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  • Newly Translated Poe Scholarship—A Running Feature
  • Emron Esplin

When Jana Argersinger and Alexander Hammond reached out to me in 2017 and asked if I would like to be considered as a possible co-editor and eventual editor of Poe Studies: History, Theory, Interpretation, I contemplated both how I could facilitate the high quality work that the journal had been producing for almost 50 years and what I might bring to the journal that it did not already have. Answering the first question did not take me long. The journal had a great reputation, an editorial board of fantastic Poe scholars, and a small group of consulting editors (who had formerly served as sole or co-editors of the journal) who could help me with the transition, and Jana was prepared to mentor me as a new co-editor for the last 18 months or so before her retirement. The structure was in place for the creation of a reciprocal relationship in which both the journal and I could benefit from my participation.

The answer to the second question—what, if anything, new could I bring to Poe Studies?—took more time to discover. Indeed, I found it as I worked with Jana on the 2018 and 2019 volumes of the journal while continuing my own scholarship. In 2017, I was in the midst of co-editing my second book on Poe, had recently published a book on Poe and Jorge Luis Borges, and had written various transnational and comparative articles on Poe. Several other Poe scholars were involved in similar endeavors, but my previous experience editing Translated Poe (2014) with Margarida Vale de Gato had opened my eyes to a world of Poe scholarship that most scholars in English could not or did not access—the world of Poe scholarship being produced in languages other than English. All Poe scholars know something about his influence on Charles Baudelaire and the latter's influence on Poe's reputation and posthumous literary fortunes (although not all of us, myself included, read Baudelaire in French). Many Poe scholars can read Poe scholarship in one or two languages beyond our native tongues (for me, these languages are Spanish and, with a bit more effort, Portuguese). None of us, however, can really access the majority of Poe scholarship (either historical or contemporary) written in other languages because scholars write about Poe in so many of them. His global influence has [End Page 137] created both a popular readership and an academic following that spans dozens of languages. Some of this scholarship (especially in the French tradition with primary examples from Baudelaire, Paul Valéry, and Marie Bonaparte) has already been translated into English, but much of it has not.

My "addition," then, to the journal is this recurring feature—"Newly Translated Poe Scholarship"—through which I hope to facilitate the transmission of non-English scholarship on Poe by providing a space for the translation of important historical and contemporary works on Poe into English for the first time. When I transfer the editorship of Poe Studies to other capable hands and minds in a few years, I hope to pass on a journal that continues to deliver valuable scholarship in its second half-century (or, during its next ten "lustra," to use one of Poe's preferred terms) and a running feature that provides scholars in English access to much more of the work being written about Poe in languages other than his own. [End Page 138]



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