Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Natalie Dykstra, English

Document Type


Event Date



Literary critics have traditionally lauded Charles Baudelaire’s work in translation as the key reason for the success of Edgar Allan Poe in France. While Baudelaire’s voice and editorial choices did affect his translations, the success of his Poe translations was not entirely due to his choices. An idiosyncrasy in the relationship between Poe’s writing style and the structure of French syntax is one of several factors which elevate Poe in translation, which suggests a more complex situation than critics have previously realized. Understanding the context of a translation and the constituent factors of its success (or lack thereof) allows readers to predict and parse the ways a translation will function in the target culture.


This project originated in American Writers in Paris, an English course taught by Dr. Natalie Dykstra in fall 2018 as part of Grand Challenges|Paris Stories.