For Damien: Herrmann Hesse about E. A. Poe.
Damien Walter is a ›Twitter buddy‹ of mine, Scottish author of reviews and essays, buddhist agent provocateur against all dumb mainstream notions, jester, mocker & critic at the court of the fantastic genres.
Today he shared his love for Herrmann Hesse — an author whose achievments I can respect, but I personally quite despise his writings, especially his prose style — but instead of scoffing about Damiens fondness for Hesse, I replied by hinting at a curious quote from Hesse about Edgar Allan Poe.
Found the full quote with context in German, but not in English, which provides me with a perfect opportunity to do something litte for Damien as a »Thank you« for his Twitter friendship and as appreciation for his workings on the internet.
@damiengwalter He wrote one of my favorite quotes about the death of fantastica ≈ »The hype about Poe & Co will be gone in a few years.«— molosovsky (@molosovsky) 6. April 2014
So here is my quick translation vom German to English of the mentioned quote of Herrmann Hesse (In »Gesammelte Werke Band 12; Schriften zur Literatur II«, Werkausgabe edition Suhrkamp; Hrsg. von Volker Michels, Frankfurt 1970; Seite 283):
The german literature of our days is full of »fantastical« fictions, from which only that of Meyring have a certain depth. The father of this genre, Poe, remains unmatched. Poe, the lonely, impoverished american journalist truly was a marked man, a Cain with the sign of a genius. The whole literature of horror & the fantastic following after Poe will be gone swiftly. Poe may be Americas greatest poet even above Whitman.
»A History of Literature in Reviews and Essays«, 1922