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There is the following passage in a famous novel of Edgar Allan Poe, “The Golden Bug” written in 1843.

“Having carefully taken the bearing of the tree, I turned homewards. The instant that I left ‘the devil’s seat,’ however the circular rift vanished: nor could I get a glimpse of it afterwards, turn as I would.”

How should I interpret the phrase, “turn as I would.”? Is this usage of 'as' very common? Does it mean '(though) Legrand, the teller looked back again and again the bearing of the circular rift where a death's-head is placed'?

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    It means that no matter what direction he turned, he could not see it. – Drew Oct 24 '15 at 2:17
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    Yep, "XXX as I would" means doing XXX any way I could think of. – Hot Licks Oct 24 '15 at 3:37
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As, as a conjunction, can mean "even though" with following examples:

‘Try as she might, she can't keep her troubled family from fragmenting.’

‘But, good as he is, he was not the only reason to enjoy the film.’

‘Unless you are of a particularly curious bent, you would not even wish to sit down and eat with these people - dazzlingly clever as they undoubtedly are.’

[Oxford Online Dictionary]

You can notice that "adjectives" and "verbs" are positioned before "as".

In your context, it means:

"Even though I would turn (to get a glimpse of it)."

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