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A Companion to Herman Melville

Wyn Kelley (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-2231-3
608 pages
September 2006, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Herman Melville (1405122315) cover image
In a series of 35 original essays, this companion demonstrates the relevance of Melville’s works in the twenty-first century.

  • Presents 35 original essays by scholars from around the world, representing a range of different approaches to Melville
  • Considers Melville in a global context, and looks at the impact of global economies and technologies on the way people read Melville
  • Takes account of the latest and most sophisticated scholarship, including postcolonial and feminist perspectives
  • Locates Melville in his cultural milieu, revising our views of his politics on race, gender and democracy
  • Reveals Melville as a more contemporarywriter than his critics have sometimes assumed
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List of Illustrations.

Notes on Contributors.

Acknowledgements.

Texts and Abbreviations.

Preface (Wyn Kelley).

Part I: Travels.

1. A Traveling Life (Laurie Robertson-Lorant).

2. Cosmopolitanism and Traveling Culture (Peter Gibian).

3. Melville's World Readers (A. Robert Lee).

4. Global Melville (Paul Lyons).

Part II: Geographies.

5. Science and the Earth (Bruce A. Harvey).

6. Ships, Whaling, and the Sea (Mary K. Bercaw Edwards).

7. Pacific Paradises (Alex Calder).

8. Atlantic Trade (Hester Blum).

9. Ancient Lands (Basem L. Ra'ad).

Part III: Nations.

10. Democracy and its Discontents (Dennis Berthold).

11. Urbanization, Class Struggle, and Reform (Carol Colatrella).

12. Wicked Books: Melville and Religion (Hilton Obenzinger).

13. Pierre's Bad Associations: Public Life in the Institutional Nation (Christopher Castiglia).

14. Melville, Slavery, and the American Dilemma (John Stauffer).

15. Gender and Sexuality (Leland S. Person).

Part IV: Libraries.

16. The Legacy of Britain (Robin Grey).

17. Romantic Philosophy, Transcendentalism, and Nature (Rechela Permenter).

18. Literature of Exploration and the Sea (R.D. Madison).

19. Death and Literature: Melville and the Epitaph (Edgar A. Dryden).

20. The Company of Women Authors (Charlene Avallone).

21. Hawthorne and Race (Ellen Weinauer).

22. "Unlike Things Must Meet and Mate": Melville and the Visual Arts (Robert K. Wallace).

Part V: Texts.

23. The Motive for Metaphor: Type, Omoo, and Mardi (Geoffrey Sanborn).

24. Artist at Work: Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick, and Pierre Cindy Weinstein).

25. The Language of Moby-Dick: "Read It If You Can" (Maurice S. Lee).

26. Threading the Labyrinth: Moby-Dick as Hybrid Epic (Christopher Sten).

27. The Female Subject in Pierre and The Piazza Tales (Caroline Levander).

28. Narrative Shock in "Bartleby, the Scrivener, " "The Paradise of Bacherlors and the Tartars of Maids," and "Benito Cereno" (Marvin Fisher).

29. Fluid Identity in Israel Potter and The Confidence-Man (Gale Temple).

30. How Clarel Works (Samuel Otter).

31. Melville the Realist Poet (Elizabeth Renker).

32. Melville's Transhistorical Voice: Billy Budd, Sailor and the Fragmentation of Forms (John Wenke).

Part VI: Meenings.

33. The Melville Revival (Sanford E. Marovitz).

34. Creating Icons: Melville in Visual Media and Popular Culture (Elizabeth Schultz).

35. The Melville Text (John Bryant).

Index.
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Wyn Kelley is Senior Lecturer in the Literature Faculty at MIT. The author of Melville’s City: Literary and Urban Form in Nineteenth-Century New York (1996) and A Short Guide to Herman Melville (Blackwell Publishing, forthcoming), she is also Associate Editor of the Melville Society journal Leviathan.
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  • This comprehensive resource demonstrates the relevance of Melville’s works in the twenty-first century.
  • Presents 35 original essays by scholars from around the world, representing a range of different approaches to Melville.
  • Considers Melville in a global context, and looks at the impact of global economies and technologies on the way people read Melville.
  • Takes account of the latest and most sophisticated scholarship, including postcolonial and feminist perspectives.
  • Locates Melville in his cultural milieu, revising our views of his politics on race, gender and democracy.
  • Reveals Melville as a more contemporarywriter than his critics have sometimes assumed.
See More
"This book does not focus on one particular Melville book, short story, or poem but instead offers a new examination of the latest in Melville criticism...These fine essays advance Melville scholarship for the 21st century." Choice

“A beautifully produced substantial volume.”
Reference Reviews

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