Nouvelles histoires extraordinaires

By Edgar Allan Poe

Page 2

comme dans les seules réalités!» Il fut donc une admirable
protestation; il la fut et il la fit à sa manière, _in his own way_.
L'auteur qui, dans le _Colloque entre Monos et Una_, lâche à torrents
son mépris et son dégoût sur la démocratie, le progrès et la
_civilisation_, cet auteur est le même qui, pour enlever la crédulité,
pour ravir la badauderie des siens, a le plus énergiquement posé la
souveraineté humaine et le plus ingénieusement fabriqué les _canards_
les plus flatteurs pour l'orgueil de _l'homme moderne_. Pris sous ce
jour, Poe m'apparaît comme un ilote qui veut faire rougir son maître.
Enfin, pour affirmer ma pensée d'une manière encore plus nette, Poe fut
toujours grand, non-seulement dans ses conceptions nobles, mais encore
comme farceur.


II

Car il ne fut jamais dupe!--Je ne crois pas que le Virginien qui a
tranquillement écrit, en plein débordement démocratique: «Le peuple n'a
rien à faire avec les lois, si ce n'est de leur obéir», ait jamais été
une victime de la sagesse moderne,--et: «Le nez d'une populace, c'est
son imagination; c'est par ce nez qu'on pourra toujours facilement la
conduire»,--et cent autres passages, où la raillerie pleut, drue comme
mitraille, mais cependant nonchalante et hautaine.--Les Swedenborgiens
le félicitent de sa _Révélation magnétique_, semblables à ces naïfs
illuminés qui jadis surveillaient dans l'auteur du _Diable amoureux_ un
révélateur de leurs mystères; ils le remercient pour les grandes vérités
qu'il vient de proclamer,--car ils ont découvert (ô vérificateurs de ce
qui ne peut pas être vérifié!) que tout ce qu'il a énoncé est absolument
vrai;--bien que d'abord, avouent ces braves gens, ils aient eu le
soupçon que ce pouvait bien être une simple fiction. Poe répond que,
pour son compte, il n'en a jamais douté.--Faut-il encore citer ce petit
passage qui me saute aux yeux, tout en feuilletant pour la centième fois
ses amusants _Marginalia_, qui sont comme la chambre secrète de son
esprit: «L'énorme multiplication des livres dans toutes les branches de
connaissances est l'un des plus grands fléaux de cet âge! Car elle est
un des plus sérieux obstacles à l'acquisition de toute connaissance
positive.» Aristocrate de nature plus encore que de naissance, le
Virginien, l'homme du Sud, le Byron égaré dans un mauvais monde, a
toujours gardé son impassibilité philosophique, et, soit qu'il définisse
le nez de la populace, soit qu'il raille les fabricateurs de religions,
soit qu'il bafoue les bibliothèques, il reste ce que fut et ce que sera
toujours le vrai poëte,--une vérité habillée d'une manière bizarre, un
paradoxe apparent, qui ne veut pas être coudoyé par la foule, et qui
court à l'extrême orient quand le feu

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Text Comparison with The Works of Edgar Allan Poe — Volume 3

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Let us suppose only, that the soul of the man of to-day is upon the verge of some stupendous psychal discoveries.
Page 213
think, the most interesting, if not the most conspicuous.
Page 221
To say nothing of the stuffs placed on board in the forenoon by way of ballast, and not to mention the various ales and liqueurs shipped this evening at different sea-ports, I have, at present, a full cargo of ‘humming stuff’ taken in and duly paid for at the sign of the ‘Jolly Tar.