Poe Translated by Baudelaire: The Reconstruction of an Identity

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CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture, Vol: 4, Issue: 3

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Garrait-Bourrier, Anne
Purdue University (bepress); Purdue University Press
Arts and Humanities; Comparative Literature; Critical and Cultural Studies; comparative literature
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In her paper, "Poe Translated by Baudelaire: The Reconstruction of an Identity," Anne Garrait-Bourrier argues that Poe and Baudelaire seem to have developed what could be described as a father-son or teacher-student relationship. Baudelaire devoted half of his life to the translation into his mother tongue of Edgar Allan Poe's tales and the other half to the creation of poetry which was inspired, to say the least, by the American writer. Garrait-Bourrier proposes that the influence Poe exerted is undeniable and particularly manifest in Les Fleurs du Mal, so akin to Poe's spirit of "spleen" and the systematic deconstruction of the romantic tenets that many scholars and critics have been suspicious about this intellectual similarity. Garrait-Bourrier refers to the fact that Baudelaire admitted openly that Poe had a discernible impact on his own work but that he systematically rejected any accusation of plagiarism. The purpose of Garrait-Bourrier's study is to come to a better understanding of this very unusual literary relationship and try to define it.