Archiv der Kategorie: Melville, Herman

Melville, Herman, a noted American novelist and writer of travel and adventure; born at New York, August 1, 1819; died there, September 28, 1891. At the age of eighteen he shipped as a sailor before the mast, to Liverpool. Four years after he set out upon a whaling voyage in the South Pacific. On account of the abuse of the captain, he ran away from the ship at one of the Marquesas Islands. After many adventures, which he narrates in his „Typee,“ he made his escape on board a whaler. About 1850 he took up his residence at Pittsfield, Mass., but subsequently removed to New York, where he was appointed to a place in the Custom House. His works are „Typee, a Peep at Polynesian Life“ (1846); „Omoo, a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas“ (1847); „Mardi, and a Voyage Thither“ (1848); „Redburn“ (1848); „White Jacket, or the World in a Man-of-War“ (1850); „Pierre, or the Ambiguities “ (1852); „Moby Dick, or the White Whale“ (1851); „Israel Potter, His Fifty Years of Exile“ (1855); „The Piazza Tales“ (1856); „The Confidence Man“ (1857); „Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War,“ a volume of poems (1866); „Clarel, a Pilgrimage in the Holy Land,“ a poem (1876); „John Marr and Other Sailors,“ a story (1888); and „Timoleon,“ poems (1891).

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales – Herman Melville

‘The Piazza Tales’ is a collection of short stories by Herman Melville. The volume contains the following stories:

The Piazza
Bartleby
Benito Cereno
The Lightning-Rod Man
The Encantadas
The Bell-Tower

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales.

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9783849671693.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Some background on The Piazza Tales (from Wikipedia):

In addition to the five stories, Melville wrote an introductory story for which the volume was titled. Scholar Douglas Robillard believes that this served the purpose of making the stories to appear „more closely joined than they actually are.“

The contract for the book was signed on 17 March 1856, it was advertised on 5 April as „in press“ and should have been available by 15 May–though a copy was deposited for copyright on May 20. The volume was printed by Miller & Holman, Printers and Stereotypers, of New York, as a duodecimo volume of 431 pages, excluding seven pages of advertisements for other product by the same publishers. Biographer Parker observes that to reach that number of pages the book was padded out by leaving excessive white space. The front and back covers were ornamented by a border of rules and rosettes. The spine displayed the title, names of author and publishers stamped in gold, and the volume was priced at $1.00. In June the book was advertised together with another as „TWO GOOD SUMMER BOOKS“. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Mardi: And A Voyage Thither

Mardi: And A Voyage Thither – Herman Melville

Mardi is, unlike Melville’s typically autobiographical novels, a work of pure fiction. Like in Typee and Omoo the work narrates the travelings of an American sailor who abandons his whaling vessel to explore the South Pacific. What is new, however, is Mardi’s highly philosophical touch.

Format: Paperback

Mardi: And A Voyage Thither

Mardi: And A Voyage Thither

Mardi: And A Voyage Thither.

ISBN: 9783849671976.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

A short overview of Mardi (from Wikipedia):

Mardi is Melville’s first pure fiction work (while featuring fictional narrators; his previous novels were heavily autobiographical). It details (much like Typee and Omoo) the travelings of an American sailor who abandons his whaling vessel to explore the South Pacific. Unlike the first two, however, Mardi is highly philosophical and said to be the first work to show Melville’s true potential. The tale begins as a simple narrative, but quickly focuses upon discourse between the main characters and their interactions with the different symbolic countries they encounter. While not as cohesive or lengthy as Moby-Dick, it shares a similar writing style as well as many of the same themes. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Redburn – His First Voyage

Redburn – His First Voyage – Herman Melville

Redburn is a semi-autobiographical novel concerning the sufferings of a refined youth among coarse and brutal sailors and the seedier areas of Liverpool. This theme of a youth confronted by realities and evils for which he is unprepared-or incorrectly prepared by both family and American institutions-is a prominent one in Melville’s works.

Redburn - His First Voyage

Redburn – His First Voyage

Format: Paperback

Redburn – His First Voyage.

ISBN: 9783849672997.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Plot summary of Redburn (from Wikipedia):

Unable to find employment at home, young Wellingborough Redburn signs on the Highlander, a merchantman out of New York City bound for Liverpool, England. Representing himself as the „son of a gentleman“ and expecting to be treated as such, he discovers that he is just a green hand, a „boy“, the lowest rank on the ship, assigned all the duties no other sailor wants, like cleaning out the „pig-pen“, a longboat that serves as a shipboard sty. The first mate promptly nicknames him „Buttons“ for the shiny ones on his impractical jacket. Redburn quickly grasps the workings of social relations aboard ship. As a common seaman he can have no contact with those „behind the mast“ where the officers command the ship. Before the mast, where the common seaman work and live, a bully named Jackson, the best seaman aboard, rules through fear with an iron fist. Uneducated yet cunning, with broken nose and squinting eye, he is described as „a Cain afloat, branded on his yellow brow with some inscrutable curse and going about corrupting and searing every heart that beat near him.“ Redburn soon experiences all the trials of a greenhorn: seasickness, scrubbing decks, climbing masts in the dead of night to unfurl sails, cramped quarters, and bad food. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas

Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas – Herman Melville

Omoo:is Melville’s sequel to Typee, and, as such, is also considered autobiographical. After leaving Nuku Hiva, the main character ships aboard a whaling vessel which makes its way to Tahiti, after which there is a mutiny and the majority of the crew are imprisoned on Tahiti. The book follows the actions of the narrator as he explores Tahiti and remarks on their customs and way of life.

Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas

Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas

Format: Paperback

Omoo: Adventures in the South Seas.

ISBN: 9783849673345.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Some background on Omoo (from Wikipedia):

In the Preface to Omoo, Melville claimed to have written „from simple recollection“ strengthened by his retelling the story many times before family and friends. Yet a scholar working in the late 1930s discovered that Melville had not simply relied on his memory and went on to reveal a wealth of sources. Later, Melville scholar Harrison Hayford made a detailed study of these sources and, in the introduction to a 1969 edition of Omoo, summed up the author’s practice: „He had altered facts and dates, elaborated events, assimilated foreign materials, invented episodes, and dramatized the printed experiences of others as his own. He had not plagiarized, merely, for he had always rewritten and nearly always improved the passages he appropriated.“ Hayford showed that this was a repetition of a process previously used in Typee, „first writing out the narrative based on his recollections and invention, then using source books to pad out the chapters he had already written and to supply the stuff of new chapters that he inserted at various points in the manuscript.“ Read more/Mehr lesen...

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The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade – Herman Melville

Typee was Melville’s first book, originally published in London in 1846. Even today it is an absolute classic in travel and adventure literature and is partly based on the author’s actual experiences on the island Nuku Hiva in the South Pacific Marquesas Islands. Of course there is still room for a lot of imaginative reconstruction and adaptation of material from other books. Typee was Melville’s most popular work during his lifetime.

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade

Format: Paperback

The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade.

ISBN: 9783849673185.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Some background on The Confidence-Man (from Wikipedia):

The novel’s title refers to its central character, an ambiguous figure who sneaks aboard a Mississippi steamboat on April Fool’s Day. This stranger attempts to test the confidence of the passengers, whose varied reactions constitute the bulk of the text. Each person including the reader is forced to confront that in which he places his trust. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Typee: A Romance of the South Seas

Typee: A Romance of the South Seas – Herman Melville

Typee was Melville’s first book, originally published in London in 1846. Even today it is an absolute classic in travel and adventure literature and is partly based on the author’s actual experiences on the island Nuku Hiva in the South Pacific Marquesas Islands. Of course there is still room for a lot of imaginative reconstruction and adaptation of material from other books. Typee was Melville’s most popular work during his lifetime.

Typee: A Romance of the South Seas

Typee: A Romance of the South Seas

Format: Paperback

Typee: A Romance of the South Seas.

ISBN: 9783849673574.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Some background on Typee (from Wikipedia):

Typee is „in fact, neither literal autobiography nor pure fiction“. Melville „drew his material from his experiences, from his imagination, and from a variety of travel books when the memory of his experiences were inadequate.“ He departed from what actually happened in several ways, sometimes by extending factual incidents, sometimes by fabricating them, and sometimes by what one scholar calls „outright lies“. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities

Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities – Herman Melville

Pierre; or, The Ambiguities was first published in New York in 1852. The plot makes it a Gothic novel and evolves around the tensions in Pierre Glendinning’s family. There are his widowed mother, his cousin Glendinning Stanley, his fiancee Lucy Tartan and Isabel Banford, who is revealed to be his half-sister.

Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities

Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities

Format: Paperback

Pierre: Or, The Ambiguities.

ISBN: 9783849673734.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Plot summary of Pierre (from Wikipedia):

Pierre Glendinning, junior, is the 19-year-old heir to the manor at Saddle Meadows in upstate New York. Pierre is engaged to the blonde Lucy Tartan in a match approved by his domineering mother, who controls the estate since the death of his father, Pierre, senior. When he encounters, however, the dark and mysterious Isabel Banford, he hears from her the claim that she is his half-sister, the illegitimate and orphaned child of his father and a European refugee. Pierre reacts to the story (and to his magnetic attraction for Isabel) by devising a remarkable scheme to preserve his father’s name, spare his mother’s grief, and give Isabel her proper share of the estate. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War

White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War – Herman Melville

White-Jacket is a novel that perfectly reflects on the American naval life of the 19th century and is widely based on his own experiences when he sailed on the USS United States as a seaman.


White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War

White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-WarFormat: Paperback

White-Jacket: Or The World In A Man-Of-War.

ISBN: 9783849675141.

Available at amazon.com and other venues.

Overview on White-Jacket (from Wikipedia):

Based on Melville’s experiences as a common seaman aboard the frigate USS United States from 1843 to 1844 and stories that other sailors told him, the novel is severely critical of virtually every aspect of American naval life and thus qualifies as Melville’s most politically strident work. At the time, though, the one thing that journalists and politicians focused on in the novel was its graphic descriptions of flogging and the horrors caused by its arbitrary use; in fact, because Harper & Bros. made sure the book got into the hands of every member of Congress, White-Jacket was instrumental in abolishing flogging in the U.S. Navy forever. Melville scholars also acknowledge the huge number of parallels between White-Jacket and Billy Budd and view the former as a rich source for possible interpretations of the latter. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land

Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land – Herman Melville

Who could possibly have foreseen that the author of “Typee” and “Omoo” would at last appear as the author of a poem of 18,000 lines, inspired by religious doubts, questions and aspirations? That Mr. Melville has a vein of native poetry in his nature was already manifested by some ballads which he published during the civil war; but it still remains an amazement that the hero of whaling and Polynesian adventures had become a theological mystic in his ripened years. The plot of Clarel has been constructed as a frame upon which to hang descriptions of the scenery of Palestine and the theological discussions of a chance company of tourists. The principal characters are an American student, an English clergyman, a Jew, a Smyrniote Greek and a Jewish girl of whom we see little, as she dies in order to introduce a tragic element. The poem is divided into four parts, respectively entitled: Jerusalem, The Wilderness, Mar Saba and Bethlehem. Read more/Mehr lesen...

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