Essay about The Influence Of Edgar Allen Poe

1250 Words Oct 30th, 2016 5 Pages
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 for literary universality, wherein works are not linked with personal situations, but enduring, archetypal human experiences. Bell-Valada (1999, p.53) corroborates, declaring, “[Borges’] precursor Poe was definitely a kindred spirit and even an originator.” Borges (1998, p.196) continues, claiming Poe “created a genre”, and that all detective novels “came out of Poe; they were all begotten by Poe.” Such assertions support cultural transmission, as Poe inspired a literary movement that continues to fill a prominent societal niche. 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…

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