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Author Centred Reading of Edgar Allan Poe's 'Pym'

  • Date Submitted: 04/28/2012 10:03 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 47 
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|Year 12 English Extension                                                                                                     |
|Meaning Matters                                                                                                               |
|Author-Centred Response to ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket’                                                   |
|                                                                                                                               |
|Callum Lahey-Dillon                                                                                                           |
|22/3/2012                                                                                                                     |

Edgar Allan Poe has commonly been recognized as an idiosyncratic author who is an “exemplary 18th century romanticist victim of his artistic temperament in the 19th century of American milieu of 'money-making' journalism”. (Jang, 2010)   This resembles his self-definition as an author who, despite his unavoidable catering to newly rising mass literary markets of the nineteenth century, clung to late eighteenth-century romanticism and sole textual ownership. Thus as is well known, he was not a widely popular or critically acclaimed literary figure in America during his lifetime despite now being one of the most admired gothic writers of all time. (Quinn, 1998) Poe’s only ever published novel ‘The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’, demonstrated this compromise of sovereign authorship he attempted to make, but also his clinging to his Dark romanticist and poetic qualities, and also mystifying traits as an author that we have come to expect through his now frequently discussed texts. (Kopely, 1992)

From abandonment in the hold of the ship, mutiny, cannibalism, it was all too apparent that Poe was desperately trying to ‘wow’ and excite an audience; an audience he simply did not have...


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