Sonntag, 6. April 2014

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.

In short: check out his website and follow his columns for »The Guardian«.

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.

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):

E. A. Poe 1809 - 1849

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

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