Archive for February, 2022


The locality where I live – Esch-sur-Alzette, situated in the south of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg near the French border and enjoying the role of the Grand Duchy’s second city – is now living one of the most exciting times in its history, having been chosen as European Capital of Culture for 2022. It shares this distinction with two other European cities, Kaunas in Lithuania and Novi Sad in Serbia. If Esch is the epicentre of E22, as the year-long festival has been dubbed, there will also be multiple activities in other municipalities of southern Luxembourg and across the French frontier.

Yesterday 26 February was the date of  the official launch of E22, as the year-long festival is known, and Esch’s main square, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, colourfully lit up, was the designated venue for REMIX OPENING, an event made up of a series of eloquent inaugural speeches interspersed with live music. Dignitaries spoke representing Luxembourg (including the mayor of Esch), France, the European Union and more, the main languages of communication being Luxembourgish and French.

The festival having been officially opened, the coast is clear for a multitude of creative manifestations spanning all the arts. The current situation in Europe and its challenge to European values was evoked, as alas had to be the case, with the bridge-building role of culture now appearing more important than ever. It was affirmed that there can be no Europe without culture, and no culture without Europe. Meanwhile, it should never be forgotten that Luxembourg is a multicultural and multilingual country, and it is to be hoped that the minority and migrant cultures will be fully represented as the cultural events unfold. It is now over to the inhabitants of Esch to express their creativity and support their fellow citizens’ creative acts, over 2022 and beyond.


THE EDGAR ALLAN POE REVIEW, 22.2 – Autumn 2021

Released is the latest issue of the Edgar Allan Poe Review, published twice-yearly by the Penn State University Press (Vol. 22, No 2, Autumn 2021). See:


The issue features (pp. 390-397) Renata Philippov’s review of Anthologizing Poe, the volume edited by Emron Esplin and Margarida Vale de Gato and published by Rowman & Littlefield and Lehigh University Press in 2020 which was that year’s winner of the Poe Studies Association’s J. Lasley Dameron Award, and to which I contributed a chapter on British and French popular editions.

Also included (pp. 397-404) is my review of the collective e-book of essays Edgar Allan Poe: Efémerides em Trama, edited from Brazil by Flavio García et al.

The volume as a whole ranges in its varied content from in-depth essays on ‘The Black Cat’ (Bethanie Sonnefeld; on its reception in Greece, Dimitrios Tsokanos) and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ (John A. Dern), through several texts on ‘The Raven’ (Paul Lewis on imitations and parodies of the poem, Richard Kopley suggesting overlooked sources, George Poe reviewing Julian Zainetta on French translations), to Eloïse Sureau reviewing Sonya Izaak’s study of the Poe-Baudelaire axis and Chris Sentmer on Poe’s statue in Richmond.

Note : For Anthologizing Poe, see the earlier entries on this blog for 26 August 2020 and 27 September 2021.


Brief extract (slightly amended) from my review of Edgar Allan Poe: Efémerides em Trama:

Flavio García, Luciana Colucci, Marisa Martins Gama-Khalil and Renata Philippov, Eds. Edgar Allan Poe: Efemérides em Trama. Rio de Janeiro: Dialogarts, 2019. 340 pp. Electronic text only.

This collective volume, published to commemorate the 170th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, is published in Brazil, a country where there has traditionally been significant interest in Poe, as manifested through some of its most important writers and critics. Among novelists, Machado de Assis translated ‘The Raven’ in 1883, and in 1974-1975 Clarice Lispector put her hand to Poe’s fiction, while in 1971 the poet and critic Haroldo de Campos analysed ‘The Philosophy of Composition’.

The book’s subtitle may be translated as “Plotting an Anniversary”. It consists of an editorial introduction and twelve essays. The editors are all based in Brazil, as are six of the contributors, the other two (the distinguished scholars David Roas and Henri Justin) hailing respectively from Catalonia and France. There appears to be rough gender parity among editors/contributors.  Each of the four editors has one essay, as do the remaining contributors, except that the editor Luciana Colucci co-authors a piece with Valéria da Silva Medeiros and one contributor (Roas) is represented by two essays.

The introduction offers a general biographical and critical perspective on Poe as immensely gifted writer, acute social critic and “voz paradigmática das letras ocidentais” (“paradigmatic voice of Western letters” – 13), followed by a conspectus of the volume and a chapter-by-chapter summary of the content. Each essay has a bibliography attached; the authors’ biographies are collected at the end. All texts are in Portuguese except for Justin’s (in English) and for Roas’ two (both in Spanish). Regarding the translations of Poe used, there is an overwhelming preference for the Oscar Mendes/Milton Amado Brazilian Portuguese renderings which appeared in 1944, these being treated in today’s Brazil as the standard translations. However, the actual quoting of Poe in the different chapters is lacking in consistency. Some authors quote Poe in Portuguese translation without supplying the original, while others offer translated passages in their text body but add the original in footnote form: a uniform house policy would have been welcome here. (…)