Archive for the ‘Academic’ Category


I am pleased to report that a text of mine has been included in a project for performance improvement in the Mexican education system. This is the 2010 edition of the project known as ENLACE:

The aim of this project (ENLACE means ‘link’ ; the acronym stands for Evaluación Nacional de Logro Académico en Centros Escolares, i.e. National Evaluation of Schools’ Academic Achievement) is “to establish a single scale at national level providing comparable information of the pupils’ knowledge and schools in the subjects evaluated”. It is applied to primary education and the first, second and third years of secondary education, primarily in the core subjects of Spanish and maths. The tests, based on multiple-choice questions, are sat by all pupils in all schools, public and private, at the level concerned, everywhere in Mexico.

In the Spanish test for 2010 for the second year of secondary education, questions 106 to 113 are on Mexican literature, specifically two novels: CANEK by Emilio Abreu and BALÚN CANÁN by Rosario Castellanos:

As an aid to the analysis of the fragment from Castellanos’ book included in the test, an extract has been included from the review of the edition of that novel that appeared in Spain in 2004 (ed. Dora Sales Salvador, Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra), which I wrote in the same year and which is available in English:

– ‘”A Woman Schooled in Latin”: Rosario Castellanos, Ambassador of Mexico and Chiapas” Hispanic Horizon (New Delhi), Vol. XXIV, No 26, 2008, 29-40

and Spanish:

        “Mujer que sabe latín”: Rosario Castellanos, embajadora de México y de Chiapas’, (partial versions published in magazines in Mexico and Peru).


Question No 110, in particular, is about the nature and purpose of the review.

In this way, I have been able to make a contribution to the quality control set-up in the national education system. I therefore, through this medium, express my deep gratitude to the Mexican authorities responsible –¡¡¡MUCHÍSIMAS GRACIAS!!!

 For more details of the review, see entry in this blog, 27 September 2005


Me complazco informar que un texto de mi autoria ha sido incluido en un proyecto para la mejora del rendimiento del sistema educativo mexicano. Se trata del proyecto ENLACE, en su edición de 2010 :

La finalidad de este proyecto (cuyas siglas significan Evaluación Nacional de Logro Académico en Centros Escolares) es “generar una sola escala de carácter nacional que proporcione información comparable de los conocimientos y habilidades que tienen los estudiantes en los temas evaluados”. Se aplica a la enseñanza primaria y al primero, segundo y tercero año del sector secundario, principalmente en las asignaturas base de Español y Matemáticas, y las pruebas (tipo “reactivos de opción múltiple”) se aplican a todos los alumnos de todos los centros del nivel en cuestión, públicos y privados, en el país entero.

En la prueba de Español de 2010 para el segundo año de la enseñanza secundaria, las preguntas 106 a 113 conciernen la literatura mexicana, y concretamente dos novelas, CANEK de Emilio Abreu y BALÚN CANÁN de Rosario Castellanos:

Como ayuda al análisis del fragmento del libro de Castellanos que figura en la prueba, se ha incluido un extracto de la reseña de la edición española de dicho libro de 2004 (edición de Dora Sales Salvador, Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra), que escribí en ese mismo año y que está disponible en lengua inglesa:

– ‘”A Woman Schooled in Latin”: Rosario Castellanos, Ambassador of Mexico and Chiapas” Hispanic Horizon (New Delhi), Vol. XXIV, No 26, 2008, 29-40;:

        “Mujer que sabe latín”: Rosario Castellanos, embajadora de México y de Chiapas’,   (publicaciones parciales en revistas en México y Perú.)


En línea:



La pregunta No 110, en particular, concierne la naturaleza y finalidad de la reseña.

De esta forma, me resulta haber hecho una aportación al proceso de control de calidad en el sistema educativo del país, hecho por el cual quisiera expresar, por este medio, mi sumo agradecimiento a los responsables mexicanos del sector. ¡¡¡MUCHÍSIMAS GRACIAS!!!


Para detalles, véase entrada en esta bitácora, 25-IX-2005


I draw your attention to the newly published volume ‘Translation and culture: Indian perspectives’, ed. G.J.V. Prasad, New Delhi: Pencraft, 2010 – details at:


This book addresses a wide range of aspects of the multifaceted phenomenon of translation in India, and would be of particular interest to Western scholars wishing to engage in comparative studies of translation theory and practice (how far does Indian translation practice differ from the Western? What is the role of English as source and target laguage? Are Western translation theories applicable to the Indian reality? What can Western translators and scholars learn from Indian approaches and concepts concerning translation?)





G.J.V. Prasad


Translation and the Quest for Identity: Democratization of Knowledge in 19th Century India

Shantha Ramakrishna


Latent Patterns of Translation in Charles E. Gover’s The Folk Songs of Southern India



Bengali into Gujarati:Unequal Transaction

Rita Kothari


Translation in a Plurilingual Post-Colonial Context : India

Paul St. Pierre


Translating ‘Superior" Texts: Oriya Translations of Works by Ezra Pound

Sachidananada Mohanty


Lost/Found in Translation: Qurratulain Hyder as Self-Translator

M. Asduddin


Indian Writing in English: Some Language Issues and Translation Problems

Christopher Rollason


Hindi, English and ‘Hinglish’ : Colonial Cousins and the Re-Vernacularisation of ‘National’ Language

Akshaya Saxena


Harry Potter/Hari Puttar-or What’s in a Name?



Translating Hybrid Texts in/on Cosmopolitan Spaces(A case of French Quebecker Texts in Secular Hindi)

Kiran Chaudhary


Translating Global Political Culture

Chitra Harshvardhan


Transcreating Translation

Sujit Mukherjee


Author Text Translator Reader: The New Indian Context

Anisur Rahman


Translating Culture vs. Cultural Translation

Harish Trivedi


Cultural Translation: The New World (B)order

Keya Majumdar


Translating the "Indian" : Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient and Bharati Mukherjee’s Darkness

Malashri Lal



Note: My own article (pp. 88-109) was previously published in the journal JSL (Delhi), No 9, Spring 2008, pp. 20-39 – see entry on this bog for 14 July 2008

Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literatures, No. 10.1 (June 2010)

Now available is the latest issue of the Indian Journal of Postcolonial Literatures (ISSN 0974-7370), No 10.1 (June 2010), edited by Dr K.V. Dominic from Thodupuzha (Kerala), India.


Among the contents are: articles on V.S. Naipaul (C. Ganglakshmi and G. Baskaran), Amitav Ghosh (Khalid Suktan Thabet Abdu and M.H. Rudramuni), Manju Kapur (Manju Roy), Cultural Transference through Translation (G.A. Ghanshyam), and Narrativising the Colonial History of Goa (Nina Caldeira). There are also poems, short stories, book reviews, and an interview – as it happens of myself, conducted by Prof. Jaydeep Sarangi (pp. 22-29).


The editor can be contacted at: 


The interview is on-line at:


Now published is Vol. 3 & 4 (2009) of the Indian Journal of World Literature and Culture, edited from Bhubaneshwar (Orissa, India) by Dr Subhendu Mund (

This is a special issue dedicated to the work of R.K. Narayan, with articles by Manisha Basu, Urbashi Barat, Ludmila Volna, Debashree Dattaray, Karan Singh, H.S. Komalesha and Ujjwal Jana, a 30-page select bibliography compiled by Dieter Riemenschneider and a report Debashree Dattaray on the Narayan birth centenary conference (Mysore, 2006).

Also included are a review by Sule E. Egya (Nigeria) of the anthology ‘Raja Rao : the Master and his Moves’ (ed. Jaydeep Sarangi – see entry on this blog, 19 November 2006), and a note by Ludmila Volna on the 2007 Paris Book Fair, which was devoted to India.

Saugata Bhaduri and Amar Basu (eds.), ‘Perspectives on Comparative Literature and Culture in the Age of Globalization’

Just published is the volume: Saugata Bhaduri and Amar Basu (eds.), Perspectives on Comparative Literature and Culture in the Age of Globalization, London, New York, New Delhi: Anthem Press, 2010, xxiv + 176 pp., ISBN 978-81-907570-8-9.

This book consists of an introduction by the editors plus articles by 17 authors on multiple aspects of globalisation, comparative literary and cultural studies and translation studies. Contributors include such distinguished scholars as G.J.V. Prasad (on translation and the history of Tamil) and Shyama Prasad Ganguly (summarising the Indian reception of Cervantes’ “Don Quijote”). The editors’  introduction is a valuable attempt to examine the history and the various definitions of cultural studies. Many of the articles concern aspects of Slavic and Central and Eastern European studies, often in comparison with Indian material.

Included is my own essay, ‘Beyond the Domestic and the Foreign: Translation as Dialogue’ (pp. 29-39), originally given in as a paper at the ‘International Workshop on Intercultural Studies Today: Challenges and Imperatives’ held at JNU University, Delhi, in 2006. This paper is also available on-line at: See also entry on this blog for 6 April 2006.

This lively, stimulating and well-produced volume may be recommended to all interested in the ongoing global debates around literary and cultural comparative studies.

EDGAR ALLAN POE REVIEW, Fall 2009 – POE IN SPAIN issue -with my and Ana González-Rivas Fernández’s review of JACK MIRCALA, “Siniestras Amadas”



Now published is the Fall 2009 issue of the Edgar Allan Poe Review, based at Penn State University, Pennsylvania (Vol X, No 2, ISSN 1051-743X, editor: Barbara Cantalupo). This issue breaks important ground in Poe studies by consecrating a large proportion of its pages to the 2009 Poe bicentennial celebrations in Spain and the Poe scholarship being carried out in that country. There are a total of eight essays by Spanish scholars: this material has been guest-edited by Beatriz González Moreno and Margarita Rigal Aragón, the organisers of the Poe conference held in February 2009 by the University of Castilla-La Mancha at its Albacete campus, and reflects the themes and activity of that conference (while not duplicating the official proceedings, which will be published separately). The contributors include Fernando Galván (Poe and Dickens), Ricardo Marín Ruiz (Poe and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer), Santiago Rodríguez Guerrero-Strachan (Poe and nineteenth-century Spanish poetry) and Beatriz González Moreno (Poe and Conan Doyle). There is also an important overview article by Margarita Rigal Aragón on ‘Spanish “Misreadings” of Poe’s Life and Works at the Beginning of the Twenty-First Century”.

I am pleased to add that this issue also includes (pp. 131-135) a review, co-written by Ana González-Rivas Fernández (Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and myself, of Siniestras amadas: 22 delirios necro-románticos de Edgar Allan Poe (“Sinister and beloved: 22 necro-romantic moments of delirium by Edgar Allan Poe”, Madrid: Ediciones Sinsentido, 2009), by the distinguished Spanish illustrator Jack Mircala, a beautifully produced book which offers a selection of Poe’s tales and poems on the theme of women (“Ligeia”, “Eleonora”, “Ulalume”, “Annabel Lee” and the rest), freshly translated and illustrated by the artist.

The review is on-line at:

For the Albacete conference, see my report of the event at:


Note: this review is also available in Spanish (on-line only), at:



SEVA BHARATI JOURNAL OF ENGLISH STUDIES, Jan 2010 (includes my review of Sophie Treadwell, MACHINAL, ed. Dolores Narbona)

Now out is Vol. VI (Jan 2010) of SEVA BHARATI JOURNAL OF ENGLISH STUDIES, from Midnapore, India (ed. Jaydeep Sarangi). This issue includes, inter alia, articles by Rajeshwar Mittapalli (representation of Dalits in Indian Writing in English), E.E. Sule (on the Indian-Nigerian writer Kanchana Ugbabe), Pramod K. Nayar (Nayantara Sahgal), K.V. Dominic (Rushdie’s “Midnight’s Children”), Nilanshu Agarwal (Indian women writing in English), and a tribute to the deceased critic Meenakshi Mukherjee, by Subendhu Mund. Also included is my review of:


Maria Dolores Narbona Carrión (ed.),Sophie Treadwell: Contexto teatral, biografía, crítica y traducción de su obra Machinal,’

(pp. 175-187; also on-line at:


The volume reviewed is a translation of and commentary on MACHINAL, a play by the American dramatist Sophie Treadwell (1928). Treadwell, a pioneering woman dramatist and journalist, was of part-Mexican extraction and the play is also of Edgar Allan Poe relevance. My review looks at those aspects and also considers the Translation Studies issues raised by the Spanish version of the play. I hope, therefore, it will be of interest from multiple viewpoints. For more details of this article and an abstract, see the earlier entry on this blog, 23 April 2009.



Ha salido el N° 66 (segundo semestre de 2009) de MAPOCHO: REVISTA DE HUMANIDADES, publicación de la Biblioteca Nacional de Chile y de la DIBAM (Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos), del Gobierno de Chile (director de la revista: Carlos Ossandón Buljevic). Este número incluye, entre otros, textos sobre César Vallejo, Andrés Bello y culturas indígenas chilenas, así como una amplia recopilación de escritos en homenaje al escritor chileno Alfonso Calderón Squadritto. También y por segunda vez, MAPOCHO me ha brindado el honor de publicar un texto de mi autoría, concretamente la versión en lengua castellana de un ensayo que ya publiqué en inglés en la India, sobre Walter Benjamin y París (véase entrada en esta bitácora, 25-IX-2005, donde también hay fotos de los pasajes parisienses).



·         ‘The Passageways of Paris: Walter Benjamin’s "Arcades Project" and Contemporary Cultural Debate in the West’, en Modern Criticism, ed. Christopher Rollason and Rajeshwar Mittapalli, New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2002, pp. 262-296; versión revisada, Walter Benjamin Research Syndicate, (Internet), 2002; versión en lengua castellana, ‘El Libro de los pasajes de Walter Benjamin, la historia no lineal e Internet’, tr. Andrea Sekler, Mapocho: Revista de Humanidades (Santiago, Chile: Ediciones de la Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos), N° 66, 2° semestre, 2009, pp. 13-31; en línea:


Now available is No 66 (Jul-Dec 2009) of MAPOCHO: REVISTA DE HUMANIDADES, published by the National Library of Chile y and the DIBAM (Directorate for Libraries, Archives and Museums), of the Chilean Government (editor: Carlos Ossandón Buljevic). This number features, inter alia, articles on César Vallejo, Andrés Bello and Chilean indigenous cultures, as well as a collection of tributes to the Chilean writer Alfonso Calderón Squadritto. Also and for the second time, MAPOCHO has honoured me by publishing one of my essays: this time, the Spanish-language version of a text earlier published in English in India, on Walter Benjamin and Paris (see entry on this blog, 25 September 2005 – that entry also has photos of the arcades).


·         ‘The Passageways of Paris: Walter Benjamin’s "Arcades Project" and Contemporary Cultural Debate in the West’, in Modern Criticism, ed. Christopher Rollason and Rajeshwar Mittapalli, New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, 2002, pp. 262-296; rev. version on Walter Benjamin Research Syndicate site, (Internet), 2002; Spanish version, ‘El Libro de los pasajes de Walter Benjamin, la historia no lineal e Internet’, trans. Andrea Sekler,  Mapocho: Revista de Humanidades (Santiago, Chile: Ediciones de la Dirección de Bibliotecas, Archivos y Museos), No 66, July-December 2009, pp. 13-31; on-line at:





El presente ensayo examina el célebre libro de Walter Benjamin, el Libro de los pasajes, desde la perspectiva del principio de la interrelación, considerado como el motivo estructural clave del libro. Se demuestra que Benjamin, en este trabajo y en las "Tesis sobre la Filosofía de la Historia", rechaza la doctrina del progreso y propone el modelo alternativo de la constelación histórica. Se concluye que el principio relacional que se afirma en el trabajo de Benjamin ofrece una anticipación significativa y desafiante del modelo de organización de la actual Internet.




Now out is the latest issue of the INDIAN JOURNAL OF POSTCOLONIAL
LITERATURES, No 9.2 (Dec 2009)
(ISSN 0974-7370), a peer-reviewed journal edited by Dr K.V. Dominic –
and published from Newman College, Thodupuzha, Kerala, India.
This issue includes, inter alia:
– a tribute to the late Meenakshi Mukherjee by Jaydeep Sarangi
– an interview with the poet Shanta Acharya, by Nilanshu Agarwal
– short stories, inter alia by Sunil Sharma and K.V. Dominic
– poems by Stephen Gill and others
– articles on, among other topics, Tagore’s THE HOME AND THE WORLD (A.
Githa Hariharan’s THE THOUSAND FACES OF NIGHT (Avis Joseph), Khushwant
TRAIN TO PAKISTAN (A. Pradeep Kumar) and Anita Desai’s WHERE SHALL WE
(V. Ramesh)
– reviews of K.V. Dominic’s ‘Pathos in the Short Stories of
Rabindranath Tagore’ (Ayo Kehide) and Jaydeep Sarangi, ed.,
‘Mulk Raj Anand, R.K. Narayan and Raja Rao) (Cielo G. Festino)
and, if I may add,
– my own (Christopher Rollason’s) reviews of:
Vikram Chandra, SACRED GAMES, pp. 236-239
(also on-line at:
and (joint review) Amitav Ghosh, SEA OF POPPIES and Salman Rushdie,
(also on-line at:
I am more than pleased to have contributed again to this excellent

Congreso/Conference – EDGAR ALLAN POE, Valencia, December/diciembre 2009



I took part from 2 to 4 December 2009 in the ‘International Conference: Genius and Psychosis in Edgar Allan Poe: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives’, held by the University of Valencia, Spain, giving a paper entitled ‘Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”: A Twenty-First Century Revisit’, and also participating (in Spanish) in a round table with a contribution on Poe and psychology.



Del 2 al 4 de diciembre de 2009 participé en el congreso internacional ‘Genius and Psychosis in Edgar Allan Poe: New Interdisciplinary Perspectives’, organizado por la Universidad de Valencia, dictando una ponencia bajo el título ‘Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”: A Twenty-First Century Revisit’, y contribuyendo igualmente (en castellano) a una mesa redonda con un texto sobre ‘Poe y la psicología’.

Siguen unas imágenes de Valencia / below, some images of Valencia –
entre otras  / including:
Jardines del Turia / gardens in the bed of the former river Turia; Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias / Arts and Sciences complex – Hemisfèric, Oceanográfico, Acuario, Delfinario – Hemisfèric, Oceanográfico, aquarium, dolphins.




Report by Christopher Rollason, Ph.D – Metz, France –

This report has the approval of the conference organisation.


From 2 to 4 December 2009, the University of Valencia hosted the international conference “GENIUS AND PSYCHOSIS IN EDGAR ALLAN POE: NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES” – no less than the fourth such academic event to be held in Spain for the bicentennial of the American writer’s birth. Its predecessors took place at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Albacete campus) (3-6 February), the University of Alcalá de Henares (21-23 May), and the University of Extremadura (Cáceres campus) (19-21 November). To the present writer’s knowledge, no other country in the world, not even the US, has held so many Poe conferences during the bicentennial year, and if we add the numerous other Poe-related events – theatre productions, readings, fancy-dress parties, etc – held in Madrid and elsewhere over the year, not to mention the multiple reissues and new illustrated editions in 2009 in Spanish of Poe’s writings in translation, there can surely be no doubt that today’s Spain offers an academic and cultural environment particularly favourable to the presiding shadow of the great Edgar. I myself, as a Poe scholar from outside Spain, was pleased and honoured to participate in the Valencia event with two texts, a paper and a round table contribution.


The overarching themes of this closing conference of 2009 were, on the one hand, the complex and disturbing range of Poe’s themes, from the hyperrational to the irrational, and, on the other, the rich, if not, confusing variety of perspectives that critics and other artists have applied to an oeuvre that is particularly open to exploration from the multidisciplinary viewpoint. Poe is an author whose work belongs simultaneously to both high culture and mass culture, and whose writings have proved unusually permeable to adaptation into other media, including visual arts, cinema and music. Diversity, as hallmark of both Poe’s own work and its reception and criticism, was, then, the keynote of the three days. The event was ably and sympathetically organised by Eusebio Llácer Llorca, Nicolás Estévez Fuertes and Amparo Olivares Pardo, all of the University of Valencia’s Faculty of Philology, Translation and Communication. The proceedings were enlivened by a sherry and amontillado wine-tasting session at the Colegio Mayor Luis Vives (can you tell Amontillado from Sherry?) and an official reception at the Town Hall. There was also a poster session displaying the results of a competition among Valencia students to design the best Poe poster, and an exhibition of Poe poems in calligraphic form by the Paris-based artist William Wolkowski.


The four plenary lectures between them covered enormous ground, from ‘“Mastery in mystery’: the real thing in Edgar Allan Poe’s ghostly literature””(Juana Teresa Guerra de la Torre, University of Las Palmas) to ‘Edgar Allan Poe and Utopia’ (Daniel Ogden, University of Uppsala, Sweden) and from ‘Edgar A. Poe and French Musical Poetics’ (Michel Duchesneau, Université de Montréal, Canada) to ‘La caída de la casa Usher de Jean Epstein y las criptas de Luis Buñuel’ (‘Jean Epstein’s Fall of the House of Usher and Luis Buñuel’s crypts’) (Pilar Pedraza, University of Valencia). Ogden’s revelation of Poe as social critic and science-fiction pioneer opened the eyes of those in the audience hitherto familiar mostly with the Gothic Poe, while the depth and detail of Poe’s influence on such French composers as Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel and Darius Milhaud, as explored by Duchesneau with generous visual and musical illustration, also broke new ground for many.


The papers offered reflected a commendably wide spectrum of interests, and from the viewpoint of interdisciplinarity the following merit particular mention: on Poe’s literary intertext, ‘Manifestaciones de lo clásico en los textos góticos de Edgar Allan Poe’ (‘Manifestations of the classical in Edgar Allan Poe’s Gothic texts’) (Ana González-Rivas Fernández, Universidad Complutense de Madrid); on translation (‘Emmanuel Roidis: the introducer and first translator of Edgar Allan Poe in Greece’ – Eleftheria Tsirakoglou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece; ‘La traducción de Poe: las figuras retóricas como elementos clave en la creación del miedo’ (‘The translation of Poe: rhetorical figures as key elements in the creation of fear’ – Isabel Tello Fons, Universitat Jaume I de Castellón); on ageing (‘“I loved the old man – I made up my mind to kill the old man”: Poe on the edge of ageing’ – Marta Miquel Baldellou, University of Lleida/Lérida); on ‘Usher’ and avant-garde art (‘Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”: a twenty-first-century revisit’ – Christopher Rollason, Metz, France – my first of two contributions); on ‘The Cask of Amontillado’ and its literary and cultural progeny (‘Tras la pista del barril de Amontillado’ – ‘On the trail of the Cask of Amontillado’ – José Luis Jiménez García, Real Academia San Dionisio); on Poe and silence (‘“Siope” as the ineffable: Etymology of a Title’ – María Carmen Pérez Branchadell, Universitat Jaume I de Castellón); and on Poe, Dickens and the didactics of literature (‘Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens: a perfect team creating atmosphere’ – María Alcantud Díaz, University of Valencia)


The proceedings also included a workshop on a multimedia theme, namely the influence of Poe-inspired films on contemporary Italian musicians (led by Roberto Calabretto, University of Udine, Italy); and a round table, dedicated specifically to interdisciplinarity in Poe studies, with contributions on Poe and poetics (Jaime Siles, University of Valencia, poet and President of the  Spanish Classical Studies Association), Poe and the sciences (Fernando Ballesteros, University of Valencia, astronomer), and Poe and psychology (Christopher Rollason, Metz, France; my own second contribution). From this three-way exchange, the American author emerged, intriguingly, as a continuator of Aristotle and precursor of both Freud and Einstein.


The unprecedented sequence of Poe conferences over this year has had the gratifying effect of creating an Edgar Allan Poe community in Spain, indeed one not even confined to that country. Many Poe scholars, from both Spain and further afield, attended two, three (in my own case) or even all four conferences, thus acquiring invaluable opportunities for networking and sharing. The challenge will now be to find new ways, more informal but lasting and sustainable, of building on these gains, and to take Poe studies in Spain on to fresh ground, in constant contact and cooperation with the best international scholarship.




2-4 DICIEMBRE 2009


Informe de Christopher Rollason, Ph.D – Metz, Francia –

Este informe ha sido aprobado por los organizadores del congreso.


Del 2 al 4 de diciembre de 2009, la Universidad de Valencia / Universitat de València albergó el congreso internacional “GENIALIDAD Y PSICOPATIA EN EDGAR ALLAN POE: NUEVAS PERSPECTIVAS INTERDISCIPLINARES” (“GENIUS AND PSYCHOSIS IN EDGAR ALLAN POE: NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES”) – nada menos que el cuarto evento de esa naturaleza organizado en España para conmemorar el bicentenario del nacimiento del gran escritor norteamericano. Lo precedieron los congresos poeianos que tuvieron lugar en Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (campus de Albacete) (3 a 6 de febrero), la Universidad de Alcalá (21 a 23 de mayo), y la Universidad de Extremadura (campus de Cáceres) (19 a 21 de noviembre). Al menos dentro del conocimiento de quien escribe estas líneas, ningún otro país del mundo, ni siquiera Estados Unidos, ha dedicado tantos congresos a Poe en este año del bicentenario, y si añadimos los muy numerosos espectáculos inspirados en el autor – obras de teatro, lecturas, fiestas de disfraces – que se han montado en Madrid y otros lugares a través del año, sin hablar de las múltiples reediciones y nuevas ediciones ilustradas de las obras de Poe que han salido en traducción castellana en 2009, podremos concluir sin lugar a dudas que la España de hoy proporciona un ambiente académico y cultural muy propicio a ser presidido por la sombra del gran Edgar. En el registro personal, puedo afirmar que fue con mucha ilusión y sentido agradecimiento que participé en el evento de Valencia con dos textos: una comunicación y una aportación de mesa redonda.


Los campos dominantes de este último congreso de 2009 fueron, por un lado, el abanico temático de la obra poeiana en su amplio espectro – desde lo hiperracional hasta lo irracional – y, por otro, la inmensa (y a veces confusa) variedad de enfoques que han sido aplicados, tanto por la crítica como por otros artistas, a una producción literaria que se caracteriza por ser excepcionalmente abierta a ser explorada desde una perspectiva pluridisciplinar. Poe es un autor cuya obra pertenece simultaneamente a la cultura erudita y a la de masas, y cuyos escritos han resultado ser especialmente susceptibles a la adaptación en otros medios, como las bellas artes, el cine y la música. Así, la tónica de los tres días fue, lógicamente, la diversidad, vista como rasgo esencial tanto de la propia obra poeiana como de su recepción y crítica. El evento fue organizado, con habilidad y cordialidad, por Eusebio Llácer Llorca, Nicolás Estévez Fuertes y Amparo Olivares Pardo, profesores de la Facultad de Filología, Traducción y Comunicación de la Universidad anfitriona. Las (animaciones) paralelas fueron desde una degustación de vino de jerez y, particularmente, del eterno amontillado, en el Colegio Mayor Luis Vives (¿sabe Vd. distinguir entre amontillado y jerez?), hasta una recepción oficial en el Ayuntamiento, pasando por una sesión de pósteres que presentaba los resultados de un concurso entre estudiantes valencianos para concebir el mejor cartel poeiano, y una exposición de poemas de Poe en forma caligráfica, obra del artista William Wolkowski, residente en París.


Hubo cuatro conferencias plenarias, cuya temática no hubiera podido ser más variada: ‘“Mastery in mystery’: the real thing in Edgar Allan Poe’s ghostly literature”’ (‘“Maestría en misterio’: lo real en la literatura fantasmagórica de Edgar Allan Poe”’ (Juana Teresa Guerra de la Torre, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria); ‘Edgar Allan Poe and Utopia’ (‘Edgar Allan Poe y la utopía’) (Daniel Ogden, Universidad de Uppsala, Suecia); ‘Edgar A. Poe and French Musical Poetics’ (‘Edgar A. Poe y la poética musical en Francia’) (Michel Duchesneau, Université de Montréal, Canadá); y ‘La caída de la casa Usher de Jean Epstein y las criptas de Luis Buñuel’ (Pilar Pedraza, Universidad de Valencia). La revelación hecha por Ogden de un Poe crítico social y pionero de la ciencia ficción (les) abrió los ojos a quienes lo conocían primordialmente como escritor gótico; e igualmente nuevas para muchas fue la preciosa información proporcionada por Duchesneau, con un rico acompañamiento musical y visual, de) la profunda influencia que ejerció la obra del gran estadounidense en compositores franceses como Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel o Darius Milhaud.


Las comunicaciones reflejaron una gratificantemente amplia gama de intereses desde la interdisciplinaridad. Destacaremos algunas, las cuales incidieron en los aspectos siguientes: Poe y la intertextualidad (‘Manifestaciones de lo clásico en los textos góticos de Edgar Allan Poe’ – Ana González-Rivas Fernández, Universidad Complutense de Madrid); la traducción (‘Emmanuel Roidis: the introducer and first translator of Edgar Allan Poe in Greece’ – ‘Emmanuel Rodis: presentador y primer traductor de Edgar Allan Poe en Grecia’ – Eleftheria Tsirakoglou, Universidad Aristóteles, Thessaloniki, Grecia; y ‘La traducción de Poe: las figuras retóricas como elementos clave en la creación del miedo’– Isabel Tello Fons, Universitat Jaume I de Castellón); el envejecimiento (‘“I loved the old man – I made up my mind to kill the old man”: Poe on the edge of ageing’ – ‘“Quería mucho al viejo – me fui decidiendo a matar al viejo”: Poe en el borde del envejecimiento’ – Marta Miquel Baldellou, Universitat de Lleida); el relato ‘Usher’ y las corrientes artísticas de vanguardia (‘Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher”: a twenty-first-century revisit’- ‘“La caída de la casa de Usher” de Edgar Allan Poe: revisitado en el siglo XXI’ – Christopher Rollason, Metz, Francia – la primera de mis dos aportaciones); ‘El Barril de Amontillado’ y su prole literaria y cultural (‘Tras la pista del barril de Amontillado’ – José Luis Jiménez García, Real Academia San Dionisio); Poe y el silencio (‘“Siope” as the ineffable: Etymology of a Title’ –‘“Siope” o lo inefable: etimología de un título’ – María Carmen Pérez Branchadell, Universitat Jaume I de Castellón); y Poe, Dickens y la didáctica de la literatura (‘Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens: a perfect team creating atmosphere’ – ‘Edgar Allan Poe y Charles Dickens – un equipo perfecto creador de atmosfera’ – María Alcantud Díaz, Universidad de Valencia).


También formaron parte del evento un taller multidisciplinario en el ámbito ‘multimedia’, concretamente la influencia de películas inspiradas en Poe en los músicos contemporaneos italianos (moderado por Roberto Calabretto, de la Universidad de Udine, Italia); y una mesa redonda consagrada al tema ‘Edgar Allan Poe: Enfoques pluridisciplinares’, con intervencioners sobre Poe y la poética  (Jaime Siles, Universidad de Valencia, poeta y presidente de la Asociación Española de Estudios Clásicos), Poe y las ciencias (Fernando Ballesteros, Universidad de Valencia, astrónomo), y Poe y la psicología (Christopher Rollason, Metz, Francia; mi segunda aportación). A partir de este intercambio triangular se pudo dibujar una fascinante imagen del autor norteamericano como seguidor de Aristóteles y al mismo tiempo precursor tanto de Freud como de Einstein.


La cadena de congresos a lo largo del año del bicentenario en tierras españolas se perfila ahora como un fenómeno inédito que ha surtido el benigno efecto de dar a luz a una comunidad poeiana española, cuya composición ni siquiera se limita a gente residente en España. Muchos especialistas de Poe, tanto españoles como gente de fuera, estuvieron presentes en dos o (como en mi propio caso) tres de los congresos, o incluso en (todos) los cuatro, así) generando preciosas posibilidades de compartir ideas y trabajar en red. Ahora se planteará el desafío de encontrar otras modalidades, más informales pero de naturaleza sostenible y duradera, de seguir adelante y crear nuevos moldes para los estudios poeianos en España, en un marco de contacto y colaboración permanente con los mejores estudiosos internacionales.

Note added 26 March 2011: for the conference proceedings, see entry on this blog for 25 March 2011 / para las actas, véase entrada en esta bitácora del 25-III-2011