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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 xi

Notes on Contributors xii

Acknowledgments xx

Texts and Abbreviations xxi

Preface
Wyn Kelley xxiii

Part I Travels 1

1 A Traveling Life
Laurie Robertson-Lorant 3

2 Cosmopolitanism and Traveling Culture
Peter Gibian 19

3 Melville's World Readers
A. Robert Lee 35

4 Global Melville
Paul Lyons 52

Part II Geographies 69

5 Science and the Earth
Bruce A. Harvey 71

6 Ships, Whaling, and the Sea
Mary K. Bercaw Edwards 83

7 Pacific Paradises
Alex Calder 98

8 Atlantic Trade
Hester Blum 113

9 Ancient Lands
Basem L. Ra'ad 129

Part III Nations 147

10 Democracy and its Discontents
Dennis Berthold 149

11 Urbanization, Class Struggle, and Reform
Carol Colatrella 165

12 Wicked Books: Melville and Religion
Hilton Obenzinger 181

13 Pierre's Bad Associations: Public Life in the Institutional Nation
Christopher Castiglia 197

14 Melville, Slavery, and the American Dilemma
John Stauffer 214

15 Gender and Sexuality
Leland S. Person 231

Part IV Libraries 247

16 The Legacy of Britain
Robin Grey 249

17 Romantic Philosophy, Transcendentalism, and Nature
Rachela Permenter 266

18 Literature of Exploration and the Sea
R. D. Madison 282

19 Death and Literature: Melville and the Epitaph
Edgar A. Dryden 299

20 The Company of Women Authors
Charlene Avallone 313

21 Hawthorne and Race
Ellen Weinauer 327

22 "Unlike Things Must Meet and Mate": Melville and the Visual Arts
Robert K. Wallace 342

Part V Texts 363

23 The Motive for Metaphor: Typee, Omoo, and Mardi
Geoffrey Sanborn 365

24 Artist at Work: Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick, and Pierre
Cindy Weinstein 378

25 The Language of Moby-Dick: "Read It If You Can"
Maurice S. Lee 393

26 Threading the Labyrinth: Moby-Dick as Hybrid Epic
Christopher Sten 408

27 The Female Subject in Pierre and The Piazza Tales
Caroline Levander 423

28 Narrative Shock in "Bartleby, the Scrivener," "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," and "Benito Cereno"
Marvin Fisher 435

29 Fluid Identity in Israel Potter and The Confidence-Man
Gale Temple 451

30 How Clarel Works
Samuel Otter 467

31 Melville the Realist Poet
Elizabeth Renker 482

32 Melville's Transhistorical Voice: Billy Budd, Sailor and the Fragmentation of Forms
John Wenke 497

Part VI Meanings 513

33 The Melville Revival
Sanford E. Marovitz 515

34 Creating Icons: Melville in Visual Media and Popular Culture
Elizabeth Schultz 532

35 The Melville Text
John Bryant 553

Index 567

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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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