Text: Richard Kopley, “Poe’s Pym-esque ‘A Tale of the Ragged Mountains’,” Poe and His Times: The Artist and His Milieu, Baltimore: The Edgar Allan Poe Society, 1990, pp. 167-177 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 167, unnumbered:]



In his imaginary novel, The Approach to al-Mu’tasim, Jorge Luis Borges suggestively linked Poe’s novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, and his short story, “A Tale of the Ragged Mountains.” Borges’s fictive fiction, which touches on “white-shrouded corpses,” and ends with “a shining light” emanating from behind a curtain, begins with a young man becoming involved in a fierce battle in an Indian city.(1) This graceful synthesis of elements in the novel and the story invites a consideration of the actual relationship between the two works. Such a consideration may be encouraged by Poe’s own possibly anticipative phrase in Pym, “absolute mountains of ragged ice” (P1: 164; emphasis added). Careful study reveals that Pym and “Ragged Mountains” significantly resemble one another in theme and form.

Elsewhere I present evidence involving corresponding ages, habits, and relationships, which suggests how Augustus Barnard in Pym represents Poe’s brother Henry. The common date of death, August l, which may well have prompted Augustus’ name, further links him to Henry. Poe’s reliance in Pym on Henry Poe’s short story concerning two brothers, “Recollections,” tends to confirm this connection. I also attempt to demonstrate that Poe in Pym expresses his guilt for having survived his brother and a longing to “lie close” to Henry, to be with him after death. In addition, I have highlighted critical textual details that suggest how the death of Augustus/Henry distantly echoes the death of Elizabeth Arnold Poe, and that Poe’s longing for his dead brother serves, in part, to represent his longing for his dead mother. Poe comes close to associating Henry Poe explicitly with Elizabeth Arnold Poe in his 1829 letter to John Neal: “there can be no tie more strong than that of brother for brother — it is not so much that they love one another as that they both love the same parent . . .” (O1: 32). There is ample reason to believe that “the same parent” was Elizabeth Arnold Poe; evidently, for Edgar Allan Poe, his brother became a double of his mother. These family relationships are intimated in Pym. Textual and biographical evidence indicates that the mysterious “shrouded human figure,” which the Poe-like Pym encounters at the novel’s end, reflects the death of Augustus/Henry even as it implies the presence of the white-gowned Elizabeth Arnold Poe in the play Tekeli. The otherworldly apparition simultaneously refers to both brother and mother. According to this view, a highly-personal concealed theme of Pym is Poe’s fervent wish for reunion with his much longed-for dead brother and dead mother.(2) [page 168:]

This theme is recapitulated in “Ragged Mountains,” a work which Poe identified as “among his favorite compositions.”(3) Augustus Bedloe and the deceased Oldeb are doubles; their similar appearances and comparable experiences attest to this, as do their singular names. Not only is the name “Bedlo, without the e” identical to “Oldeb conversed” (M3: 950), as the narrator points out, but “Bedloe, without the e” and “Oldeb” are virtual anagrams of the word “double.”(4) Furthermore, the name Augustus Bedloe unmistakably suggests Augustus Barnard, and, thus, Henry Poe as well. The connection between Bedloe and Henry has been observed; Marie Bonaparte mentions it, stressing, in particular, the consumptive traits of the two.(5) Noteworthy, too, Poe’s description of Bedloe as “singularly tall and thin” (M3: 940) corresponds with accounts of Henry Poe as “somewhat taller” than Edgar and “willowy.”(6) Bedloe’s telling of his remarkable experiences abroad — albeit hypnotically-induced experiences — also parallels Henry Poe’s sharing with Edgar his varied foreign adventures.(7) Moreover, Bedloe’s melancholy nature, his active imagination, and his morphine addiction need not be considered allusive to Edgar Poe, for these characteristics are evocative of Poe’s brother Henry, too. It should be remembered that Poe is said to have described Henry as having “far more of the Poe nature” than he had himself.(8)

The connection between a Poe character and Poe’s brother may again be reinforced by Poe’s reliance upon Henry Poe’s writing. Although, as T. O. Mabbott notes, the two major sources of “Ragged Mountains” are Charles Brockden Brown’s novel Edgar Huntly and T. B. Macaulay’s essay on Warren Hastings (M3: 936-38), another prior work possesses similarities with Poe’s narrative: Henry Poe’s “Letter to the Editor of The North American,” entitled “Monte Video.”(9) This work, like “Ragged Mountains” and the Macaulay source, concerns, in part, fighting which takes place in a foreign city. Again like “Ragged Mountains,” but unlike the Macaulay source, Henry’s piece presents the conflict from a first-person point of view — that of a young man, newly-arrived in the city. This young man in “Monte Video” takes note of “parties of the contending armies”; the young man in “Ragged Mountains” speaks of a “small party of men” which is involved in “the wildest tumult and contention” (M3: 946; emphasis added). Also in both “Monte Video” and “Ragged Mountains,” this young man is later struck in the head — although in a different manner in each work. Moreover, “Monte Video,” Re Poe’s tale, but unlike Macaulay’s essay, features an impetuous young officer who takes part in the city’s conflict. Furthermore, and significantly, Poe begins “Ragged Mountains” with the narrator’s stating that he became acquainted with Augustus Bedloe “during the fall of the year 1827” [page 169:] (M3: 939). During the late summer and fall of the year 1827, interestingly enough, Edgar Poe renewed communication with his brother Henry, and during the fall of that year Henry’s “Monte Video” first appeared.(10)

Just as Augustus Bedloe suggests Poe’s brother Henry, so Bedloe’s double, the deceased Oldeb, suggests Poe’s mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe. The name Oldeb, analogous to the names E. Ronald and Ariel and the cry “Tekeli-li!” in Pym, intimates this link.(11) Boyd Carter was the first to note that the name Oldeb was taken, like many other details in “Ragged Mountains,” from Edgar Huntly. In particular, Poe’s Oldeb derives from Brown’s “Old Deb,” the name of an Indian woman who “seemed to contract an affection” for young Edgar.(12) Probably, in reading Edgar Huntly, Poe would not have missed the possible association of maternal Old Deb and young Edgar with his own mother and himself; also, when Poe borrowed the name “Old Deb,” slightly altered, he probably would not have altered its association.(13)

This view is strengthened by the presence in “Ragged Mountains” of “a water-colour drawing,” “a miniature portrait” (M3: 948), which Bedloe’s physician, Doctor Templeton, owned, and which he produces as proof of Bedloe’s resemblance to Oldeb. Templeton’s picture, which seems to be a current likeness of Bedloe, is actually a 1780 depiction of Templeton’s “dearest friend” (M3: 949), the deceased Oldeb. Poe, too, owned a water-color drawing, a miniature portrait — a rendering of his much adored mother, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, who had inscribed it to him. To his death Poe treasured this gift.(14) We may reasonably infer that by his pointedly employing so personally meaningful an item as a “water-colour drawing,” “a miniature portrait” in “Ragged Mountains,” Poe was consciously referring to his lost mother.(15)

Augustus Bedloe’s physician, Doctor Templeton, who knew both Bedloe and Oldeb, and who owned the miniature of Oldeb, would, in the context of this interpretation, represent Poe himself. Even as the death of Oldeb suggests the death of Elizabeth Arnold Poe, and the eventual death of Bedloe suggests the eventual death of Henry Poe, the involvement of Templeton in Bedloe’s death suggests Edgar Poe’s inordinate guilt for having survived his mother and brother. According to this reading, Templeton’s longing for his “dearest friend,” the deceased Oldeb, and his attachment to Oldeb’s double, Bedloe, signifies Poe’s longing for his dead mother and his remembered devotion to his sick brother, whom he associated with his mother, and who died a young man. Apparently, Poe’s intense desire for reunion with his dead loved ones subtly permeates both Pym and “Ragged Mountains.”(16)

In terms of form, as well as theme, Pym and “Ragged Mountains” significantly resemble one another. Novel and story are symmetrically [page 170:] organized around a richly meaningful midpoint. Pym is composed of two distinct halves. Poe seems to hint at this form by using such words and phrases as “half-breed” (P1: 55), “half certainty” (P1: 80), “half buried” (P1: 165), “half whine, half howl” (P1: 169), and “half swoon” (P1: 197); in fact, Poe uses the word “half,” in various ways, over forty times in Pym. The two halves of Pym have been recognized; Charles O’Donnell argues that the first half comprises the Ariel and Grampus sections and that the second half comprises the Jane Guy, Tsalal, and canoe sections.(17) Although the end of the Grampus section actually appears to be part of the second half — each half of this twenty-five chapter novel is twelve-and-one-half chapters long — O’Donnell’s view is otherwise a persuasive one.

Poe’s novel is elaborately symmetrically patterned. The “Preface” and the closing “Note” frame Pym’s Ariel adventure and Tsalalian canoe journey south, which, in turn, frame the Grampus, Jane Guy, and Tsalal sections. Furthermore, as O’Donnell has noted, the action of the Ariel adventure in the first chapter is repeated in the canoe journey of the last chapter (pp. 88-90). Poe may well have been alluding to this resemblance when he described Pym’s canoe as “modelled with the bow and stern alike” (P1: 200). Elsewhere, presenting evidence that elaborates upon O’Donnell’s view, I suggest that both the beginning and end of Pym involve Pym’s confrontation with the ship the Penguin, whose penguin figurehead, possessing a penguin’s “spirit of reflection” (P1: 153), serves, figuratively, as a minor. Thus, the novel is balanced by mirrors facing one another at either end of the text.(18)

This symmetry in Pym is discreetly reinforced by a finely-wrought pattern of words and phrases. Early in the first half of the novel, Pym states that “a fierce wind and strong ebb tide were hurrying us to destruction” (P1: 60; emphasis added here and in the following quotations), “I found that there yet remained to us a chance of ultimate escape” (P1: 60), and “. . . a loud and long scream or yell . . . seemed to pervade the whole atmosphere” (P1: 60). Pym also refers to the sailors’ exaggerated stories of “having run down a vessel at sea and drowned some thirty or forty poor devils” (P1: 64), and he admits to romantic visions “of death or captivity among barbarian hordes; of a lifetime dragged out in sorrow and tears” (P1: 65).

This language is reversed late in the second half of the novel, when Pym admits to his fear “of being put to death by the savages, or of dragging out a miserable existence in captivity among them” (P1: 185). He observes that the Jane Guy’s guns “killed, perhaps, thirty or forty of the savages” (P1: 187). He also states that the injured natives were “screaming and yelling for aid” (P1: 187), “the faintest possible idea of ultimate escape wandered, like a shadow, through my mind . . .” (P1: 198), and “it was evident that we were still hurrying on to the [page 171:] southward” (P1: 204). This remarkable reversed repetition of language seems to have been covertly acknowledged by Poe; he writes, in the persona of Pym, that when Wilson Allen was found to be missing, “. . . we [Dirk Peters and Pym] determined at once to retrace our steps . . .” (P1: 183). This acknowledgment is reinforced by other appearances of the word “retrace” or its variants in Poe’s novel (P1: 76, 95, 96, 154, 183, 191).

Like Pym, “Ragged Mountains” is composed of two distinct halves. Poe again seems to call attention to this structuring, using such words and phrases as “half explanatory, half apologetic” (M3: 940), “half-naked” (M3: 943), and “half Indian, half European” (M3: 946). The first half, seventeen paragraphs, comprises the narrator’s introduction and the beginning of Bedloe’s account of his illusory Indian adventure; the second half, also seventeen paragraphs, comprises the continuation of Bedloe’s account, Templeton’s explanation of it, and the narrator’s quoting of, and commenting on, Bedloe’s obituary notice.

Again like Pym, Poe’s tale is elaborately symmetrically patterned. The narrator’s comments at the beginning and end frame Bedloe’s telling of his ordinary experiences, such as his leaving and returning home, which, in turn, frame Bedloe’s telling of his extraordinary experiences, such as his apparent fighting and dying in the sacred city of Benares. As in Pym, such evident symmetry is subtly strengthened by Poe’s meticulous language. Key words and phrases in the first seventeen paragraphs of “Ragged Mountains” reappear in reverse order in the second seventeen paragraphs of the story. For example, the early mention of Bedloe’s “bloodless” complexion (M3: 940) and his “neuralgic attacks” (M3: 940) echoes in the later citation of Bedloe’s obituary notice, which refers to his “neuralgia” and his fatal “topical bleeding” (M3: 949-950). Such mirroring of language is developed further in Bedloe’s story.

In the first half of “Ragged Mountains,” Bedloe says, “I bent my steps immediately to the mountains” (M3: 942; emphasis added here and in the following quotations), “the sun could not be seen” (M3: 943), “I now arose hurriedly, and in a state of fearful agitation” (M3: 944), and “amid the crowd . . . there roamed a countless multitude of holy filleted bulls . . .” (M3: 945). Doctor Templeton soon interrupts, saying, “You arose and descended into the city” (M3: 946). In the second half, Bedloe says, “I arose, as you say, and descended into the city” (M3: 946), “I shrank from amid them [the crowd]” (M3: 946), “I perceived a vast crowd, in furious agitation” (M3: 947), “we were borne” near “houses, into the recesses of which the sun had never been able to shine” (M3: 947), and “I became my original self, and bent my steps eagerly homewards . . .” (M3: 948). This arresting reversed [page 172:] repetition of language also seems to have been acknowledged by Poe; he writes that the “dead” Bedloe sensed his spirit leave the city of Benares, “retracing the circuitous path by which I had entered it” (M3: 948). Likewise, in the novel and in the tale, Poe carefully retraces the path of his language in the first half by means of his language in the second half.

The form of Pym and that of “Ragged Mountains” attest Poe’s faith in “the power of symmetry.” Although such faith may naturally have been suggested by the double motif itself, it may also have been animated by a larger faith in an aesthetic and religious code — that of the Providence Tradition. Literature fashioned in the Providence Tradition has been defined by Douglas Brooks as “writings concerned with pointing to God’s manifest intervention in human affairs.” Furthermore, Brooks states that the form of a work written in the Providence Tradition is often characterized by “symmetrical structural patterning” which frames a symbolic midpoint.(19)

Pym, a book whose narrator speaks with reverence of “the special interference of Providence” (P1: 62),(20) features not only the “symmetrical structural patterning,” as already discussed, but also the symbolic midpoint. In the middle of the novel’s central Chapter 13, Poe writes, as Pym:

August 1. A continuance of the same calm weather, with an oppressively hot sun . . . . We now saw clearly that Augustus could not be saved; that he was evidently dying. We could do nothing to relieve his sufferings, which appeared to be great. About twelve o’clock he expired in strong convulsions, and without having spoken for several hours. (P1: 142)

Here, Poe writes autobiographically; the death of Augustus on August 1 signifies the death of Poe’s brother on August 1(21) But Poe is also writing providentially. The sun which is present as Augustus/Henry dies at midday at the midpoint of the novel signifies, according to convention, “the Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2), which represents, as Douglas Brooks writes, “Christ come in judgment” (p.13; see also pp. 21, 37-38). The sun, earlier referred to as “the blessed sun” (P1: 117), is “oppressively hot,” thus calling to mind the intensity of Christ’s judgment.(22) The figurative presence of “Christ come in judgment” at the center of Pym, even as Augustus/Henry dies, suggests inevitably the possibility of resurrection, of eventual reunion with dead loved ones, thus reinforcing the thematic concern of Poe’s work. [page 173:]

“Ragged Mountains” also has the “symmetrical structural patterning,” as already described, and the symbolic midpoint, too. When Bedloe doubts that his experience in the Ragged Mountains was a dream, the following conversation takes place at the midpoint of the story: “‘In this I am not sure that you are wrong,’ observed Dr. Templeton, ‘but proceed. You arose and descended into the city. ‘I arose,’ continued Bedloe, regarding the Doctor with an air of profound astonishment, ‘I arose, as you say, and descended into the city’” (M3: 946; emphasis added). The critical repeated line at the center of the story, “You (or I) arose and descended into the city,” echoes two related biblical passages.

A biblical phrase in the first half of “Ragged Mountains” tends to direct attention to one particular corresponding biblical passage. Telling of his amazement at hearing a drum in the Ragged Mountains, Bedloe says, “I could not have been more surprised at the sound of the trump of the Archangel” (M3: 943; emphasis added). The final words, whose source is 1 Thessalonians 4:16, unobtrusively point to a specific biblical passage concerning rise and descent: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him . . . . For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first . . .” (1 Thess. 4:14,16; emphasis added). The theme of the resurrection of the dead in Christ evident in this passage concerning Christ’s resurrection and second coming is reinforced by a second biblical passage on Christ’s resurrection, one which had been referred to in the conclusion of Poe’s early work, “A Dream” (M2: 9),(23) and which here seems to be alluded to in the central repeated lines concerning rising and descending into the sacred city of Benares: “And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city . . .” (Matt. 27:52-53; emphasis added). The framed symbolic midpoint of “Ragged Mountains” resonates with both these biblical passages concerning the resurrection of the dead, passages which dramatically help to affirm the thematic concern of the story — Poe’s powerful desire for reunion with his much beloved dead mother and dead brother.

Pym and “Ragged Mountains,” each of which possesses an elaborate “symmetrical structural patterning” and a symbolic midpoint, are skillfully crafted in the Providence Tradition. Formally, then, as well as thematically, Poe’s tale significantly resembles his novel. The formal affinity demonstrated here and the thematic affinity it reinforces may help to place generic distinctions in Poe in proper perspective. For, although Pym is a sea novel, and “Ragged Mountains” an Oriental tale, these narratives seem profoundly one in their expression of Poe’s [page 174:] deep longing to recover, perhaps providentially, the cherished family he had so sorrowfully lost. In the case of these two works, even as Poe respected the requirements of the genres in which he wrote, he employed these genres as vehicles for mourning and for consecration.(24)

[page ???:]


1.  The Aleph and Other Stories 1933-1969 (New York, 1970), pp. 45-52. I am indebted to Kent Ljungquist and Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV for helpful comments on early drafts of this essay. Another Borges story, “The South,” has been linked with Poe’s “Ragged Mountains”: Reinhard H. Friederich, “Necessary Inadequacies: Poe’s ‘A Tale of the Ragged Mountains’ and Borges’ ‘South’,” JNT, 12(1982), 155-166. Pym is cited from Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, ed. Burton R. Pollin (Boston, 1981), and abbreviated as P parenthetically throughout my text.

2.  Richard Kopley, “The Hidden Journey of Arthur Gordon Pym,” SAR (1982), pp. 30-37, 40-44.

3.  Sarah Helen Whitman, Letter to John H. Ingram, 19 February 1874, Poe’s Helen Remembers, ed. John Carl Miller (Charlottesville, 1979), p. 32. “Ragged Mountains” first appeared in Godey’s, April 1844, and reappeared, lightly edited, in the Broadway Journal, November 1845 (M3: 938-939).

4.  Significantly, this double motif is strengthened by Poe’s use of implied reflection and shadow (M3: 944).

5.  The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe (London, 1949), pp.559, 566. Although Bonaparte is convincing when she observes the connection between Bedloe and Henry, she is unpersuasive when she argues that Bedloe also represents Edgar Poe and his mother, that Oldeb represents Henry, too, and that Doctor Templeton symbolizes an evil father figure, presumably John Allan (pp. 566-568).

6.  Hervey Allen and Thomas Ollive Mabbott, Poe’s Brother (New York, 1926), pp. 24, 28.

7.  In Poe’s Brother Allen and Mabbott maintain that Henry Poe’s foreign adventures were “appropriated and perhaps enlarged upon by his younger brother” (p. 25). Clearly, Edgar Poe would have known of these adventures from Henry’s writings; also, he would likely have learned of them during “hours of intimate talk” with Henry (p. 36), especially when they lived together in Baltimore in 1829 and 1831 (pp. 33-35). Allen elsewhere describes Edgar’s listening to his brother tell of his adventures: Israfel (New York, 1926), l: 253. [page 175:]

8.  Henry Poe’s writing reveals that Henry was “undoubtedly melancholic” (Poe’s Brother, p. xiv; see also pp. 23, 82) and that he had “a vivid imagination” (p. 26). Henry’s addiction was to liquor; in Poe’s Brother Allen and Mabbott state that Henry “early developed a fondness for drink” (p. 26), and they later cite a passage from Edgar Poe’s 10 August 1829 letter to John Allan, which includes the remark, “‘Henry entirely given over to drink”’ (p. 34). For Poe’s telling description of Henry, see John Henry Ingram’s Poe Collection at the University of Virginia, ed. John Carl Miller (Charlottesville, 1960), p. 90.

9.  Henry Poe, “Monte Video,” Poe’s Brother, pp. 44-46. Other sources for “Ragged Mountains” have been suggested by Mukhtar Ali Isani, “Some Sources for Poe’s ‘Tale of the Ragged Mountains’,” PoeS, 5(1972), 38-40.

10.  For the relevant passage of Macaulay, see Edinburgh Review, 74(1841), 213. For the date of Poe’s renewed communication with his brother and that of the publication of Henry’s tale, see Poe’s Brother, pp. 31, 91. Although the narrator’s remark briefly links him with Edgar Poe, evidence to be presented here suggests that another character in this tale represents the author.

11.  The names E. Ronald and Ariel and the cry “Tekeh-E!” in Pym intimate a link to Poe’s mother in diverse ways. E. Ronald is an anagram for E. Arnold, Ariel is the part Elizabeth Arnold Poe played in The Tempest, and “Tekeh-li!” is a reference to another play, Theodore Edward Hook’s Tekeli, in which Elizabeth Arnold Poe also performed. Cf. Kopley, “Hidden Journey,” 43-44.

12.  “Poe’s Debt to Charles Brockden Brown,” Prairie Schooner, 27(1953), 193. For the relevant passages by Brown, see Edgar Huntly or Memoirs of a Sleep-walker, ed. Sydney J. Krause and S. W. Reid (Kent, 1984), pp. 206-209. Several scholars have offered alternative views to that presented by Carter. G. R. Thompson acknowledges that Poe’s Oldeb parallels Brown’s Old Deb, but he considers this parallel to be comic: “Is Poe’s ‘A Tale of the Ragged Mountains’ A Hoax?” SSF, 6(1969), 458-460. Burton Pollin contends that the name Bedloe derives from the reference to “Bedloes” in Macaulay’s essay on Warren Hastings: Discoveries in Poe (Notre Dame, 1970), p. 26.

13.  The link between Old Deb and Elizabeth Arnold Poe would likely have seemed particularly strong to Poe upon consideration of Old Deb’s fairy nickname, Queen Mab (Brown, pp. 206, 209), since Mrs. Poe had played the role of the fairy spirit Ariel in The Tempest, as mentioned above. Furthermore, the appeal of the name Old Deb to Poe because of its maternal connection would probably have been significantly augmented by the susceptibility of its slightly modified version, Oldeb, to palindrome (Bedlo) and nearanagram (double). [page 176:]

14.  Susan Archer Weiss writes of Elizabeth Arnold Poe giving her son Edgar an inscribed miniature of herself: The Home Life of Poe (New York, 1907), p. 6. Marie Louise Shew Houghton states that Poe had his miniature of his mother with him when he died — in letters to John H. Ingram, Building Poe Biography, ed. John Carl Miller (Baton Rouge, 1977), pp. 99, 136.

15.  For Poe’s particular use of the word “miniature” in “Ragged Mountains,” there is no evidence to suggest that he borrowed from any other work; accordingly, the word’s autobiographical significance heightens. Granted, for his use of the word “miniature” in “The Spectacles” (M3: 903, 909, 912), the only other Poe tale in which that word occurs (Burton Pollin, Word Index to Poe’s Fiction [New York, 1982], p. 217), Poe did borrow from an anonymous tale titled “The Mysterious Portrait.” Consistent with this reading, however, both the tale from which Poe borrowed and his own reworking of that tale prominently feature a maternal — if comic — association with the word “miniature.” See “The Mysterious Portrait,” the New Monthly Belle Assemblée (1836), 76-84; and “The Spectacles” (M3: 886-916). Cf. Pollin, “‘The Spectacles’ of Poe — Sources and Significance,” AL, 37(1965), 185-190 and M3: 883.

16.  In this context, it should be added that consumptive Lady Mary of “Metzengerstein” (M2: 20n) has been persuasively linked with Henry Poe and Elizabeth Arnold Poe, both of whose deaths involved consumption, too (Allen 1: 22, 320). Cf. William Bittner, Poe: A Biography (Boston, 1962), p. 86; Bonaparte, pp. 274-275. To the degree that Baron Frederick’s mother may be related to Poe’s mother, one may develop further the correspondence of Templeton, Oldeb, and Bedloe with Edgar Poe, Elizabeth Arnold Poe, and Henry Poe. Because Edgar Poe may well have been writing “Metzengerstein” while he nursed his dying brother in the summer of 1831 (Allen l: 325-326; cf. M1: 543, 2: 17), one may reasonably conjecture that Templeton’s writing of Oldeb’s death even as Bedloe seemed to die (M3: 947-949) is comparable with Edgar Poe’s writing of Lady Mary’s death even as Henry Poe died. A different opinion, which suggests significance in Poe’s revisions, appears in Professor Fisher’s “Poe’s Metzengerstein’: Not a Hoax,” AL, 42(1971), 487-494.

17.  Charles O’Donnell, “From Earth to Ether: Poe’s Flight Into Space,” PMLA, 77(1962), 89. For affirmation and development of O’Donnell’s view, see David Ketterer, The Rationale of Deception in Poe (Baton Rouge, 1979), pp. 139-141.

18.  “The Secret of Arthur Gordon Pym: The Text and the Source,” SAF, 8(1980), 203-218; “The Hidden Journey,” 29-30.

19.  Number and Pattern in the Eighteenth-Century Novel (London, 1973), pp. 18-21. [page 177:]

20.  Providence as a critical theme in Pym is discussed by Curtis Fukuchi in “Poe’s Providential Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym,” ESQ, 27(1981), 147-156.

21.  The death of Augustus/Henry at the center of Pym is infinitely reflected in the minors facing one another at either end of the novel. Thus Poe has brilliantly fashioned an image for what he elsewhere terms “Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance” (H14: 208). Cf. Kopley, “Hidden Journey,” 30-35.

22.  An early example of the characteristically intense Stn of Righteousness is cited by Erwin Panofsky, Meaning in the Visual Arts (Garden City, 1955), p. 262:

Further I say of this Sun that He shall be inflamed when exercising supreme power, that is to say, when He sits in judgment, when he shall be strict and severe . . . because He shall be all hot and bloody by dint of justice and strictness. For, as the sun, when in the center of his orbit, that is to say, at the midday point, is hottest, so shall Christ be when He shall appear in the center of heaven and earth, that is to say, in Judgment . . . .

See also Alastair Fowler, Triumphal Forms (Cambridge, 1970), p. 36.

23.  The validity of Killis Campbell and T. O. Mabbott’s attribution of “A Dream” to Poe is discussed in my review of Pollin’s Word Index to Poe’s Fiction, PoeS, 15(1982), 24-26; and Professor Fisher’s review: JEGP, 84(1985), 154.

24.  A final point, a conjecture regarding a possible additional biblical motif in “Ragged Mountains,” may be warranted here. Bedloe’s imagined death in the holy city of Benares from “a poisoned barb” in his “right temple” (M3: 947) may suggest the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by God’s wrath, represented in the Book of Job as the poisoned “arrows of the Almighty” (Job 6:4). Bedloe’s actual death from “one of the venomous vermicular sangsues” applied to his “right temple” by Doctor Templeton (M3: 950) would, accordingly, recapitulate the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. If this reading is valid, then perhaps the theme of resurrection in “Ragged Mountains” relates not only to Poe’s mother and brother, but also to the Temple in Jerusalem itself. A link between this reading of “Ragged Mountains” and Pym is plausible — see my essay, “The ‘Very Profound Under-current’ of Arthur Gordon Pym,” SAR (1987), pp. 143-175.





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