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Ratiocination

Being that the Political polls are a buzz, as many television shows are shrunk down into a small cube while developing results are plastered underneath or interrupted with current results, I am reminded of surrounding the death of Edgar Allan Poe:

“This is the theory given in the vast majority of Poe biographies, although it cannot be proven true. Coincidence or not, the day Poe was found on the street was election day in Baltimore and the place near where he was found, Ryan's Fourth Ward Polls, was both a bar and a place for voting. In those days, Baltimore elections were notorious for corruption and violence. Political gangs were willing to go to great extremes to ensure the success of their candidates. Election ballots were stolen, judges were bribed and potential voters for the opposition intimidated. Some gangs were known to kidnap innocent bystanders, holding them in a room, called the "coop." These poor souls were then forced to go in and out of poll after poll, voting over and over again. Their clothing might even be changed to allow for another round. To ensure compliance, their victims were plied with liquor and beaten. Poe's weak heart would never have withstood such abuse. This theory appears to have been first offered publicly by John R. Thompson in the early 1870s to explain Poe's condition and the fact that he was wearing someone else's clothing. A possible flaw in the theory is that Poe was reasonably well-known in Baltimore and likely to be recognized.”

Another Edgar Allan Poe coincidence has to do with a short story he wrote in 1838, , in which three shipwreck survivors in an open boat kill and eat the fourth, a man named Richard Parker. October 28, 1884The reported that in a life boat on the open sea, a cabin boy named Richard Parker had been cannibalized by the three surviving crew members of the wrecked yawl Mignonette.

Edgar Allan Poe in A Sequel to "The Murders in the Rue Morgue stated, “THERE ARE few persons, even among the calmest thinkers, who have not occasionally been startled into a vague yet thrilling half-credence in the supernatural, by coincidences of so seemingly marvelous a character that, as mere coincidences, the intellect has been unable to receive them.”

Poe, “Coincidences, in general, are great stumbling-blocks in the way of that class of thinkers who have been educated to know nothing of the theory of probabilities —that theory to which the most glorious objects of human research are indebted for the most glorious of illustration.”

In the ever ending debate that art imitates life or is it that life imitates art; my proposed ponderance is this: was the yawl Mignonette merely a coincidence or a matter of cause and effect (causation, causality) perhaps resulting from the fact that Poe wrote considerably about the subject coincidences, thus such was inevitable to occur?

Is it coincidental that having said this:

"And I submit to you that if a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live." Martin Luther King Jr., Speech in Detroit, June 23, 1963

Than almost 5 years later, devastatingly having found numerous causes worth living and dying for, was sadly assassinated?

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4 comments :

Cooper said...

This was a great post from both the AEP and MLK perspective.

ndpthepoetress - Jeane Michelle Culp said...

Thanks Cooper! Always great to hear from you and read your posts :)

eastcoastdweller said...

Fascinating, truly fascinating!

My adopted city has a Poe Museum, where the man dwelt ever so briefly.

eastcoastdweller said...

I like to keep myself from boredom in boring places by daydreaming intensively, pontificating on imaginary scenarios and even whole societies.

A couple of times, I have been genuinely startled to read in the paper a few months or even years later, that such a thing actually did happen.