Edgar Allan Poe — “The Pit and the Pendulum”


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Commentary:

Characters:

  • (narrator) - Under development.

Setting:

Location - Under development.

Date - Under development.

Summary:

Under development.


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Reading and Reference Texts:

Reading copy:

  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — reading copy

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Historical Texts:

Manuscripts and Authorized Printings:

  • Text-01 — “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1842, no original manuscript or fragments are known to exist (but this version is presumably recorded in Text-02) — (The tale was written for TGAPP, and is listed in Poe’s handwritten table of contents, but the text itself no longer survives. In need of money, Poe sold the tale to the editors of The Gift and crossed the title off the list of contents.)
  • Text-02 — “The Pit and the Pendulum” — about October 1842 — The Gift for 1843 — (Mabbott text A)
  • Text-03 — “The Pit and the Pendulum” — May 17, 1845 — Broadway Journal — (Mabbott text B)
  • Text-04 — “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1850 — WORKS — (Mabbott text C)  (This is Mabbott’s copy-text)

 

Reprints:

  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — October 22, 1842 — New York Spectator (reprint from Text-02)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1852 — Tales and Sketches: to which is added The Raven: A Poem, London, George Routledge & Co.
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1867 — Prose Tales of Edgar Allan Poe, first series (New York: W. J. Widdleton), pp. 310-324 (This collection is extracted from the 1850-1856 edition of Poe’s Works. It was reprinted several times.)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1874 — Works of Edgar A. Poe, edited by J. H. Ingram, vol. 1, pp. 200-215 (This collection was subsequently reprinted in various forms)
  • ”The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1888 — Weird Tales: American, London: William Patterson. (This book is from a five-volume series, all called Weird Tales and each focusing on a single cultural tradition — American, Irish, English, Scottish and German. Among the selections in this volume are Washington Irving’s “The Headless Horseman” and William Gilmore Simms’ “Murder Will Out” and Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.” The same series appeared as Weird Tit-Bits, published in New York and London: White & Allen. It was reprinted several times, with a seventh edition appearing in 1889, as advertised in Publisher’s Weekly for September 21, 1889 and the Dial for October 1889.)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — April 1907 — Outlook, vol. 85, no. 12, with an introduction by Hamilton W. Mabie, pp. 708-716

 

Scholarly and Noteworthy Reprints:

  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1894-1895 — The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 1: Tales, ed. G. E. Woodberry and E. C. Stedman, Chicago: Stone and Kimball (1:309-329)
  • The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1902 — The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 5: Tales IV, ed. J. A. Harrison, New York: T. Y. Crowell (5:67-87, and 5:317-319)
  • The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1978 — The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe, vol. 2: Tales & Sketches I, ed. T. O. Mabbott, Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press (2:681-700)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1984 — Edgar Allan Poe: Poetry and Tales, Patrick F. Quinn (New York: Library of America), pp. 491-505

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Comparative Texts:

Instream Comparative Texts:

  • None.

 

Plain Text Files for Juxta:

  • None.

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Associated Material and Special Versions:

Miscellaneous Texts and Related Items:

  • “Der Brunnen und der Pendel” — April 24 and May 1, 1853 — Bremer Sonntagsblatt, 17:132-133 and 18:139-140  (German translation by H. du Roi, acknowledged as “Nach dem Englischen des Edgar Poe.”)
  • “[The Pit and the Pendulum]” — 1855 — Fortaellinger [Tales] (Copenhagen)  (Danish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 14)
  • “Le puits et le pendule” — (French translation by Charles Baudelaire)
    • “Le puits et le pendule” — October 1852 — Revue de Paris (printed anonymously)
    • “Le puits et le pendule” — August 3-4, 1854 — Le Pays
      • “Le puits et le pendule” — Part I — August 3, 1854
      • “Le puits et le pendule” — Part II — August 4, 1854
    • “Le puits et le pendule” — 1857 — Nouvelles histoires par Edgar Poe, Paris: Michel Lévy frères
  • “[The Pit and the Pendulum]” — 1881 — Underliga historier, Stockholm  (Swedish translation, noted by Anderson, p. 54)
  • “Le puits et le pendule” — 1885 — Oeuvres Choisies d‘Edgar Pöe, Paris: A. Hennuyer  (French translation by William L. Hughes)
  • “[The Pit and the Pendulum]” — 1886 — Hochi Shimbun  (Japanese translation by Morita Shiken)
  • “[The Pit and the Pendulum]” — 1929 — Moscow, Ogonyok (a Russian translation by E. Kalmeer, issued as a small pamphlet.)
  • “De Put en de Slinger” — about 1930 — Fantastische Vertellingen van Edgar Allan Poe, Haarlem: H. D. Tjeenk Willink & Zoon (Dutch translation by Machiel Elias Barentz, with elaborate illustrations by Albert Hahn, somewhat reminiscent of those by Harry Clarke)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — January 12, 1943 — a radio show broadcast on theSuspense show, adapted by John Dickinson Carr and starring Henry Hull. (Hull is perhaps best remembered today as the unfortunate title character of the 1935 film The Werewolf of London. As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — August 1947 — Classics Illustrated (number 40)  (a comic-book)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — November 28, 1947 — a radio show broadcast on theSuspense show, adapted by John Dickinson Carr and starring Jose Ferrer. (As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — June 1952 — Beware (number 10)  (a comic-book)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — Fall 1952 — Nightmare (number 2)  (a comic-book)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — October 1954 — Amazing Ghost Stories (number 14)  (a comic-book)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1956 — a reading by Nelson Olmsted on Edgar Allan Poe: Tales of Terror, issued on the Vanguard label (VRS-9007)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — November 10, 1957 — a radio show broadcast on theSuspense show, adapted by John Dickinson Carr and starring Vincent Price. (This episode is available on CD as part of a 6-CD set of “Smithsonian Legendary Performers,” issued in 2004. As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — June 7, 1959 — a radio show broadcast on the Suspense show, with Raymond Burr. (As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 1962 — a reading by Richard Taylor on Nightmare: Edgar Allan Poe, issued on the Random Records label (M-36, side A) (running time, around 14:56) (This is a very cheaply produced 33 1/3 LP, with a single narrator speaking over a very reverberant and somewhat off-key electric guitar played for atmosphere. The jacket features simple black and white graphics. The narrator, who has a surprisingly high voice and a detectable Brooklyn accent, is noted as being 21 at the time of the recording. This album was initially advertised for $1.98, and 25¢ for shipping and handling, while each of the remaining albums in the 4-album set was advertised for $2.98. The $1.98 price was apparently a typographical error and it appears to have been corrected in later printings. Side B is “The Tell-Tale Heart”)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — March 1977 — Marvel Classics Comic Series (number 28)  (a comic-book)
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — July 4, 2000 — a radio show broadcast on the NPR Playhouse show, noted as Generations Readio Theater. (As was often the case with dramatic presentations of Poe’s works, the story has been modified.) The show was produced by Winnie Waldron and Winifred Phillips. It debuted on XM Satellite Radio on July 19, 2003.
  • “The Pit and the Pendulum” — 2007 — Audio book (unabridged), read by Chris Aruffo

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Bibliography:

  • Alternon, Margaret, “An Additional Source for Poe’s ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Modern Language Notes, June 1933, 48:349-356
  • Anderson, Carl L., Poe in Northlight: The Scandanavian Response to His Life and Work, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1973.
  • Clark, David L., “The Source of Poe’s ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Modern Language Notes, June 1929, 44:349-356
  • DeProspo, R. C., “Salvation and Its Counterfeit: Contemptus Mundi in the New World from Rowlandson’s ‘Captivity Narrative’ to Poe’s ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” in Mittelalter-Rezeptio, ed. Ulrich Muller and Kathleen Verduin, Goppingen, Germany: Kummerle, 5:95-103
  • G., W. M., “Poe’s ‘Pit and the Pendulum,” Critic, July 6, 1890, 14:7
  • Hayes, Kevin, “Poe’s Motto to ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Notes & Queries (London), March 2011, vol. 58, no. 1, p. 88
  • Heartman, Charles F. and James R. Canny, A Bibliography of First Printings of the Writings of Edgar Allan Poe, Hattiesburg, MS: The Book Farm, 1943.
  • Hirsch, David, “Another Source for ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Mississippi Quarterly, Winter 1969-1970, 23:35-43
  • Hirsch, David, “The Pit and the Apocalypse,” Sewanee Review, October-December 1968, 76:632-652
  • Lundquist, James, “The Moral of Averted Descent: The Failure of Sanity in ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Poe Newsletter, April 1969, 2:25-26
  • Mabbott, Thomas Ollive, ed., The Collected Works of Edgar Allan Poe (Vols 2-3 Tales and Sketches), Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1978.
  • Martuza, Athar, “An Arabian Source for Poe’s ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’,” Poe Newsletter, December 1972, 5:52
  • Solomont, Susan and Ritchie Darling, Four Stories by Poe, Norwich, VT: Green Knight Press, 1965
  • Watts, Theodore, “Edgar Poe,” Athenaeum, September 2, 1876, no. 2549, p. 306
  • Weber, Jean-Paul, “Edgar Poe on the Theme of the Clock,” La Nouvelle Revue Francais (August-September 1958), 68:301-311 and 69:498-508.
  • Wyllie, John Cooke, “A List of the Texts of Poe’s Tales,” Humanistic Studies in Honor of John Calvin Metcalf, Charlottesville: University of Virginia, 1941, pp. 322-338.

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[S:0 - JAS] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Works - Tales - The Pit and the Pendulum