In this article, I will consider “The Fall of the House of Usher” as an architectural manifesto but one that conceives of “architecture” as an environmental pseudoscience with links to nineteenth-century theories of phrenology and physiognomy. Poe's architectural “manifesto” operates on a number of levels—including on the lived body—as he hypothesizes diagnosable links between built environments and subjective-physiological structures. I will thus draw out a dialectical concept amenable to Poe's metaphysical, literary, and medical designs: the notion of an “architectural phrenology” that joins seemingly disparate scales of human thought and activity in order to diagnose our condition within a universe violently opposed to the continuation of our mental, corporeal, and communal identifications.

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