Our Notes & References
Very rare Poe curiosity: the publisher’s wrappers mention simply “Edgar Poe. Short Stories” and boast a large photographic portrait of…somebody completely different, a French surgeon of the 19th century!
The photographic portrait is of Jules-Émile Péan (1830–98), who made his career in Paris, mostly in two hospitals of the capital, and pioneered a few surgeries, including the implant of an artificial shoulder. We haven’t found out why he was chosen as cover for Poe’s William Wilson and The Oval Portrait, published here in an anonymous translation.
The translator of the other story included here, Ramé’s Rainy June, did sign his work: Peter D. Ouspensky (1878-1947), who was an important Russian esotericist. His translation was edited by Ieronim Yasinsky (1850 – 1931), writer and editor of many translations from English, mostly from Conan Doyle. Despite Yasinsky’s notorious ever-changing political views, he had a number of famous friends including Chekhov, who wrote positively of his literary talent (see in Chumakov, V. Sytin: Izdatelskaya imperiya, Litres, 2017).
Russian translations of Poe started appearing in 1847 with The Gold-Bug and the first collection of his stories appeared in Russian in 1885 (Povesti, rasskazy, kriticheskie etudy i mysli). After a couple of decades of relative neglect, In the 1880s through the 1900s Poe became a darling of the Russian Symbolists in the 1880s to 1900s (see Urakova A. Code for Kids…, in Translated Poe, ed. E. Esplin and M.Vale de Gato. Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 2014, pp. 221–230).
The magazine “Probuzhdenie” (Awakening), for which this edition was a supplement, published other famous foreign authors, such as Jack London and Oscar Wilde. The magazine was founded by Nikolai Koretskii, who became its editor-in-chief and later publisher.
We haven’t been able to trace any copies in US libraries; WorldCat locates only one copy, in Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma (Rome, Italy).