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

Improved Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Bell-Valada (1999, p.53) expands, declaring, “[Borges’] precursor Poe was definitely a kindred spirit and even an originator.” Moreover, Borges (1998, p.196) claims Poe “created a genre”, contending all detective novels “came out of Poe; they were all begotten by Poe.” Borges’ assertions support cultural transmissions, as Poe inspired a literary movement that has retained societal prominent. Bennett (1983, p.263) elaborates, labelling Borges a “perpetuator of literary forms pioneered by Poe.” Further, Bennett (1983, p.263) discerns, “Poe is 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. Yet, suggesting Borges exclusively imitated Poe is reductive, and belies Borges’ literary skill. Rather, Borges (1998, p.196) comments, “my style … is far different from Poe, since Poe wrote in what we may call a pompous style, and I write in a rather grey, everyday style.” Thus, Borges does not reflect Poe verbatim, but challenges and develops his central notions. Bennett (1983, p.275) echoes this sentiment, observing, “Borges presents the inevitable confrontation of a late writer not only with a major precursor but with the originator of those very forms that are the necessary vehicles and expressions of his vision.” Therefore, the literary relationship between Poe and Borges is not stagnant and/or linear, as in Leavis (1972) and Bloom’s (1973) conceptions.…

    • 1411 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    These developments subsequently led to the formation of theories such as ‘The death of the Author’. Arguably, Elliot also had an influence on Important figures in Literary criticism such as Leavis and Bloom. There are present mutual notions of perceiving tradition as continuously remade and rethought. Furthermore, critical essays such as ‘Tradition and the individual talent’ and ‘Hamlet and his problems’ have had major influence on the school of New Criticism. These influences have made the study of literary theory what it is today.…

    • 792 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    His work modifies our conception of the past, as it will modify the future” (Borges, Other Inquisitions 108). He goes on to say “The word ‘precursor’ is indispensable in the vocabulary of criticism, but one should try to purify it from every connotation of polemic or rivalry” (109). His vision of literary tradition is astute.By the inveterate tool of allusion, Borges’s stories examine the possibility that the literary question of one’s relationship to one’s successors runs parallel to the philosophical question of one’s personal identity. To Borges, not only one’s writing but one’s own identity is contingent upon the revisionary perspectives provided by the future generations.Borges deems Oscar Wilde (in the essay “About Oscar Wilde”) to have that rare ability to mix humour and frivolity with intense intellectual depth. Through him, Borges came to believe in comic truth, the truth of fiction which is able to tolerate cyclical and contradictory representations of…

    • 3909 Words
    • 16 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Baudelaire might want to read Poe’s writing style because; he might be able to relate to it. Baudelaire gives a special importance on Poe’s style of writing because; he can understand what he is reading and what Poe are saying in his writing and poems (Baudelaire). Baudelaire also gives Poe’s a special fact on having a great writing style in his writing. In one of Poe’s biographers it ‘said that whenever Poe wanted to regularize his creative faculties in away more appropriate American soil (Baudelaire).In Edgar Allan Poe characters seems to fit within their society in Poe’s writing style and Pomes (Baudelaire). “The Raven and the name of Poe was on every-Tongue, With everyone discussing his poem, he crossed Broadway in New York stumbling and staggering against the building(Baudelaire).The author is trying to make it like Poe works on the cryptograph with Alexander weekly and solving messenger (Sova).…

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Bassnett and Lefevere (2004), in their book Translation Rewriting and the Manipulation of Literary Fame have come up with the cultural rewriting theory presenting their view “translation is a rewriting of an original text”. According to Bassnett and Lefevere, “All rewritings, whatever their intention, reflect a certain ideology and a poetics and as such manipulate literature to function in a given society in a given way. Rewriting is manipulation, undertaken in the service of power... Rewriting can introduce new concepts, new genres, new devices” (2004a, p. vii).This indicates that the main aim of manipulating any text is to present new concepts and as Bassnett and Lefevere point out that all rewritings are “not innocent” they are shaped by certain factors among them are power, ideology, poetics and patronage. Bassnett is against the principles adopted by the linguistically oriented approach the equivalence or the faithfulness principles .Bassnett views translation as rewriting which is manipulation of the source text to certain extent. Bassnett further declares "the translator must tackle the SL text in such a way that the TL version will correspond to the SL version... To attempt to impose the value system of the SL culture onto the TL culture is dangerous ground" (Bassnett, 2002, P31- 32).…

    • 1698 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Poe uses symbolism in The Cask of Amontillado in different aspects, but the aspect that was illuminating with symbolism was the apparel of Fortunato. Poe not only uses symbolism to compose a good story to the reader but he as well uses figurative language to describe the feeling and emotions of his characters especially that of Montresor. But what Poe truly mastered in The Cask of Amontillado was the art of irony, which was shining in the conversations between Montresor and Fortunato. The Cask of Amontillado proves that Edgar Allen Poe was a great writer who composes his works using literary elements in factions of his works where no one would expect to…

    • 1029 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This theory is known as the pragmatic theory. According to this theory, a work of literature should have an impact on the audience. Sir Philip Sidney, in his essay “An Apology for Poetry” says that the main function of poetry is to teach and to delight. He distinguishes poets from the historians and philosophers by saying that poets has the capability to combine the concrete facts provided by the historians and the moral values of the philosophers and present it in a delightful manner. The origin of this theory can be traced back to the rhetoric of classical criticism.…

    • 2438 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Persian Poetry Analysis

    • 1447 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Each ideological paradigm has, in its own way, influenced the form, characterization, and figurative language of literary texts. It has set the criteria for indigenous literary criticism and has determined which issues related to politics, religion, or culture are to be the focus of literary journals (3). Talattof’s analysis of the characteristics of modern Persian literature is ultimately based on ideological and discursive changes. In contrary, some structuralist critics like Christophe Balay stresses on internal aspects of modern literary works. Using the ideas of Jolles, Tomachevski, Cheovski, and Eikhenbaum, Balay tries to study Dehkhoda’s Charand o Parand founded on a formalism and structuralism (78).…

    • 1447 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Verne was basically raised with the poems of Edgar Allan Poe. Poe’s writing influenced Jules Verne’s taking in a mix of the real world and the fantastic. The relationship between Poe and Verne is a great example of a direct connection in literacy styles. Poe blends the fantastic and plausible stories within the proto-science fiction…

    • 1629 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Postcolonial Lens Essay

    • 1799 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Rushdie manipulates the story of the myth, changing it to complement with identity shifts among characters throughout the novel especially Saleem Sinai. Therefore what should and shouldn’t we believe within his writing? In my opinion, this is what postcolonial authors aim for us to think about and assess. They want us to make our own inferences and interpretations of the text, because after all it is their own interpretation of history too. Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children may be an example of trying to assert cultural integrity as described by Sarah Harrison in What is Postcolonial Literature.…

    • 1799 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Improved Essays