book review: the narrative of arthur gordon pym of natucket

The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym is a tale about sailing. There are three main stories of adventure: one is about accidentally setting sail with a drunk, one is about stowing away on a ship and getting caught in a mutiny and then resorting to cannibalism, and the last is about going to tropical Antarctica where the savages were full of perfidy (most likely because they weren’t good trustworthy white men was the message, which yes, is racist and problematic, like reading Lovecraft – all these fucking old horror writers seem most horrified by non-whiteness).

It was good in a weird way, despite all its flaws. Nothing felt very important. I mean the narrator was basically the only person to survive several of these adventures and it didn’t really phase him much. And the dismissal of “these terrible things” really undercut the horrific nature of anything that happened. As did all the convenient coincidences, like Pym’s dog being smuggled aboard the ship he’s a stowaway on.

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