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


[page v:]


The spirit and methods of the late Professor Thomas Ollive Mabbott in his edition of the poems and tales of Poe have very largely, I hope, entered into this edition of Poe’s long narratives. Through his collection of first printings of Poe’s works in books and journals, of volumes read by Poe, and of copies of relevant manuscripts, Mr. Mabbott provided indispensable aid to the preparation and completion of this volume. The transmitted notes for his projected introductions and commentaries were brief and sketchy but they clearly indicated his own intentions, such as the reproduction of all the source passages in the commentaries; and his list of variants for the different printings of “Hans Pfaall” served as a most useful double check for my own collations. Gratitude is also owed to Maureen C. Mabbott who made all the materials of Mr. Mabbott available and who furnished a splendid example in the painstaking methods of editing which she and Mrs. Elinor D. Kewer were applying to the final stages of volumes two and three of the Harvard edition of the tales.

All of Mr. Mabbott’s collections had been bequeathed to the Libraries of the University of Iowa. My use of them was made possible through the good offices of Leslie W. Dunlap, Dean of Library Administration, and Frank Paluka, in charge of Special Collections.

Gratitude must be expressed to Professor Joseph V. Ridgely of Columbia University for his contributions to this volume. He had been engaged in preparing for a commercial press an annotated edition of The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym. Learning of my preparation of this edition of the longer narratives, he generously turned over to me his extensive material as an aid for checking on the scope and accuracy of the commentary-notes. Subsequently, he was always ready to discuss problems in editing the three works and to offer informed and balanced judgments. Having somewhat modified his published opinions on Pym, Mr. Ridgely volunteered to write a useful introductory essay, “The Growth of the Text,” which is separately included under his name. For “Hans Pfaall” he helped to prepare the list of variants as well as several notes to the text and, especially, those for the appendix section, Poe’s “Manuscript Notes” to that work. For the variants, he utilized the assistance of aides, obtained through the good offices of [page vi:] the Department of English, Columbia University, but mine is the responsibility for finally rechecking all of them.

I wish to express my gratitude for varied and indispensable types of aid in the preparation of these three edited and annotated works to the following whose names cannot be grouped and organized according to the significance or extent of their contributions: Ralph M. Aderman (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee); Richard P. Benton (Trinity College); William H. Bond (Houghton Library, Harvard University); Norman Brower (Library, South Street Seaport Museum); Redmond Burke (research assistant and nautical expert); Herbert Cahoon (Pierpont Morgan Library); Mary C. Campbell (clerical assistant); Moshe Carmilly; Patricia Edwards Clyne; John L. Dameron (Memphis State University); James Doherty (Curator of Mammals, Bronx Zoological Gardens); Dr. Perry Elfmont (consultant on physiology); Kenneth Franklin (astronomer and consultant, American Museum of Natural History); Dr. Federico Garcia Moliner (Universidad Autonoma, Madrid); Elizabeth C. Gilroy (clerical assistant); Clarence L. F. Gohdes (Duke University); William H. Gravely, Jr. (Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland); Robert G. Herbert, Jr. (consultant on nautical matters); Rita Keckeissen and Eugene P. Sheehy (Library, Columbia University); David K. Jackson; Allen T. Hazen; Jean Kolliner, Juliana Skurdenis, and Edwin Terry (Library, Bronx Community College); Tor Kvanvig (the Christian Radisch sailing vessel); Susan K. Lemke and Egon Weiss (library, United States Military Academy); Dale F. Lott (University of California, Davis); Sam Palmer, (NASA, New York office); Rudolph Prescod (research assistant); John Ricci (Professor Emeritus, New York University); Hester Rich (Maryland Historical Society); Zvonko R. Rode; Rollo G. Silver; Dwight Thomas; Lillian Tonkin (Library Company, Philadelphia); Nicholas Tsacoyannis (naval engineer); Ian Walker (American Studies, University of Manchester); Rodger Wilson (research assistant); the staffs of The New-York Historical Society, The New York Public Library, The City University, Graduate Center, and Sarah Lawrence College; New York University; Myles Clement Pollin (research assistant for transcription of manuscripts); and, above all, my wife Alice M. Pollin (for wise counsel and unvarying encouragement and patience).

My thanks are also due to the following for generous financial aid toward travel in this country and in Europe for the examination of various pertinent materials, for the preparation of peripheral studies cited hereafter in my introduction or notes, for the employment of clerical and research assistants, and for the purchase of necessary materials: The American Council of Learned Societies, The Research Foundation [page vi:] of The City University of New York (three separate, successive grants for basic expenses) and The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (a fellowship awarded for specific Poe studies, aspects of which aided in preparing this volume).

Finally, gratitude must be expressed to the Houghton Library, Harvard University, for a copy of Poe’s “Manuscript Notes” to “Haas Pfaall,” to The Pierpont Morgan Library for a copy of the manuscript of the tale, and to H. Bradley Martin for repeated opportunities to examine the two “Duane” volumes of the Southern Literary Messenger containing Poe’s manuscript emendations.






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