On December 3, 1844, the Paris, France-based newspaper La Quotidienne began publishing installments of "James Dixon, ou la funeste resemblance" (which translates to "James Dixon, or the fatal resemblance"). Though it included a byline of Gustave Brunet, the story was, in fact, an adaptation of Poe's doppelganger story "William Wilson." This was two years before Charles Beaudelaire began his translations of Poe. The same Paris newspaper would soon publish a controversial translation of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."
As I've noted elsewhere, French readers have long been devoted followers of Poe. I would say that their appreciation for Poe could never be overstated. An entire book has been written about it, so I could never do it justice here. But, to get an idea, besides the admiration of Charles Baudelaire, Poe is credited as the main inspiration for the Symbolist poetry movement that took hold in France, particularly the work of Stephane Mallarmé. This "James Dixon" is the first known translation of Poe's work into French so, in a sense, this one started it all.
More than that, however, the publication of "James Dixon, ou la funeste resemblance" is the first known version of the work of Poe in any language other than English. Even during his lifetime, Poe was becoming a figure of world literature. Some foreigners find it ironic (or, in the case of Baudelaire, unconscionable) that Poe earned greater respect outside of his native country. I would argue that he has come to be much better appreciated here in the United States since then, but that most Americans make their assessment of him based on a very narrow selection of his works. Many readers in countries like France, Spain, England, the Czech Republic, Russia, and scores of others in Europe and South America in particular do not consider Poe a horror writer. They embrace the full span of his various works, including science fiction, comedy, and romantic poetry. I've been particularly surprised to see how much non-American readers have come to love strange works like Eureka and The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket.
I have two questions: If you are an American, when do you think we will come to know Poe beyond his horror works? If you are from elsewhere, what has been your experience with Poe?