Non-American writers Views of Poe : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

Does anyone have any information regarding non-American writers views of Poe? Thanks in advance for any information.

-- Anonymous, August 30, 2000



Presumably, your question does not necessarily limit the list to those of the early 19th century.

During Poes period, at least in America, it was a relatively young country, religious fervor was sweeping the land and the transcendentalists held sway over American literature. There were few if any American authors that were really considered worthy of attention from the more refined and long established English and French literary circles. American authors were attempting to establish their own uniqueness or literary identity and were viewed by European critics as much too influenced by the British and incapable of any particular originality.

Now, I do not mean to say that no American author was read or even enjoyed by any European. There were many, however, there were very few with the influence to assist in establishing a broad European following. Another problem of the period was that copyright laws were poor, non-existent or hardly enforced. Therefore, once a poem or short story was published in print, it would often be copied, edited, altered and reprinted, effectively stolen and the author would never receive his due recompense nor recognition.

There is little argument that Poes originality, his creative abilities and his brilliant command of the English language had garnered himself a broad following here in America. His literary critiques were often bold and fearless opinions that gained him friends and enemies alike. It was most likely these critiques that gained the notice of British writers and critics and soon his stories were sought after for their freshness and originality. Mystery stories were nothing new and had been around for decades. But it was Poe that had recognized the tired trend of this genre, introduced Monsieur Dupin and his concept of ratiocination that ultimately influenced the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Poe became known as the father of the American detective story and the first master of the short story form. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once asked rhetorically Where was the detective story until Poe breathed the breath of life into it?

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), brilliant British playwright, critic and novelist once said America has been found out; and Poe had not; that is the situation. How did he live there, this finest of fine artists, this born aristocrat of letters? Alas! he did not live there: he died there, and was duly explained away as a drunkard and a failure... He was the greatest journalistic critic of his time... His poetry is exquisitely refined... In his stories of mystery and imagination Poe created a world record for the English language: perhaps for all languages... unparalleled and unapproached... Poe constantly and inevitably produced magic where his greatest contemporaries produced only beauty... There is really nothing to be said about it; we others simply take off our hats and let Mr. Poe go first.

I have previously listed some of those others that were influenced by Poes genius for another student and they can be found on a different thread at:

I trust this helps, Matt.

Best Regards,

-- Anonymous, August 31, 2000

Excellent post, Tis! In addition to George Bernard Shaw, Matt, you might want to check out Charles Baudelaire (French).

-- Anonymous, December 11, 2000

Charles Baudelaire is a very very famous french poet, he translated the works of Poe and considered him as "a saint", he admired his technique of unity of effect and also said that he was a true genius, explaining that the genius are often irritable cos they can't stand things that are not harmonious, which would not disturb the most common men . He also complained that the americans at that time didn't understand him, that he was above them and that's why he wasn't really appreciated. karolyn

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ