Pío Baroja (1872–1956), the most prolific novelist of the so-called Spanish Generation of '98, began his literary career as a storyteller. The publication of Vidas sombrías (Somber Lives) in 1900, a volume of over thirty stories set in the Basque Country, Madrid and Valencia, earned him wide critical acclaim, despite its poor reception by Spanish readers. Baroja himself acknowledged that four or five of the stories were written in imitation of Edgar Allan Poe. This article explores traces of Poe in Baroja's early storytelling, although it sets out by considering a concept such as unity of sensation (unity of effect), which Baroja indeed borrowed from Poe, although he never acknowledged this. My central concern here is that Baroja's early admiration of the writer from Boston manifests itself in the adoption of bleak landscapes, Gothic interiors, and psychologically unstable characters. This trend was soon to be abandoned, although Baroja's concept of the novel, a development of Poe's poetics of the tale, would remain with the Basque writer for the rest of his life. The final part of this study analyzes Poe-like elements—literary devices, Gothic motifs, semantic structures—which can be found in "Médium," one of the stories in Vidas sombrías.


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pp. 96-109
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