"The interpreter's dream-text," as one critic called Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym
has prompted critical approaches almost as varied as the experiences it chronicles. This is the first book to deal exclusively with Pym
, Poe's longest fictional work and in many ways his most ambitious. Here leading Poe scholars provide solutions and interpretations for many challenging enigmas in this mysterious novel.
The product of a decade of research and planning, Poe's "Pym"
offers a factual basis for some of the most fantastic elements in the novel and uncovers surprising connections between Poe's text and exploration literature, nautical lore, Arthurian narrative, nineteenth-century journalism, Moby Dick
, and other writings. Representing a rich cross-section of current modes of literary study—from source study to psychoanalytic criticism to new historicism—these sixteen essays probe issues such as literary influence, the limits of language, racism, the holocaust, prolonged mourning, and the structure of the human mind. Poe's "Pym"
will be an invaluable resource for students of both contemporary criticism and nineteenth-century American culture.
Contributors. John Barth, Susan F. Beegel, J. Lasley Dameron, Grace Farrell, Alexander Hammond, David H. Hirsch, John T. Irwin, J. Gerald Kennedy, David Ketterer, Joan Tyler Mead, Joseph J. Moldenhauer, Carol Peirce, Burton R. Pollin, Alexander G. Rose III, John Carlos Rowe, G. R. Thompson, Bruce I. Weiner