In spring of 2011, Dr. Emron Esplin (BYU) and Dr. Margarida Vale de Gato (University of Lisbon) met at the American Comparative Literature Association’s annual meeting and decided to co-edit a book that would take the next step in transnational Poe studies by focusing specifically on Poe translations in as many literary traditions as possible. This book was recently published as Translated Poe (2014) with Lehigh University Press in their Perspectives on Edgar Allan Poe series. The volume brings together 31 essays from 19 different national/literary traditions to demonstrate Poe’s extensive influence on world literature and thought while revealing the importance of the vehicle that delivers Poe to the world—translation.
Translated Poe is not preoccupied with judging the “quality” of any given Poe translation or with assessing what a specific translation of Poe must or should have done. Rather, the volume demonstrates how Poe’s translations constitute multiple contextual interpretations, testifying to how this prolific author continues to help us read ourselves and the world(s) in which we live. The examples of how Poe’s works were spread abroad remind us that literature depends as much on authorial creation and timely readership as on the languages and worlds through which a piece of literature circulates after its initial publication in its first language.