Poe′s Pym

Critical Explorations

Poe′s Pym

Book Pages: 304 Illustrations: Published: August 1992

American Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

"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


"This volume calls attention to the increased centrality of Pym to our understanding of postmodern American literature. It will prove an essential resource for every scholar in the growing field of Poe studies." — Donald E. Pease, Dartmouth University


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Richard Kopley is Associate Professor of English at The Pennsylvania State University, DuBois Campus.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Conference Attendees xi

Note Regarding Frequently Cited Books xiii

Introduction / Richard Kopley 1

"Mutiny and Atrocious Butchery": The Globe Mutiny as a Source for Pym / Susan F. Beegel 7

Poe's "Manual of 'Seamanship'" / Joan Tyler Mead 20

Pym's Polar Episode: Conclusion or Beginning? / J. Lasley Dameron 33

Novels, Tales, and Problems of Form in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym / Bruce I. Weiner 44

Poe's Reading of Myth: The White Vision of Arthur Gordon Pym / Carol Peirce and Alexander G. Rose III 57

Pym, The DIghton Rock, and the Matter of Vinland / Joseph J. Moldenhauer 75

Poe's Life Reflected through the Sources of Pym / Burton R. Pollin 95

Mourning in Poe's Pym / Grace Farrell 107

Poe, Antebellum Slavery, and Modern Criticism / John Carlos Rowe 117

"Postmodern" or Post-Auschwitz: The Case of Poe / David H. Hirsch 141

Consumption, Exchange, and the Literary Marketplace: From the Folio Club Tales to Pym / Alexander Hammond 153

Pym Pourri: Decomposing the Textual Body / J. Gerald Kennedy 167

The Quincuncial Network in Poe's Pym / John T. Irwin 175

The Arabesque Design of Arthur Gordon Pym / G.R. Thompson 188

"Still Farther South": Some Notes on Poe's Pym / John Barth 217

Tracing Shadows: Pym Criticism, 1980-1990 / David Ketterer 233

Notes 275

Contributors 329

Index 333
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1246-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1235-2
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