Tag Archives: Edgar Allen Poe

New Influences lead to Modernity

I was fully convinced that, with the Golden Age…Spanish poetry has entered into decadence…Everything became rigid…And then we have the eighteenth century, the nineteenth century, both of them very poor…And then Ruben Dario came along and made everything new again. The renewal began in America and then came to Spain and inspired great poets such as the Machados and Juan Ramon Jimeniz, to cite only [three]; but undoubtedly there were others…[Dario] was certainly the first of there renovators…[u]nder the influence, of course, of Edgar Allen Poe. What a curious thing – Poe was an American: he was born in Boston and died in Baltimore; but he came to our poetry because Baudelaire translated him…So [the] influence [exerted by all these poets] was French in a way.

Casanova, Pascale. “The World Republic of Letters”. transl. M. B. Devoise. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1999. pp. 97.

This passage from Jorge Luis Borges best sums up what this section, by Casanova, is leading up to. The most important aspect of modern literature comes from the break of tradition and culture by allowing influences from authors of different nations. In this case, the idea of an American author that had barely any interaction with Spanish literature can now be a great influence because it can be translated between languages and culture. Thus, the more current Spanish literature can evolve to not only include the influences of their heritage, but also the voices and stories of others.