After reading an 1836 newspaper account of a shipwreck and its two survivors, Edgar Allan Poe penned his only novel, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket," the story of a stowaway on a Nantucket whaleship who finds himself enmeshed in the dark side of life at sea: mutiny, cannibalism, savagery--even death. As Jeffrey Meyers writes in his Introduction: " Poe] remains contemporary because he appeals to basic human feelings and expresses universal themes common to all men in all languages: dreams, love, loss; grief, mourning, alienation; terror, revenge, murder; insanity, disease, and death." Within the pages of this novel, we encounter nearly all of them.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic reprints the text of the original 1838 American edition.
About the Author
Author, poet, and literary critic, Edgar Allan Poe is credited with pioneering the short story genre, inventing detective fiction, and contributing to the development of science fiction. However, Poe is best known for his works of the macabre, including such infamous titles as "The Raven," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," "Lenore," and "The Fall of the House of Usher." Part of the American Romantic Movement, Poe was one of the first writers to make his living exclusively through his writing, working for literary journals and becoming known as a literary critic. His works have been widely adapted in film. Edgar Allan Poe died of a mysterious illness in 1849 at the age of 40.
Jeffrey Meyers, a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, has written fifty-two books, including Samuel Johnson: The Struggle, The Genius and the Goddess: Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe, Orwell: Life and Art, John Huston: Courage and Art, Remembering Iris Murdoch, and Thomas Mann's Artist-Heroes. His books have been translated into fourteen languages and seven alphabets, and published on six continents.
“It is Poe’s greatest work.”—Jorge Luis Borges