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Edgar Allan Poe on the Nature of Man

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December 1, 2014 by Bookworm

Of this spirit philosophy takes no account. Yet I am not more sure that my soul lives, than I am that perverseness is one of the primitive impulses of the human heart — one of the indivisible primary faculties, or sentiments, which give direction to the character of Man. Who has not, a hundred times, found himself committing a vile or a silly action, for no other reason than because he knows he should not? Have we not a perpetual inclination, in the teeth of our best judgment, to violate that which is Law, merely because we understand it to be such? – from “The Black Cat” (which is well worth reading if you never have).

This inward inclination Poe calls the spirit of PERVERSENESS – Christian theologians call it total depravity.  In fact, Poe here sounds much like Paul in Romans 7:7-11, does he not?


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