The Autumn 2010 issue (Vol. 19.2) of The European English Messenger (EEM), published by the European Society for the Study of English (ESSE), includes (pp. 50-55) my report on ‘The Poe Bicentennial Year 2009 in Spain’, in which I summarise the Spanish contribution (conferences, publications, events, etc) to the bicentenary celebrations that commemorated worldwide the birth of Edgar Allan Poe in 1809.
The full text is on-lime at:
The EEM site is at:
Edgar Allan Poe’s presence as a major influence in Latin American literature is well-known, thanks to the likes of Borges and Cortázar, but less attention has been paid to the remarkable popularity which he today also enjoys in Spain, both in university circles and among readers at large. Poe’s birth bicentennial year of 2009 was marked by multiple academic and cultural events worldwide, and, outside the United States, quite probably nowhere more than in Spain, which had, by the end of the year, hosted a whole series of commemorative readings, theatrical performances, exhibitions, etc, as well as no less than four international academic conferences, held by the Universities of Castilla-La Mancha (Albacete, February), Alcalá de Henares (May), Extremadura (Cáceres, November) and Valencia (December). There were also several important reissues of Poe’s works, among them a new edition of the Cortázar translation of the stories with each tale prefaced by a different Spanish-speaking writer, and Siniestras amadas, an impressive illustrated volume produced by the artist Jack Mircala. This paper will offer an overview of this rich and varied Spanish contribution to the bicentennial, considering its different manifestations and with particular stress on the four conferences. It will, finally, offer some provisional conclusions and suggestions in the endeavour to account for the ‘Poe phenomenon’ in Spain today.