Review of “Bon-Bon” (1835)


Edgar Allan Poe (writer).

Read in 2022.

A gourmet philosopher, or restaurateur metaphysician, tries to bargain with “the Devil”.

This is one of the few times when Poe’s intellectual banter is actually funny. The basic metaphor of the satire lies in the fact that the Devil, who is one of the gods of Christian mythology, eats the souls of philosophers, an act which degrades the immaterial nobility of the Christian soul, and of philosophy as a discipline after Descartes, with the baseness and impermanence of food; it works.

I read this story in a 2004 Wordsworth edition which spoiled a joke about Plato likening the mind to either a flute or a (morning) light. On page 412, the Wordsworth text mangles the Greek orthograhy.

text fiction