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Tuesday, 30 July 2013

echoes: poe's geometry - otherworldly curves and rectangular obscenities

#190 Vinyl via Geometry Daily
"… the first thing to notice about Poe's dream rooms is their shape. It has already been said that the enclosures of Poe's tales incline to a curving or circular form. And Poe himself, in certain of his essays and dialogues, explains this inclination by denouncing what he calls the harsh mathematical reason of the schools and complaining that practical science has covered the face of the earth with rectangular obscenities. Poe quite explicitly identifies regular angular forms with everyday reason, and the circle, oval or fluid arabesque with the otherworldly imagination. Therefore, if we discover that the dream chambers of Poe's fiction are free of angular regularity, we may be sure that we are noticing a pointed and purposeful consistency in his architecture and decor." 
Richard Wilbur in The Recognition Of Edgar Allan Poe, edited by Eric W Carlson (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1966)

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