, therefore, existing always, is developed whenever any bodies, but manifested only when bodies of appreciable difference, are brought into approximation.

To electricity—so, for the p. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An amazing blend of epic poetry and science, in true Poe fashion. It's a shame this piece isn't more well known.

Mind bending! This book is well worth the patience it takes to read. Poe was way ahead of his time in his conception of the universe. I find it fascinating that he wrote this book towards he end of his days.

OMG! It's almost an abomination that I'm allowed to peer into these profound pages of metaphysical lore!

Reading Poe's Eureka is like seeping into the uncut highly "problematic" hemisphere of 18th/19th century Bones Philosophy - he really does not hold anything back. In an era like ours (where ph...more

There is a chance this was a romantic attempt to follow intuition into explaining life and universe and everything while choosing to ignore inconvenient scientific discoveries. There is a chance this was an intricate mockery of then modern science by describing a universe ruled by the absurd laws...more

A wild work with suggestions at a Big Bang, mention of the principle of relativity in passing, and subtle clues for the existence of the Higgs boson, as well as dark matter. A very unique and intensely imaginative (un)scientific treatise on science praised by Einstein himself.

"Eureka" es lo último que Edgard Allan escribe antes de morir, con todas las ganas de plasmar en literatura su visión del universo. Esta edición en particular tiene un prólogo de Cortazar que señala la mejor forma de leerlo: como un poema.

El libro, sin embargo, es prácticamente un ensayo de astr...more

Perhaps Poe's crowning achievement

E.A. Poe--inventor of the Big Bang Theory. This was a very, very smart man.

Да је Едгар Алан По највећи писац у историји људског рода није нам непознато, као ни чињеница да су његова дјела веома разгалила моје младалачко срце кад сам био млад. Почео сам да га читам мислим у седмом или осмом основне и вјероватно је његова кривица што сам стално добијао јединице из лектире...more

Edgar Allan Poe, había creído encontrar, casi un año antes de su muerte y en un evidente declive físico y emocional, la chispa que encendió el universo con argumentos realmente ingenuos, inspirándose en Hervey Allen y Alexander von Humboldt.
Se presentó ante el editor Putnam pidiendo que se edita...more

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