Text: Burton R. Pollin, “Sources and Borrowings,” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. II: The Brevities (1985), pp. xxxiii-xxxiv (This material is protected by copyright)


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[page xxxiii:]

SOURCES AND BORROWINGS

In the Introductions to the two major portions of The Brevities Poe devotes some space to rather ambiguously discussing the question of the sources of his material. The matter is treated in my own Introductions and in the separate notes to the items whose sources can be more or less clearly traced. The malicious statement by Rufus W. Griswold, in his “Memoir,” about the Marginalia as too largely derivative, perhaps overstressed this element (see my Introduction to the Supplementary Marginalia), but the issue certainly cannot be ignored by students of Poe. Poe himself took a rather bantering attitude on the topic in his Introductions and in his statements about plagiarism (MM 160, 198) and about compilations (M 168). Rarely does Poe bluntly state the sources of his [page xxxiv:] many borrowings and adaptations of “hints” in The Brevities, and yet he manages to lead the alert and knowing reader to almost every author; the relationship often becomes one of a clever miscreant or impish trickster versus a hard-working detective or spy. Even his false clue to Dominique Bouhours, through the incorrect name of Balzac for the correct book (see the Pinakidia Introduction), may be a deliberate testing of a wary reader.

The list which follows interprets “sources” as does Poe, who doted on the topic in his reviews and who would justify presenting this set of “leads” as helping to analyze the link between the literary stimuli or ideas and his brief essays in The Brevities. Most of the sources are close and pertain to the main subject, with Poe’s wording being an echo or a virtual duplicate. For some, however, the connection is more inferential, and several use the source for only a portion of the article. Outright quotation of a passage on which Poe writes comments as the gist of the article does not constitute a “source” for this enumeration. It is chiefly when the wording and the viewpoint of the original author is taken over by Poe, usually without his indicating the specific work or the extent of his adaptation that it is included here. The notes usually indicate the “extent,” often by quotation. It must be granted that the distinction between a “topic” for the article and a “source” may sometimes be hazy, but the attempt is made; likewise, in the Index, through the use of the word “source.”

Following the lists for the articles in the various sections of The Brevities, I append a list of a different sort of borrowing, namely, by Poe of his own earlier articles — chiefly the Pinakidia. Over forty of these appear, often verbatim, in the Marginalia and occasionally elsewhere. The headnote will show the cross-references. Finally, please note that the first item after the name of the author, given in the lists below, usually furnishes data on the author and the work or else will indicate, by cross reference, the annotation that does so.

SOURCES AND BORROWINGS

The inferred sources for the articles of The Brevities are discussed in the separate notes, of which the numbers are given after the name of the author, listed alphabetically.

FOR PINAKIDIA

[Anon.], Antediluvian Antiquities, 2, 4, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 63; Beckford, 158; Bielfeld, 6, 139, 151, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 159, 160, 161, 162, 163, 165, 167, 168, 169, 170; Bouhours, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114; Jacob Bryant, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 70, 71, 72; S. Butler, 94; H. F. Cary (Dante),12, 33; H. N. Coleridge, 9, 18, 22, 42, 80, 131, 142, 144, 148, 149; J. F. Cooper, 29; I. Disraeli, [page xxxv:] Intro, 3, 8, 15, 28, 29, 31, 32, 34, 35, 37, 39, 41, 46, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 96, 97, 109, 116, 125, 126, 127, 128, 129, 138, 148; T. Gray, 33; E. Malone, 30, 95; J. Montgomery, 27, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77; A. Pope, 36; A. W. Schlegel, 5, 101, 118, 119, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124; H. Smith, 83; Voltaire, 8.

FOR MARGINALIA

[Anon.], Antediluvian Antiquities,105; C. Anthon,115,175c; S. T. Austin, 164, 174; Bernardin de St. Pierre, Intro; Bielfeld, 38, 152, 167, 196; Bouhours, 138, 151, 245; Bulwer Lytton, 76, 78, 150, 221f, 229a, 280, 287a, 2896; S. Butler, 195, 227, 260; Byron, 172a; H. N. Coleridge, 62; I. Disraeli, 24, 27, 64, 76c, 92, 1186, 135, 187, 188; Gibbon, 29, 109e; W. Godwin, 231; Gravina, 44, 202; V. Hugo, 276; Horace, 109; W. Irving, 156, 184; Loménie (French author of Walsh’s Sketches), 244, 246, 174; T. B. Macaulay,125,141,163, 288; E. Malone, 265; J. Montgomery, 132, 133; Pliny, 15e, 243, 280, 284; Pope, 150e; Puckle, 23, 149, 153, 154, 266; Rees’s Cyclopaedia, 87, 1716; A. W. Schlegel, 120, 131, 137; Shakespeare, 51c, 93, 165e, 171g; H. Smith, 5; Voltaire, 9, 283c; Walsh (see above, Loménie); Weekly Inspector, Intro. n.o, 23, 81, 100, 102, 103; Wallace (“Landor”), 10, 35, 127, 138a, 144, 145, 160c, 209, 211, 223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 229, 230, 232, 235, 238, 239, 242, 250, 251, 253, 257, 258, 259, 261, 271, 272, 280, 286.

FOR SUPPLEMENTARY PINAKIDIA

Bielfeld, 2, 11, 17, 26; Bryant,14; H. N. Coleridge, 9; J. F. Cooper, 38; I. Disraeli, 4, 6, 16, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 28, 29, 34, 35, 44; Gibbon, 30, 33; J. Montgomery, 18; Plato, 31; A. Pope, 43; A. W. Schlegel, 1, 7; Voltaire, 37.

FOR LITERARY SMALL TALK

Bulwer Lytton, 4; E. Gibbon, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

FOR A CHAPTER OF SUGGESTIONS

1. Disraeli, 11; W. Godwin, 6; T. B. Macaulay, 11; H. B. Wallace, 7.

FOR FIFTY SUGGESTIONS

Bulwer Lytton, 28, 29, 37; Robert Burton, 17; I. Disraeli, 43; T. Gray, 37; Horace, 4, 22; V. Hugo, 50; A. Pope, 24; Puckle, 9, 18; R. B. Sheridan, 32; H. B. Wallace, 20, 21, 25, 39; R. Walsh, 29, 30.

FOR SUPPLEMENTARY MARGINALIA

I. Disraeli, 21; Walsh (Loménie), 12. [page xxxvi:]

POE’S REPETITION OF MATERIAL FROM PINAKIDIA IN MARGINALIA

[Before the slash is the number of the Marginalia article which contains the material in the numbered Pinakidia article after it.]

M 19 / Pin 27; 22 / 69; 24 / 129; 38 (para. 8) / 157; 46 / Intro.; 53 / 57 and 58; 54 / 7; 57 / 115; 60 / 143; 61 / 44; 62 / 148; 641 116; 65 / 117; 72 / 3; 75 / 48; 90 / 132, 95, 41; 91 / 51; 92 /97; 105 / 53; 120 / 124; 132 / 74; 137 / 118; 138 / 105; 139A 14, 36, 38, 39, 40, 92, 93, 96, 97, 165; 147 / 77, 100; 148 / 79; 152 / 152; 155 (para. 3) / 38; 181 (para. 1) / 167; 186 / 9.

POE’S CROSS-BORROWING OF ALL OR PART OF ONE ARTICLE FOR USE IN ANOTHER, ASIDE FROM THE PINAKIDIA

M 3/M 165; M 26/M 196; M 63 / M 150 (in part); M. 76/M 289 (in part); M 86 / LST lb; M 92 / M 139A; M 114 / M 203; M 121 / M 186; M 146 / M 264; M 149 / FS 9; M 150 / M 277; M 151 / M 245; M 167 / FS 38; M 209 / M 259; M 265 / FS 9.

 


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Notes:

None.


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[S:0 - BRP2B, 1985] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (Sources and Borrowings)