The staff of The Flying News has accepted an invitation to participate in a panel which will undertake the grand endeavour of translating the complete works of Edgar Allan Poe into the English language. The panel includes men, women, and children, all of whom are renowned experts in the English language, having spoken the same from childhood or even since before birth. Most of them are also very accomplished readers, and some even writers, of the English language. Moreover, their exquisite taste in literature will allow them to properly interpret key phrases used by Poe, such as “Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’ “1 and “To the tintinabulation that so musically wells,”2 into an English both readable and delectable, so that none of the original sense or feeling will be lost in translation.
While our readers may not be familiar with the demands of translating great literature, they will certainly understand that Edgar Allan Poe’s works will be of immense value once fully incorporated into the English canon, for his work is almost perfectly suited to being read and discussed in English: It contains themes close to the heart of English speakers, including the longing for a lost love, murder, being buried alive, and even cryptography. Poe was no Eurasia-centric, Afro-pompous, Mediterranean laureate; rather, he was close to the heart of the American people, as if he had lived among them most of his life.3
Some of the following are titles for which translation has already begun:
- The Raven (The Black Crow)
- The Bells (Those Ringing Things)
- MS. Found in a Bottle (Young Lady Found in a Jar)
- A Descent into the Maelström (No Decent Mail Today)
- The Literary Life of Thingum Bob, Esq. (The Writin’ Life of Mr. Thingamajig)
- The Duc de L’Omelette (The Dog Ate Me Omelette)
- X-ing a Paragrab (Grab the Paralytic before He Crosses the Road)
In addition to the tales and poems Poe is best-known for, the translated works will also include his many articles on cryptography as well as his literary and critical essays (which most people never bother to read).
For our readers who don’t know English, one can look up Poe’s works in the original language at http://www.eapoe.org/works.
“Cover of 1919 Czech translation of Poe’s stories Skokan a jiné novely,” author of drawing uncredited. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.