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Eureka: A Prose Poem

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  327 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Poe's great scientific speculation on human life.
Paperback, Green Integer #5, 120 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Green Integer (first published 1848)
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Steve Rauscher
Aug 08, 2011 Steve Rauscher rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody, ever
Years ago - 8, to be precise - I took a field trip with my honors American Literature class to a house Edgar Allan Poe lived in in Philadelphia. After the guided tour finished, we were led to the inevitable gift shop. There were copies of Poe's famous works everywhere, from the Rue Morgue to the Red death. All things I'd at that point conquered. Near the register, however, was this little book - essentially a long pamphlet - entitled 'Eureka.'

The tour guide saw my eyes wandering over its unknown
...more
Aleksandar Janjic
Oct 26, 2015 Aleksandar Janjic rated it it was amazing
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 у средњој - након његових дивних мрачних прича, прелазак на неке тамо Ане Карењине, Тихе Донове, Корене и Буденброкове био је више него болан, тако да сам те класике углавном прескакао. Понешто од ...more
Fernando
Sep 23, 2015 Fernando rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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 editaran 5000 copias de su ensayo, pero sólo imprimieron 500. Increíblemente, algunos de sus conceptos, prefiguraron lo que décadas más tarde se relacionaba con los agujeros negros en el espacio (Einstein ...more
Nick
Sep 16, 2016 Nick rated it it was amazing
Perhaps Poe's crowning achievement
David
Apr 11, 2016 David rated it liked it
Heaven knows what Poe's contemporary readers thought of this. Probably complete bafflement. I always find the famous photo of Poe amusing, his stunned gaze no doubt reflecting the total befuddlement with the ideas buzzing round in his brain. Eureka is nothing less than a Theory of Everything 150 years or so before it became in fashion. I'm not well up on the state of mid-nineteenth century astronomy, but this must have been radical stuff for the period.

Poe appears to be anticipating such theorie
...more
aaa
Jan 05, 2013 aaa rated it it was amazing
It's a shame people are into Poe strictly for his horror themes because his metaphysics correspond beautifully with Eastern metaphysics, neo-platonic thought, and of course occultism. The reading is a chore but when one compares to the works of Porphyry, Blavatsky, or anyone on the string of 'perennial philosophy' pearls, Poe is deeply neglected. And to the reviewer who said Poe fathered the Big Bang Theory, this is not what Poe states at all in Eureka!
David Shapiro
Oct 30, 2012 David Shapiro rated it really liked it
Shelves: research, pleasure
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.
Andrew
Feb 16, 2008 Andrew rated it it was amazing
I give this a five without being able to finish it, but the intensity of focus, language, fervent belief and, well, vision involved in EUREKA is stunning. Poe's writing here is inspired.
Blair
Aug 29, 2013 Blair rated it it was amazing
An amazing blend of epic poetry and science, in true Poe fashion. It's a shame this piece isn't more well known.
David Hewitt
Jun 09, 2011 David Hewitt rated it really liked it
E.A. Poe--inventor of the Big Bang Theory. This was a very, very smart man.
Ellioth Mess
Nov 08, 2016 Ellioth Mess rated it it was ok
"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 astronomía con el que Poe intenta justificar su teoría de la particula única, una teoría que se sustenta en la voluntad divina y que, como toda la literatura no ficcional de autores de ficción, da cuenta de
...more
Daniel
Dec 19, 2015 Daniel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had heard some big claims for this book: like that Edgar Allan Poe had somehow anticipated a number of major developments in 20th century cosmology. It doesn't live up to those claims. It's a long ranting screed, illogical and inconsistent, making some lucky guesses among its claims. Celebrity physicists like Brian Cox probably receive three or four of these in the post every week. If you make enough guesses about the nature of the universe maybe some of them will match the knowledge or ...more
Dustyn Hessie
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 philosophy, like God, like almost everything else of essential human deepness and the whatnot, is dead) I have to say that reading Eureka was like excavating the grave of all of those - modernly dismissed
...more
Christy
Jun 16, 2008 Christy rated it did not like it
Hm. This "prose poem" is a confusing text, and much less interesting than Poe's other work. It is unclear to me and to literary critics whether this book is meant to be fiction or nonfiction or a combination of the two (and if a combination, where the line is to be drawn). It begins with the narrator quoting at length from a letter dated from the year 2848, but then it goes on to become a treatise (which seems to be from the perspective of Poe himself) on the relationship between God, creation, ...more
Alex Kartelias
Oct 04, 2014 Alex Kartelias rated it it was amazing
Known to most people as a poet and short story writer, he is a genius in the literary world. But, nobody acknowledges him as a scientific prophet. This prose- poem is his prophecy. Starting out with a witty attack on the science's biggest figures- Aristotle, Bacon and Newton- he builds up his own, "theories" for the big bang, the structure of atoms, evolution of species, parallel universes and finally, black holes. I shit you not.

It's a mystery why nobody at the time found this remarkable, but
...more
Anita
Jul 29, 2011 Anita rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Many of the theories and thoughts in this book are fascinating to contemplate, and I had an excellent time discussing this book with several of my friends. I personally prefer to base my opinions of the universe on more logical grounds than Poe, but his ideas are still intriguing.
One idea that resonated with me was that the Universe is in a state of collapse, and that as humans we refuse to recognize this collapse. We often hear that "things are getting better all the time", but when I look aro
...more
Michael
May 05, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What is Poe's Eureka? A serious treatise on the beginning and end of the universe? A pantheist's reconstruction of the cosmos? A bad writer's attempt at a hoax, something that Poe was quite notorious for perpetrating? Regardless, he seems in this "prose poem" to be alluding to many features of the world that would later attract astronomers and physicists who did know what they were talking about. Not a great book by any standards (except maybe Poe fans, myself included).

The four star rating refe
...more
Eric
Jun 20, 2016 Eric rated it it was amazing
This weird little beauty was nothing more or less than Edgar Allan Poe, an untrained scientist, attempting to explain...well...everything. It's not easy to read, but many of his ideas were actually ahead of their time. He actually posits the idea that the universe stretches far beyond the Milky Way (an opinion actually not widely held at the time!) and even posits an early variation on the Big Bang Theory (including the Big Collapse) that is not only imaginative, but actually a lot closer to the ...more
Garrett
- "The absolute, irrelative particle, primarily created by the volition of God, must have been in a condition of positive normality, or rightfulness, for wrongfulness implies relation. Right is positive; wrong is negative, merely the negation of right, as cold is the negation of heat, darkness of light. That a thing may be wrong, it is necessary that there be some other thing in relation to which it is wrong - some condition which it fails to satisfy, some law which it violates, some being whom ...more
John
Dec 23, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was an essay on the material and spiritual universe. if I had not seen poes name on the cover, there is no way I would have ever thought he was the author. of course it was well written but much of it seemed like a text book. I quote, 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. my general proposition , then is this, in the original unity of the ...more
David Walsh
Jan 18, 2016 David Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Poe was a truly prophetic genius! Two years before he died he wrote this long 'prose poem', Eureka, which anticipated one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th Century by 80 years - The Big Bang. Edgar Allan Poe believed that all matter had once been concentrated in a single particle which then expanded to fill space ~ a theory not accepted by science until 1931. Eureka, his 'prose poem', goes on to predict the general theory of relativity; parallel universes; & the structure of the atom. ...more
Octavio Villalpando
Definitivamente este libro muestra un lado muy diferente de Poe. Si bien es cierto su estilo es reconocible, no era lo mismo ahondar en las profundidades de la maldad humana que en los misterios del universo. Así pues, queda más como una curiosidad que como un documento verdaderamente relevante en términos científicos. Vaya, para un aficionado a la literatura de Poe no constituiría más que la palomita en el "me he leído toda la obra de Poe", nada más y nada menos.
Joaquin
Feb 14, 2016 Joaquin rated it it was ok
Poe se introdujo en el mundo científico creyendo encontrar el significado de la vida.

Intuyó algunos conceptos como los agujeros negros, pero gran parte del libro son elucubraciones y divagaciones sin ningún fundamento.
Como justificación se puede argumentar que cuando escribió este libro parece que ya tenía serios problemas mentales ya que murió un año después.
Carlos
Oct 01, 2013 Carlos rated it liked it
Raro. Muy raro. Un ensayo/texto de (meta)física/ocultismo con aspecto de ser uno de esos juegos de bullshitting que le gustaban a Poe. Sin embargo algunas ideas... O Poe tuvo mucha influencia en la física del S XX, y eso no lo he escuchado nunca, o había ideas flotando en el ambiente que tenían que acabar siendo desarrolladas.

Tres estrellas porque no sé bien qué decir.
Ivan
Satu hal yang terus lengket:" He who from the top of Etna casts his eyes leisurely around is affected chiefly by the extent and diversity of the scene. Only by a rapid whirling of his heels could he hope to comprehend the panorama in the sublimity of its oneness." Hmmm,couldn't agree more....
Mona Bomgaars


Not my favorite. This is Poe's narrative poem Eureka in a more contemporary version. He thought it was his penultimate creation. Einstein's quote: a very beautiful achievement of an unusually independent mind.
Melissa L.
Mar 05, 2014 Melissa L. rated it liked it
Poe pensaba de física y metafísica de una manera interesante, pero yo no soy muy dada a la física o a éste tipo de libros y se me dificultó entenderle un poco por lo mismo que no estoy acostumbrada a leer mucho sobre el tema.
Richard Fulgham
Nov 17, 2008 Richard Fulgham rated it it was amazing
Fantastic philosopy of Poe in one volume of nonfiction. Poe saw that the Universe was expanding and formulated the Big Bang theory a century before scientic discovery. What genius this man had!
Mona Bomgaars
Jul 13, 2012 Mona Bomgaars rated it did not like it
Complex prose essay about the universe, the planets, atoms and even particles. Einstein even commented on the book.
Jessica
May 01, 2010 Jessica rated it liked it
Very interesting, but difficult to read. Will probably have to read it a couple more times for everything to sink in.
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The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of ...more
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“No thinking being lives who, at some luminous point of his life of thought, has not felt himself lost amid the surges of futile efforts at understanding, or believing, that anything exists greater than his own soul.” 24 likes
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