Text: Burton R. Pollin, “Pym (Headnote),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Imaginary Voyages (1981/1994), pp. 51-52 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 51:]



(A) Southern Literary Messenger, January and February 1837, 3:13-16 and 3:109-16; a partial printing, without the Preface, through chap. 4, para. 3, divided and titled only as follows:





(B) The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Of Nantucket. (plus a long subtitle; see Fig. 1). New York, Harper & Brothers, 1838. Pages as follows:

Publisher’s advertisement, dated “May, 1838” on [1]-2, headed “Important Works Just Published” etc. on the first page and “New Works” on the second; title and copyright notice (“Entered . . . in the Clerk’s Office of the Southern District of New-York”): [iii]-[iv]; “Preface.” by “A. G. Pym.”: [v]-vii; Text (“Narrative of A. Gordon Pym.”): [9]-201; Publisher’s advertisements, called “Valuable Works”: [1]-14.

(C) The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket, North America: (plus an abridged subtitle; see Fig. 2). London, Wiley and Putnam, 1838. Pages as follows:

Half-title, “Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym.” plus blank: [1]-[2]; Titlepage plus printing house: [3]-[4]; “Preface” by “A. G. Pym.” dated “New York, ‘July, 1838” followed by a paragraph from “The Publishers” dated “Oct., 1838”: [i]-[iv] (i.e., [5]-[8]); text (“Narrative of A. Gordon Pym.”): [9]-252.

(D) Arthur Gordon Pym: or, Shipwreck, Mutiny, and Famine (plus a sub-subtitle; see Fig. 3). “The Novel Newspaper, in monthly parts,” part XLIII, 1841, pages [5]-74, in double columns, together with “The Esmeralda,” pp. [75]-80. London, John Cunningham.

(E) Narrative of A. Gordon Pym. Edited by Rufus W. Griswold. Works. Vol- IV, [ix]-188. New York, J. S. Redfield, 1856. [page 52:]


(A) This partial text, set from Poe’s manuscript, follows the house style of the journal.

(B) This is the only text definitely authorized by Poe. It follows the house style of the publisher, but this may have had the sanction of the author. All the Southern Literary Messenger variants are recorded, including accidentals.

(C) This pirated reprint of B changes the title, adds a paragraph to the Preface, omits the March 22 entry at the end of chap. 24, uses British spellings, and alters other accidentals.

(D) This reprint, based on C, lacks the Preface.

(E) This reprint makes many minor changes reflecting the publisher’s house style and the carelessness of the editors and compositors (discussed in my Introduction); it evinces no sign of any alterations prepared for Griswold by Poe. Although this is the text chiefly followed by Harrison as identical with B, it has no auctorial sanction.






[S:0 - BRPIMV, 1981/1994] - Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore - Editions - The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe (B. R. Pollin) (Pym)