Text: Burton R. Pollin, “Hans Pfaall (The Text),” The Collected Writings of Edgar Allan Poe — Vol. I: Imaginary Voyages (1981/1994), pp. 380-383 (This material is protected by copyright)


[page 380:]


Of the successive texts of “Hans Pfaall” the one edited and published by Rufus W. Griswold is used for this edition for various reasons, some of them indicated in the headnote that follows. Poe’s fair copy manuscript of 1835, rife with spelling errors, was probably used for the Southern Literary Messenger printing in June 1835. The list of variants (pp. 436-449) evinces Poe’s subsequent revisions of this text and, especially, his “updating” of the material in 1839 through the addition of an “Appendix” of seventeen paragraphs for reasons which are discussed in note 80A (below). Clearly, however, his continued interest in ballooning and in astronomy, shown in “The Balloon Hoax” (1844) and in Eureka (1848), led him to execute at least two sets of revisions (see Headnote E) in a copy of the tale which was used by Griswold for his printing of the tale in the 1850 Works; this copy was subsequently lost or discarded. There are numerous and substantial alterations ascribable solely to Poe (as can be seen through these variants, keyed to the paragraph numbers and superscript letters: 5h, 9g, l to . . . o, 16s . . . s, 26x . . . x, 28r . . . r, 36h, 43c, 45k, 51h . . . h, 80u, 80v, 100a, 100b). It is likely that Griswold’s compositors or copy editor had something to do with altering the text for house styling (as did the earlier editors of the Messenger and of Lea and Blanchard); British forms are eliminated (e.g., “grey” in para. 5 and nouns ending in “our” such as “honour” in para. 72); adverbs ending in “ward” lose their “s” as in “downwards” and “outwards” in para. 18 and many (but not all) the instances of “toward” (paras. 9, 20, 26) and “afterward” (para. 21). While there must have been an editorial attempt to normalize all forms, a few inconsistencies were allowed to stand (as also in my text), such as these: (quotation marks are omitted; the numbers are those of the paragraphs) afterward (21) / afterwards (18, 19, 69); above-mentioned (23) / before mentioned (31, 56); round (74) / around (19, 49, 71); slow-match (12) / slow match (17); toward (9, 20, 26) / towards (20, 67). [page 380:]


There are eighteen typographical errors in the 1850 edition of the tale. These produce the only emendations in the present text and are separately indicated in the section of “Variants” with a justification of the correction in each case. In the list below, the paragraph number and letter of the variant precede each item, given in the uncorrected form:

4 s reprehensible. Being

9 d are

9 f all

11 r quanty

11 s a

24 z a 1000

26 u quos

49 a It

69 x be omitted

72 x destines

82 a’ rheas

82 c n (f or in)

82 c’ G’s

89 k vision’

89 1 come

92 o Francois

99 z naive

100 a’ d’ esprit

Users of Griswold’s edition of Poe’s works should be aware of the caveat printed in the Mabbott edition of the Tales, 2:1399-1400, to the effect that after 1853 there appears to have been an accident (or more than one) to the type “especially in Volume I between pages 131 and 213.” This accident also affected the post-first edition printings of “Hans Pfaall” on pages 1 through 51, producing in the 1855 edition, for example, a badly blurred “Trabes” (first instance) and a missing end-line hyphen for “Emicant” (para. 26, n.), while in the 1876 edition “Trabes” has been reset without italics and also without its necessary period. In the 1855 edition para. 69 shows the word “light” with a defective “1” which later is altered to “li,” partially occupying the double space before the word and producing a persistent misspelling, “Bight.” [page 381:]


The following compounds, hyphenated or fused, are hyphenated at the end of the line in the copy-text. All of them appear in the same form in the text of Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque; the paragraph number follows each one:

open-mouthed (3)

odd-looking (4)

waist-band (19)

sixty-five (33)

time-honored (45)

gum-elastic (71)

net-work (71)


The compounds or possible compounds in this list are given in the form to which they have been resolved, according to the copy-text used. There are no instances of line-end compounds in both the copy-text and this text:


11 demijohns

19 arm-chairs

19 wicker-work

21 three-quarter

26 lenticular-shaped

29 Nassau-balloon

45 ever-changing

45 lily-looking

66 thirty-nine

71 overboard

MS. Note. 36 daylight (sic in MS.)


All differences in substantives among the five texts are noted, and also the following in accidentals: all spelling variants in which there is any difference in the letters, such as “labor” and “labour,” or differences in [page 383:] the apostrophes; all differences in the division of compounds, such as “for ever” (45j’) when varied in the manuscript (text A); capitalizations, except for capitals in “Earth” and “Science” and directions of the compass (“East”); all italicizations; and punctuation differences where there is a significant resulting difference in interpretation or in rhetoric. Different forms in figures (words and numerals) are ignored and paragraphing variations are shown only for the manuscript.

A few variants which indicate substantial deletions in the E text from the earlier texts are “borrowed” from their own section (pp. 436-449) and printed at the foot of the pages of the main text, except for the long variant 9g.






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