Very few today speak so candidly. Poe says the following in his creepy tale, The Black Cat, which has many connections to Romans 7:8-20.
And then came, as if to my final and irrevocable overthrow, the spirit of perverseness.
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?
This spirit of perverseness, I say, came to my final overthrow. It was this unfathomable longing of the soul to vex itself – to offer violence to its own nature – to do wrong for the wrong’s sake only – that urged me to continue and finally to consummate the injury I had inflicted upon the unoffending brute.
Edgar Allan Poe, The Black Cat
Imagine something like this was said on the radio. Terry Gross would be speechless. It is as if our society has lost the ability to think and speak this way.
Joe Thorn recently had a similar post on Poe and Depravity, but he looks at it from a different angle.