Page:Edgar Allan Poe - how to know him.djvu/37

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THE WORLD-AUTHOR ijr �Sarah Helen Whitman on April 4, 1876, Mallarme says : "Whatever is done to honor the memory of a genius the most truly divine the world has seen, ought it not at first to obtain your sanction ? Such of Poe's works as our great Baudelaire has left untranslated, that is to say, the poems and many of the critical frag- ments, I hope to make known to France." Mallarme was a symbolist and the prince of symbolists. His motto was, "To name is to destroy, to suggest is to create." He was spokesman for the subconscious. Every clear idea, he thought, had long ago been ex- pressed ; what remained was to give utterance to the subliminal. Edmund Gosse said of him : "Language was given to Mallarme to conceal definite thought, to draw the eye away from the object. He aims at il- lusion and wraps mystery around his simplest utter- ance." Mallarme's passion for perfection, in other words, brought its own defeat ; it splintered his effort into fragments, shining fragments but fragments none the less. In his quest for symbolism the word rather than the idea became the unit. �These qualities of style are necessarily kept in check to a degree in Mallarme's prose versions of Poe's poems ; but, with all their perfection of word equiva- lence, these rimeless and rhythmless lines, these stanzas that lack the old integrations, seem almost a parody to ���mained the only complete translation of Poe's poems into French until the appearance in 1908 of Victor Orban's Poesies completes d'Edgar Poe. Mourey's later edition of 1910 is prefaced by a letter from J. H. Ingram. It contains also the Philosophy of Composition as well as biographical and bibliographical notes. �Excellent translations of Poe's poems have also been made by mile Lauvriere. ��� �