Two great emails about yesterdayâ€™s posts on Edgar Allen Poe and Argentina.
Mark Sarvas at The Elegant Variation kindly obliges with a response to my query about Borges and Poe and Amazonâ€™s claim that Borges had called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym a â€œgut-wrenching rollercoaster ride that I couldnâ€™t put down. I give it five stars!!”:
Found the following in a lecture JLB gave in 1978 called â€œThe Detective Storyâ€ (found in Selected Non-Fiction, pp 491-499):
“But I believe that Poe, if we look at his work as a whole, produced the work of a genius, though his stories, except for the Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, are flawed.”
Then Kevin Kinsella, himself a former Maud guest blogger, writes:
Actually, the Argentinians aren’t the only ones crazy about Poe. The Russians love him too. I study early 20th Century Russian poetry and Poe references crop up all over the place. I suppose this makes sense since both Latin American literature and Russian lit had strong Symbolist movements….
Here’s an interesting essay on the Russian Symbolists translating Poe:
A Cooperation of Souls
As a matter of fact, when Russian poets of the earlyish 20th Century weren’t writing about the Revolution, they were writing about Poe, Walt Whitman, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
I told Kevin I was glad he brought up the Symbolist movement. Left to my own devices Iâ€™d be calling the Russians a bunch of melancholic bastards too. But it turns out theyâ€™re just Symbolists.