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New Meetup: Poe: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

From: Arlinda S.
Sent on: Sunday, January 17, 2010 2:44 PM
Announcing a new Meetup for Classic Books!

What: Poe: The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket

When: Sunday, February 7,[masked]:00 PM

Price: $2.25 per person

Crema Cafe
27 Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138

"My name is Arthur Gordon Pym." Thus begins the narrative, and if it vaguely reminds you of the famous opening of Melville's seafaring novel, it is no coincidence. Without this book, there may not have been a Moby-Dick as we know it.

Arthur Gordon Pym, a young man from Nantucket, through a series of extraordinary events, finds himself a stowaway on a whaling ship. And that is just the beginning of a sea-adventure like no other. The Narrative is an archetypal American story of escape from domesticity, tracing a young man's rite of passage through a series of terrible brushes with death during the fateful sea voyage. Poe's only novel, it is a pivotal work in which he calls attention to the act of writing and to the problem of representing the truth.

Poe plays with the reader's sense of reality (claiming that his fictional narrative is true and that the fictional Pym had "refused" to publish it, because he thought no one would believe his tale). Ironies abound, matched only by the romantic embellishments and imaginative "discoveries" in Antarctica that make this a fast-paced narrative full of tense drama. Breathless excitement and near death experiences, combined with mystical visions and inexplicable events, make this one of the most exciting and unique narratives in the American literature.

?Poe?s greatest work.??Jorge Luis Borges

"At once a mock nonfictional exploration narrative, adventure saga, bildungsroman, hoax, largely plagiarized travelogue, and spiritual allegory" and "one of the most elusive major texts of American literature."
--Scott Peeples, Poe scholar

"He remembered to have read as a boy a wonderful tale by Allan Poe ... which was a thing to show, by the way, what imagination Americans could have: the story of the shipwrecked Gordon Pym, who ... found ... a thickness of white air ... of the color of milk or of snow." --from The Golden Bowl, Henry James

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