8 julio, 2024

10 Authors Influenced by Edgar Allan Poe

Between the writers influenced by Edgar Allan Poe Julio Cortázar, Charles Baudelaire, Franz Kafka, Julio Verne or Jorge Luis Borges stand out. It is important to mention that the work and life of this writer has inspired and influenced different generations of authors around the world, of different nationalities, languages, and literary genres.

Naturally, since this American author is known as the creator of horror and detective or police stories, the greatest influence has been exerted on this literary subgenre.

However, Poe was also a magnificent poet and writer of essays on literary creation, which is why many contemporary authors consider him a teacher from whom they have learned the way to tell their stories.

In addition to this, Poe became director of one of the most relevant newspapers in the southern United States, where he dedicated himself to being a literary critic.

In French, Charles Baudelaire translated his poems, and from there he became known in France. In Spanish, Julio Cortázar not only masterfully translated almost all of his work into prose, but also wrote extensively about his life and work.

Undoubtedly, Poe has been an author with a deep and evident literary presence in other contemporary and subsequent writers. This is just a small list of writers whom Poe influenced in one way or another.

The 10 Authors Most Influenced by Edgar Allan Poe

Julio Cortázar (Argentine born in Belgium, 1914-1984)

On numerous occasions, this Argentine author mentioned his great admiration for Poe. As a child, he read several of his stories and confessed to being fascinated, to the point of becoming his admirer and student.

Already become a writer, he translated much of Poe’s work. It is considered that these are some of the best translations into Spanish that have been made, because he was not limited to his command of the English language, but rather had extensive knowledge of the way in which Poe conveyed his ideas and knew how to translate them into Spanish, adding notes and foreword.

Said by himself, Cortázar studied the narrative technique used by Poe in his stories, learned from it and used it for his own works, as a student and not as an imitator.

Jorge Luis Borges (Argentine, 1899-1985)

Another great writer in the Spanish language who has dedicated articles, conferences and interviews about Poe. Some of his ancestors were of Anglo-Saxon origin, and from a young age he learned English. For this reason, all his life he was in contact with English and North American literature, of which he later became an expert and teacher. Hence his deep acquaintance with several important writers.

Borges was one of the first to highlight the importance of Poe’s stories instead of his poetry, and he recognizes him as the «inventor of the detective story.» The Argentinian he would dedicate some essays and short stories to him, and the influence of the American could be seen in his treatment of the mysterious and enigmatic.

Charles Baudelaire (French, 1821-1867)

In poetry, Baudelaire is one of the authors most influenced by Poe. He dedicated 15 years of his life to translating Poe’s works into French, making him known to many European writers of his time, and later.

Baudelaire’s admiration for Poe, evidenced in the prologues of his translations, reaches the point of justifying the alcoholism that Poe is said to have suffered from.

The arguments to justify this behavior have to do with the number of misfortunes that Poe suffered throughout his life, and Baudelaire felt identified with this. The themes treated by Poe and the symbolism of him were the greatest influence on Baudelaire’s work.

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (United States, 1890-1937)

In the horror genre, Lovecraft is one of Poe’s main admirers and defenders, and also one of the most emblematic representatives. He perfectly understood how Poe used psychological elements to generate terror, although he used different elements to generate the same result in his own work.

In Lovecraft’s own words, Poe’s contributions to literary horror were based on the fact that he did not impose a moralistic sense on his work or seek a happy ending. On the contrary, he behaved as an impartial storyteller, as he himself did, since he considered that this was the way it should be done.

Arthur Conan Doyle (British, 1859-1930)

Borges already said that Poe was the inventor of the detective story and, with Doyle being one of the greatest exponents of this genre thanks to the creation of the adventures of detective Sherlock Holmes, Poe’s influence on his work is almost obvious.

In this sense, Doyle expressly confessed that his character was inspired by Poe’s Monsieur Dupin, the protagonist of several of his works.

The analytic-deductive method used by Poe in his only novel, The crimes of morgue Street, it is the same used and improved by Doyle in all his work. His influence is such that Sherlock talks about Poe and his character, always with an admiring tone.

Jules Verne (French, 1828-1905)

Poe is the only author Verne wrote an entire essay about. This fact serves by itself to demonstrate the importance that it had on the French writer.

You can see in Verne’s work the same analytical method and solving puzzles and obstacles that Poe applied to his characters and, in turn, to the reader.

Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (Spain, 1836-1870)

Poe’s fantastic literature was an influence for Bécquer’s legends in terms of its structure, the types of narrator, the madness of its characters, the treatment of the fantastic and the setting. Bécquer used all of this in his songs from the popular Spanish tradition.

Franz Kafka (Czech Republic, 1883-1924)

Among the references to Poe that can be found in Kafka’s work, there is mainly their perception of reality, probably related to their own lives. Both had a negative and even fatalistic view of life.

Robert Louis Stevenson (Scottish, 1850-1894)

This Scottish writer, a master of the macabre, was one of the Victorian authors who was completely influenced by Poe. In fact, Poe was the inspiration for his best-known and most emblematic work, The strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hydefrom 1886.

Stephen King (United States, 1947)

He is one of the main current authors of horror literature. King has expressed himself as an admirer of Poe, to the point that, when a «battle» between these authors was created on social networks, King said that Poe would undoubtedly be the winner.

The suspense he uses to write, the rhythm of the story, death as an essential element, the mental disorders of his characters and their feelings of guilt, are some of the characteristics of Poe’s writing that influenced King’s work.

References

Julio Cortázar and Edgar Allan Poe, extraordinary translations. Recovered from fondoblancoeditorial.com.
Esplin, E. ‘I reread Poe’: Edgar Allan Poe in the critical work of Jorge Luis Borges. Retrieved from bn.gov.ar.
Edgar Allan Poe, Heteronym of Baudelaire? Retrieved from revistas.ufpr.br.
Lovecraft, HP The supernatural horror in literature. Recovered from elespejogotico.blogspot.com.
Fresneda, C. When Arthur Conan Doyle invented Sherlock Holmes. Recovered from elmundo.es.

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