The EUREKA Project
It has been the peculiar hard fortune of Edgar A. Poe that he has not only been most persistently and unscrupulously maligned by his enemies, but he has been but imperfectly estimated by his friends. He had, in remarkable excellence, the scientific mind: the imagination which reaches ahead, and seizes far distant results and relations combined with the instinct of the intellect that catches at a glance the whole chain of consequences leading to them. Had other circumstances favored, it is more than probable that Poe would have been known to the world as one of its foremost men of science and most brilliant discoverers; and perhaps his friends might have known that he sometimes amused his leisure by writing strange, weird, beautiful little poems. (William Hand Browne; 1869)
This quote from the American writer and Poe scholar William Hand Browne (1828-1912) defines the purpose and objective of this website: to show the world that Poe was indeed a foremost man of science and a brilliant discoverer, who, moreover, is still imperfectly estimated by many of his friends. And although Poe does not have enemies anymore, and is even admired all over the world, his present reputation still carries the scars and marks of the attacks by his enemies of so long ago. So another objective of this website is to undo the reputation of Poe of the almost traditional but undeserved stains from the past.
Although also other works by Poe are mentioned and reviewed on this website, it is foremost devoted to ‘EUREKA. An Essay on the Material and Spiritual Universe’, the brilliant cosmogony that Poe published in 1848, the year before his death. Poe himself considered ‘Eureka’ as his most important work and the keystone of his entire oeuvre. “After ‘Eureka‘ I have nothing more to write”, was his remark to his mother-in-law and aunt, Maria Clemm. And he didn’t.
In the worldwide fame and recognition of Poe’s work, ‘Eureka’ has a strange and controversial place. Literary students and scholars usually ignore it, and those who study and admire it are usually no literary people but come from other disciplines, the sciences of nature mostly. This paradoxical situation explains while still so much work has to be done to discover the links between ‘Eureka’ and Poe’s other works, and give ‘Eureka’ its proper place. The founders of this website want to make a serious start with that new field in Poe studies and encourage others to do the same and contribute to it.
However, the first and foremost of our goals is to explore ‘Eureka’ itself, to investigate its contents and deeper meanings, and uncover the ways in which it has influenced others: poets, writers, scientists, philosophers and military men; talents and professions that were all united in Poe himself and that were part and parcel of his many-sided genius.
And, finally, the founders of this website hope that it will stimulate many others to take up the study of ‘Eureka’, become fascinated by it and help to discover the truths and things of beauty that are still hidden in Poe’s work.
Juan Lartigue (Mexico)
René van Slooten (Netherlands)
Hal Poe (USA)
Regina Pimentel (Brazil)