Literary Influence Of Edgar Allen Poe By Jorge Luis Borges And Thomas Pynchon

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Analysing specific examples of literary influence is paramount to practically exemplify prior theoretical claims. The influence of Edgar Allen Poe upon Jorge Luis Borges, and subsequent influence of Borges upon Thomas Pynchon, will be assessed. These authors have been selected as they emanate from distinct cultural contexts, while their writings are separated by several decades. Firstly, Borges (1998, p.196) directly acknowledges Poe’s influence, noting, “Poe taught me how to use my imagination … I should be thankful to him for teaching me that writing could transcend personal experience - or rather, could be woven out of personal experience transmuted in some strange way.” Borges’ desire to “transcend personal experience” implies a quest …show more content…
Bennett (1983, p.263) expands, labelling Borges a “perpetuator of literary forms pioneered by Poe.” Further, Bennett (1983, p.263) perceives, “Poe is also the author to whom Borges returns most frequently in praise, criticism, and explicit imitation.” Ostensibly, phrases such as ‘perpetuator’ and ‘explicit imitation’ reveal Borges was not merely influenced by Poe, but actively imitated his thematic values, signifying cultural recreations. Yet, suggesting Borges exclusively imitated Poe is …show more content…
Typically, cultural transmissions preserve central knowledge, principles, and beliefs across generations. However, rather than perpetuating culture verbatim, literature advances and re-evaluated pertinent values. The pervasiveness of terms such as Orwellian and Kafkaesque confirms this, as George Orwell and Franz Kafka’s central values have become normalised, remaining recognisable in contemporary literature and culture. Essentially, Orwellian or Kafkaesque works influence subsequent authors, who in turn highlight cultural values. Moreover, examining specific conceptions of literary influence challenges normative conceptions. Three theories are relevant; Harold Bloom’s The Anxiety of Influence, Jorge Luis Borges’ Kafka and his Precursors, and Thompson’s analysis of David Foster Wallace’s B.I. #59. Accordingly, Bloom endorses linear perceptions of influence, wherein all poems are a misreading of prior works. In contrast, Borges posits that writers create their own precursors, that is, influence can be retroactive, while Thompson contends literary influence is inextricably borne from present cultural circumstances. Yet, while conceptions vary, all are predicated on the inevitability of influence, and facilitation of cultural continuity. Finally, tracing a chain of literary influence from

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