A.N. Devers

Bookstores. Writers' Houses. Edgar Allan Poe.

Reading Group: The Horror of Discovery–Edgar Allan Poe and his Influence

  • The Center for Fiction 17 E 47th St New York, NY, 10017 United States

Join this three-part reading group at the Center for Fiction as we read Edgar Allan Poe's The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym

Although Arthur Gordon Pym is Edgar Allan Poe’s only novel, it is one of his least read and most unusual works—a strange seafaring adventure tale about an Antarctic exploration gone wrong—that has had an enduring impact on writers since its publication in 1838.  Borges described it as his “greatest work,” and it influenced Jules Verne, H. P. Lovecraft, and is famously considered an inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.  We’ll read Poe’s novel and his other sea-inspired short story "Ms. Found in a Bottle," H. P. Lovecraft’s novella-length sequel At the Mountains of Madness, and Mat Johnson’s recent and acclaimed novel, Pym, a satirical fantasy about an African-American scholar who journeys to Antarctica in search of answers about Poe’s enigmatic novel. We’ll look closely at themes of travel and adventure, racial symbolism, and the horror and fantasy of discovering new worlds. 

Please use the Melville House edition of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym for the first meeting and read the entire (short) novel.