It makes a nice break from my fierce correspondence with the diplomatic body of Nigeria.

Two great emails about yesterday’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 Amazon’s claim that Borges had called The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym a “gut-wrenching rollercoaster ride that I couldn’t put down. I give it five stars!!”:

Found the following in a lecture JLB gave in 1978 called “The Detective Story” (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.

Brooklyn Bridge by Vladimir Mayakovsky

I told Kevin I was glad he brought up the Symbolist movement. Left to my own devices I’d be calling the Russians a bunch of melancholic bastards too. But it turns out they’re just Symbolists.

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