Novelists have long understood the literary merits of Pym and often modeled their own books after its example. Jules Verne was inspired to write a sequel to Poe’s novel, The Sphinx of the Ice Realm and William James found the title for The Golden Bowl by reading Pym. John Barth re-read Pym in the spirit of Italo Calvino’s The Castle of Crossed Destinies, and Borges considered the novel to be Poe’s greatest work. Melville had Pym in mind as one model for Ishmael’s epistemology in Moby-Dick. Charles Romyn Dake published his sequel to Pym in the last year of the nineteenth century; in 2011, Mat Johnson based his satire on race in America, Pym: A Novel, on Poe’s novel.
However, prior to 1950, the only significant Pym scholarship was to be found in Marie Bonaparte’s Edgar Poe (1933; English translation 1949). And it was left until the approach of the sesquicentennial of Pym’s publication before critics recognized the text as a major part of Poe’s canon (and no longer consigned the masterpiece to the literary oblivion of the minor novellas The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfall and The Journal of Julius Rodman).
from the preface by Richard Blevins
The Obituary of Edgar Allan Poe
From the Richmond Semi-Weekly Examiner
vol. II, no. 98, October 12, 1849
from The Paris Review
Rich Blevins writes the longpoem in the tradition of Pound, H.D, and Duncan. He followed George Butterick as the editor of the Charles Olson/Robert Creeley correspondence. He is an emeritus professor of the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.