Poe Abroad

Influence, Reputation, Affinities
Lois Davis Vines

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“An invaluable contribution to Poe scholarship. Not only does it broaden our understanding of world literature; it deepens our appreciation of Poe as a great visionary artist whose work (as this important book makes clear) has exerted a profound and lasting influence on writers everywhere.”—Harold Schechter, author of Nevermore

Perhaps no one would be more shocked at the steady rise of his literary reputation—on a truly global scale—Than Edgar Allan Poe himself. Poe's literary reputation has climbed steadily since his death in 1849.

In Poe Abroad, Lois Vines has brought together a collection of essays that document the American writer's influence on the diverse literatures—and writers—of the world. Over twenty scholars demonstrate how and why Poe has significantly influenced many of the major literary figures of the last 150 years.

Part One includes studies of Poe's popularity among general readers, his influence on literary movements, and his reputation as a poet, fiction writer, and literary critic. Part Two presents analyses of the role Poe played in the literary development of specific writers representing many different cultures.

Poe Abroad commemorates the 150th anniversary of Poe's death and celebrates his worldwide impact, beginning with the first literal translation of Poe into a foreign language, “The Gold-Bug”into French in 1845. Charles Baudelaire translated another Poe tale in 1848 and four years later wrote an essay that would make Poe a well-known author in Europe even before he achieved recognition in America.

Poe died knowing only that some of his stories had been translated into French. He probably never would have imagined that his work would be admired and imitated as far away as Japan, China, and India or would have a lasting influence on writers such as Baudelaire, August Strindberg, Franz Kafka, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, and Tanizaki Junichiro.

As we approach the sesquicentennial of his death, Poe Abroad brings together a timely one-volume assessment of Poe's influence throughout the world.