Text: Anonymous, [Review of Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym], New Monthly Magazine (London, UK), vol. 54, ns. vol. 3, issue no. 215, November 1838, pp. 428-429.


[page 421:]



[. . .]

[page 428, continued:]

The Rector. “The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, of Nantucket, [page 429:] North America.” — The history of the famous Robinson Crusoe is said to have made more sailors than any Act of Parliament since the Wittenagemote. It may be added, that it has made more discoverers of anything but the truth than any treatise on the art of fiction since fabling was invented. Arthur Pym is the American Robinson Crusoe, a man all over wonders, who sees nothing but wonders, vanquishes nothing but wonders, would, indeed, evidently scorn to have anything to do but with wonders and who, after having been buried in a whirlpool a hundred fathom below the centre of the earth, comes home with a considerable fragment of the magnetic meridian in one pocket, and a frozen slice of the eighty-fourth degree of south latitude in the other, and sits down in Nantucket to write his Journal for the benefit of the remotest posterity.

The Colonel. The blowing up of Arthur Pym's vessel, when it has been boarded by the savages of the Pole, is one of the most prodigious performances of gunpowder, since the wreck of the Spanish Armada. The crew of the devoted vessel having reached the shore, ten thousand savages, and not less by a man, march down to the beach, and a thousand go on board. The vessel is set on fire — the work of devastation goes on, however, as calmly, if not quite as coolly, as before. But the magazine begins to give signs that it is in existence: first comes a smart shock as a preliminary; but the savages still persevere in extracting nails, bolts, and all kinds of iron: but the catastrophe is at hand. First comes a puff of smoke, then a column of fire to a height above the strongest and longest telescope, than [[then]] a chaos of every combustible, and then a crash, a concussion, a convulsion, and indescribable havoc, which leaves the ship not a foot of plank nor a square inch of copper. The thousand savages, suddenly finding their quarters too hot to hold them, are blown into ten thousand fragments, and the fish have a black jubilee for a month to come. We may defy black legs and arms, or even Nantucket fiction, to go further.




The format of this portion of the magazine was as a conversation between various characters discussing the various literary publications of the moment. The characters are identified only by some, probably imaginary, role in public life.

Wittenagemote was a council gathering of Anglo-Saxons prior to the Norman Conquest of 1066 ce.



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