Cuentos Clásicos del Norte, Primera Serie

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 8

su sistema
como escritor. Aunque se refiere a sus versos, la explicación es exacta
también con respecto a su prosa. Trata ante todo, dice, de producir un
efecto de belleza. Todos los medios que puedan crear este efecto son
legítimos. Muchas veces Poe consiguió su objeto provocando emociones en
forma romántica y retórica; pero con frecuencia lo obtuvo también por
medio de la manifestación austera de verdades lógicas o científicas. En
este caso nos recuerda, sin embargo, que la verdad es un medio y no un
fin; en el arte el fin es la belleza. Sus palabras al final del
_Principio poético_ deben tenerse en cuenta por todo lector que quiera
comprender la índole de sus escritos: "Con respecto a la
Verdad--suponiendo que la comprensión de una verdad nos lleve a percibir
cierta armonía que antes pasaba inadvertida--sentimos inmediatamente el
genuino efecto poético; pero este efecto se refiere únicamente a la
armonía y no atañe en lo menor a la verdad que sirvió sólo para poner de
manifiesto aquella armonía."

Si este método deja los personajes de las historias de Poe en cierta
sombra vaga y simbólica, no debe suponerse por ello que careciera de
teoría respecto al manejo adecuado de los fantásticos caracteres que se
agitan en la composición de sus argumentos matemáticos. Sus personajes
son a menudo femeninos y generalmente están asociados en alguna forma a
la idea de la muerte. Con tal frecuencia se repite en sus cuentos el
caso de una hermosa mujer muerta o una hermosa mujer moribunda, que una
de las críticas más usuales de las obras de Poe es afirmar que tenía un
campo muy estrecho y podía desenvolver sólo uno o dos temas. Carecía
ciertamente de la fecundidad de los grandes genios, pero aun dentro de
sus dotes reducidos se imponía él mismo límites más estrechos por su
curiosa teoría acerca de los caracteres más apropiados para el efecto
artístico. Creía que la emoción de la belleza es el efecto principal que
un cuento debe producir; la belleza es más exquisita en la mujer; y la
belleza de la mujer es más conmovedora en presencia de la muerte.
Inclinábase, en consecuencia, a escribir principalmente sobre hermosas
mujeres muertas o a punto de morir. La manifestación definida de esta
doctrina se encuentra en la _Filosofía de la composición_, cuando habla
de _El cuervo_. Dice que al escribir este poema comenzó con la intención
de representar una belleza melancólica:

"Me pregunté: _Entre todos los temas melancólicos, ¿cuál es el más
melancólico de acuerdo con el entendimiento general de la
humanidad?_--La muerte, fué la respuesta evidente.--Y _¿cuándo_,
insistí, _es más poético este melancólico tema?_--Por

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Text Comparison with Selections from Poe

Page 4
But Poe's restless spirit was dissatisfied.
Page 14
This type of story is clearly enough the original of those of Jules Verne and similar writers.
Page 17
Mr.
Page 19
10 Of late, eternal condor years So shake the very heaven on high With tumult as they thunder by, I have no time for idle cares Through gazing on the unquiet sky; 15 And when an hour with calmer wings Its down upon my spirit flings, That little time with lyre and rhyme To while away--forbidden things-- My heart would feel to be a crime 20 Unless it trembled with the strings.
Page 24
Oh, may her sleep, 45 As it is lasting, so be deep! Soft may the worms about her creep! Far in the forest, dim and old, For her may some tall vault unfold: Some vault that oft hath flung its black 50 And winged pannels fluttering back, Triumphant, o'er the crested palls Of her grand family funerals: Some sepulchre, remote, alone, Against whose portal she hath thrown, 55 In childhood, many an idle stone: Some tomb from out whose sounding door She ne'er shall force an echo more, Thrilling to think, poor child of sin, It was the dead who groaned within! 60 LENORE Ah, broken is the golden bowl! the spirit flown forever Let the bell toll!--a saintly soul floats on the Stygian river; And, Guy De Vere, hast _thou_ no tear?--weep now or never more! See, on yon drear and rigid bier low lies thy love, Lenore! Come, let the burial rite.
Page 34
"Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice; Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore; Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore: 35 'T is the wind and nothing more.
Page 36
80 "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee--by these angels he hath sent thee Respite--respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore.
Page 38
5 For the resurrection of deep-buried faith In truth, in virtue, in humanity; Of all who, on despair's unhallowed bed Lying down to die, have suddenly arisen At thy soft-murmured words, "Let there be light!" 10 At the soft-murmured words that were fulfilled In the seraphic glancing of thine eyes; Of all who owe thee most, whose gratitude Nearest resembles worship, oh, remember The truest, the most fervently devoted, 15 And think that these weak lines are written by him: By him, who, as he pens them, thrills to think His spirit is communing with an angel's.
Page 45
That burned in my brain.
Page 49
80 All alone, And who tolling, tolling, tolling In that muffled monotone, Feel a glory in so rolling On the human heart a stone-- 85 They are neither man nor woman, They are neither brute nor human, They are Ghouls: And their king it is who tolls; And he rolls, rolls, rolls, 90 Rolls A pæan from the bells; And his merry bosom swells With the pæan of the bells, And he dances, and he yells: 95 Keeping time, time, time, In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the pæan of the bells, Of the bells: Keeping time, time, time, 100 In a sort of Runic rhyme, To the throbbing of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells-- To the sobbing of the bells; Keeping time, time, time, 105 As he knells, knells, knells, In a happy Runic rhyme, To the rolling of the bells, Of the bells, bells, bells: To the tolling of the bells, 110 Of the bells, bells, bells, bells, Bells, bells, bells-- To the moaning and the groaning of the bells.
Page 59
It was, perhaps, the narrow limits to which he thus confined himself upon the guitar, which gave birth, in great measure, to the fantastic character of his performances.
Page 98
which had been securely lashed under the coop of the counter, and was the only thing on deck that had not been swept overboard when the gale first took us.
Page 101
I resolved to lash myself securely to the water cask upon which I now held, to cut it loose from the counter, and to throw myself with it into the water.
Page 102
The sky was clear, the winds had gone down, and the full moon was setting radiantly in the west, when I found myself on the surface of the ocean, in full view of the shores of Lofoden, and above the spot where the pool of the Moskoe-ström _had been.
Page 106
But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death.
Page 112
He did not press me to remain, but, as I departed, he shook my hand with even more than his usual cordiality.
Page 139
What are we to make of the skeletons found in the hole?" "That is a question I am.
Page 144
The fiftieth part of a line could not escape us.
Page 153
"To be even with him, I complained of my weak eyes, and lamented the necessity of the spectacles, under cover of which I cautiously and thoroughly surveyed the apartment, while seemingly intent only upon the conversation of my host.
Page 165
What is the "effect" sought? Is the main incident of the tale well adapted to produce this effect? Are the parts skillfully related to one another and to the whole? Is the setting suitable to the theme? What is the effect of the first sentence? Pick out a number of rather unusual words which Poe seems particularly to like; observe their effect.