Poe’s “Chemistry of the Intellect”


I’m a master’s student in the department of English at New York University, currently enrolled in a course called American Romance and Realism, in which we read fiction from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A few weeks ago, we looked at the work of Edgar Allan Poe, plunging ourselves into his dark, sensuous, neurotic literary universe. But Poe was a critic and commentator as well as our country’s foremost documenter of psychic torment, and while doing my assigned reading for the week, I stumbled across a bit of his “Marginalia” that my Penguin anthology calls “On Imagination.” (It was originally published in the Southern Literary Messenger in May 1849.) What does Poe have to say about Lincoln Center Institute’s core concept? Continue reading