Edgar Allan Poe (1849)

Edgar Allan Poe, Richmond, Virginia, late September, 1849
Daguerreotype by William Abbott Pratt (the “Thompson” Daguerreotype)

Courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University, New York

I truly think that no person at the University, with the exception of myself, ever suspected him to be capable of a joke, verbal or practical – {…} when it was evident that the most egregious and unpardonable of all conceivable tricks, whimsicalities, and buffooneries were brought about, if not directly by him, at least plainly through his intermediate agency or connivance. {…} The adroitness, too, was no less worthy of observation by which he contrived to shift the sense of the grotesque from the creator to the created – from his own person to the absurdities to which he had given rise. {…} In no instance, however, before that of which I speak, have I known the habitual mystific escape the natural consequence of his manœuvres, an attachment of the ludicrous to his own character and person.

– Edgar Allan Poe, “Von Jung, the Mystific”