THE WORLD-AUTHOR 15 �that Baudelaire begat almost all contemporary poetry ; but the statement Would contain much truth." When Remy de Gourmont was asked what external influ- ences he deemed paramount in French literature, he replied: "Browning and Pater but, above all, Poe, Poe, through his son, Mallarme." No closer or more interesting literary affinity has ever existed than that between Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire. The chief difference was expressed by Baudelaire himself: "There is not in all of Poe's work a single passage that tends to lubricity or even to sensual pleas- ure." Barring this difference, which is fundamental,, Baudelaire adopted all of Poe's critical dicta and de- fended them to the last with a loyalty that would brook not the slightest disagreement; he translated Poe's stories into French "with an identification of style and thought so exact," says Gautier, "that they seem original works rather than translations ;" he lived to see Poe enthroned as one of the sovereigns of European literature; and, when nearing his own end, he made a solemn resolve "to pray to God every morning, to God who is the receptacle of all strength and all justice, to my father, to Marietta, and to Poe, as intercessors." �"It was in 1846 or 1847," Baudelaire wrote to Armand Fraisse, "that I became acquainted with a few fragments of Edgar Poe. 10 I experienced a peculiar emotion. As his complete works were not ���10 These fragments were probably, in part at least, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, translated by his intimate friend, Felix Tournachon, better known as "Nadar." Tournachon died in 1910 leaving unpublished memoirs. He was an inter- esting man. In the early fifties he broached the idea of a heavier-than-air flying machine, and in 1863 he carried his. wife and friends in a balloon from Paris to Hanover. ��� �
Page:Edgar Allan Poe - how to know him.djvu/35
This page needs to be proofread.