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The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket
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The 100 Best Novels > Week 10 - The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments We've made it to week 10 and the year 1838 where we meet The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe.

From the article:

"...it was Edgar Allan Poe, born 1809, who signals the beginning of what would become a great Anglo-American literary dialogue. Poe was original in ways that Irving and Fenimore Cooper never were. As well as being the first American writer to attempt living exclusively by his pen, he is also the archetype of the romantic literary artist.
(...)
The inspiration for The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym was both modern and American. Poe got the idea from a newspaper. In February 1836, the Norfolk Beacon published a vivid account of the sinking in a storm at sea of a ship named Ariel. (...)
Poe had read and admired Robinson Crusoe (no 2 in this series), and had learned from Defoe's example. Indeed, the opening of Arthur Gordon Pym mirrors exactly the beginning of Crusoe, and borrows a similar authorial device. Like Defoe, Poe also ramped up "the potent magic of verisimilitude" (his own phrase) by borrowing freely from contemporary accounts of South Sea adventure.
But, because it's a novel by Poe, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is much more than just a yarn, and is replete with existential and psychoanalytical fascination. Freud, for one, made much of its darker side. Moreover, the later part of the "narrative" explores one of Poe's recurring themes, man's unconscious desire for annihilation."

Read the article here


message 2: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Weirdly, a collegue of mine is just reading this and we had a chat about it today since I asked him about his book. The fact that Robert McCrum claims that "...the chapter entitled The Whiteness of the Whale in Moby-Dick would have been impossible without Poe" makes me want to immediately read it, since that was my favourite chapter of Moby Dick.


message 3: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) Read this during the edgar allan poe readalong back in october and I enjoyed it. It was part of my collection the fall of the house of usher and other tales by edgar allan poe. Interesting info on this jenny! :-)


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I might have to read this as I own it as part of my Poe collection.


Leslie | 15985 comments I also recently read this.


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Leslie, do you see why McCrum made this comment regarding The White Chapter in Moby Dick?


Leslie | 15985 comments Jenny wrote: "Leslie, do you see why McCrum made this comment regarding The White Chapter in Moby Dick?"

I'll think about it - there certainly was some similarity in style...


message 8: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13144 comments Mod
Read it some years ago, but not liked it so much ...


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