The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket


The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket



Edgar Allan Poe's only long fiction has provoked intense scholarly discussions about its meaning since its first publication. The novel relates the adventures of Pym after he stows away on a whaling ship, where he endures starvation, encounters with cannibals, a whirlpool, and finally a journey to an Antarctic sea. It draws on the conventions of travel writing and science fiction, and on Poe's own experiences at sea, but is ultimately in a category of its own.

Appendices include virtually all of the contemporary sources of exploration and south polar navigation that Poe consulted and adapted to the narrative, together with reviews and notices of Pym and a sampling of responses to the novel from a wide array of authors, from Herman Melville and Charles Baudelaire to H.P. Lovecraft and Toni Morrison. Seven illustrations are also included.



Publication Date



Broadview Press




English Language and Literature


Table of Contents


List of Illustrations


Edgar Allan Poe: A Brief Chronology

A Note on the Text

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

Appendix A: Sources for the Novel

1.From R. Thomas, Remarkable Shipwrecks, A Collection of Interesting Accounts of Naval Disasters (1813)

2.From John Cleves Symmes, Symzonia: A Voyage of Discovery by Captain Adam Seaborn (1820)

3.From [James McBride], Symmes’s Theory of the Concentric Spheres (1826)

4.From Jane Porter, Sir Edward Seaward’s Narrative of His Shipwreck (1831)

5.From Archibald Duncan, The Mariner’s Chronicle (1804–05)

6.From Jeremiah N. Reynolds, The Voyage of the Potomac (1834)

Appendix B: Contemporary Reviews

1.From The New-Yorker (1 August 1838)

2.From The New-York Mirror (11 August 1838)

3.From Albion (18 August 1838)

4.From Knickerbocker Magazine (August 1838)

5.From Burton’s Gentleman’s Magazine (September 1838)

6.From Family Magazine (1838)

7.From The Torch (13 October 1838)

8.From The Spectator (27 October 1838)

9.From The Monthly Review (October 1838)

Appendix C: Other Writers’ Responses to Pym

1.From Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851) and Israel Potter:His Fifty Years of Exile (1855)

2.From Charles Baudelaire, Les Fleurs du mal (1857)

3.From Jules Verne, Le Sphinx des glaces (1897)

4.From Henry James, The Golden Bowl (1904)

Select Bibliography

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket