Pym ...a true storiegreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
Hi all, I had a question and I was hoping that someone could help me out! I remember a while back, reading something about The Narritive of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, coming close to being true some years later! Apparently there are some intense similaritys between his story and an actual event. I'd appreciate it if someone could get back to me with some info. Thanks, Jessica
-- Anonymous, May 27, 2002
Actually Poe borrowed from many sources relative to the Antarctic and South Seas. Primarily he was interested in Jeremiah Reynolds who was exploring the theory of the hollow earth, hole at the pole. Reynolds had completed his journey and related adventures similar to Pym's. Reynolds' idea to launch a scientific naval expedition to the South Pole was appropriated by the US Navy which turned up little about the actual polar region to satisfy Poe's curiosity. His long postponed "last three chapters" may have been waiting the outcome of the long delayed mission. The financial failure of the novel and the failure to learn much more about the Antarctic led Poe to leave this tale in its incomplete and mysterious state. (See www.eapoe.org, articles on Reynold's) POe was early on fascinated by the hollow earth theory(Ms. Found in a Bottle).
So less prediction than fictionalizing known accounts(he did the same in "The Journals of Junius Rodman" which was based on Lewis and Clarke, among others. People at the time thought Poe's fiction was a real account as well.
-- Anonymous, May 28, 2002
You are looking for a book called "Blood on the Sea" by Donald McCormick (London: Frederick Muller Ltd.) 1962. It describes the harrowing fate of the yawl Mignonette, with some surprising similarities to what Poe related in Pym. The trick is that Mignonette sank in 1844, and Pym had been published in 1839. It seems to be a ghastly example of life imitating art.
-- Anonymous, May 29, 2002