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Herman Melville

 

Date Born: 8/1/1819
Place of Birth: New York, NY United States

Date Died: 9/28/0
Place of Death: New York, NY United States


Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, essayist, and poet. During his own lifetime his early novels, South Seas adventures, were quite popular, but his audience declined later in his life. By the time of his death he had nearly been forgotten, but his masterpiece, Moby-Dick, was "rediscovered" in following years and he is now widely esteemed as one of the most important figures in American literature.

Melville was a friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and was influenced by the latter's writing; Moby-Dick is dedicated to Hawthorne. In his later life, his works no longer accessible to a broad audience, he was not able to make money from writing. He depended on his wife's family for money, and later became a New York City Customs agent. His short novel Billy Budd, an unpublished manuscript at the time of his death, was later published successfully and was turned into an opera by Benjamin Britten. Melville also wrote White-Jacket, Typee, Omoo, Pierre, The Confidence Man and many short stories and works of various genres. His short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" is among his most important pieces, and has been considered a precursor to Existentialist and Absurdist literature.

Melville is less well known as a poet and did not write any substantial poetry until late in his life; after the Civil War, he published Battle-Pieces, which sold well. But once again tending to outrun the tastes of his readers, Melville's poetic masterpiece, the epic length verse-narrative Clarel, about a student's pilgrimage to the Holy Land, was also quite unknown in his own time. Moby-Dick follows the crew of the Pequod, led by Captain Ahab, a Quaker, on a whaling expedition that takes them around the world. The expedition soon degenerates into a monomaniacal hunt for the legendary "Great White Whale", as Ahab seeks revenge on the animal that cost him a leg.

This article from wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herman_Melville for the full wikipedia article.


Books by Herman Melville on Riapress.com

Moby Dick

By: Herman Melville


Ishmael signs onto the whaler Pequod, led by Ahab, who turns the voyage into an obsessive quest for revenge against the whale who took his leg.


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Omoo

By: Herman Melville


A ragged crew of whalers mutinees in Tahiti, as observed by a cynical, modernly comic, seaman.


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Typee

By: Herman Melville


A young sailor jumps ship in the South Pacific, in Melvile's first book. A 19th-century page turner, Typee was far more popular in Melville's lifetime than his masterpiece Moby Dick.


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White Jacket

By: Herman Melville


Published in 1850, White Jacket is both a retelling of Melville's adventures as a seaman on the man-of-war United States and an expose of naval practices of which the public was only dimly aware.


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Redburn

By: Herman Melville


Drawn from Melville's own adolescent experience Redburn charts the coming-of-age of Wellingborough Redburn, a young innocent who embarks on a crossing to Liverpool together with a roguish crew.


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Mardi, Volume I

By: Herman Melville




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Mardi, Volume II

By: Herman Melville




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Related Books on Riapress.com

Narrative of the Wreck of the Whale-ship Essex

By: Owen Chase


The true story that inspired Melville's Moby Dick, sensational in its time and still a mortal tale of the sea.


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Two Years Before the Mast

By: Richard Henry Dana


A Boston Brahmin escapes his comfortable life by serving as a common sailor on a voyage up the pre-gold rush west coast.


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The House of Seven Gables

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne




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The Scarlet Letter

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne




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The Blithedale Romance

By: Nathaniel Hawthorne




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Author Bibliography


Melville's primary works and publication date
Novels
Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846)
Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas (1847)
Mardi: And a Voyage Thither (1849)
Redburn: His First Voyage (1849)
White-Jacket: or, The World in a Man-of-War (1850)
Moby-Dick (1851)
Pierre: or, The Ambiguities (1852)
Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1855)
The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857)
Billy Budd, Sailor: An Inside Narrative (1924)
Isle of the Cross (lost)


Short stories
The Piazza Tales (1856): "The Piazza", "Bartleby the Scrivener", "Benito Cereno", "The Lightning-Rod Man", "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles", "The Bell-Tower"

Poetry
Battle Pieces: And Aspects of the War (1866)
Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876)
John Marr and Other Sailors (1888)
Timoleon (1891)

Further reading about Melville

Books leading the Melville revival that rescued him from obscurity:
Arvin, Newton, Herman Melville. New York: Sloane, 1950
Howard, Leon. Herman Melville, a biography. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1951.

Leyda, Jay. The Melville log; a documentary life of Herman Melville, 1819-1891. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1951.

Mumford, Lewis. Herman Melville. New York: The Literary Guild of America, 1929.

Weaver, Raymond M.  Herman Melville, mariner and mystic. New York: George H. Doran Co., 1921.

Other books about Melville.
Adler, Joyce. War in Melville's imagination. New York: New York University Press, 1981.
Allen, Gay Wilson. Melville and his world. London, Thames and Hudson, 1971.
Baird, James. Ishmael. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1956.
Bellis, Peter J. No mysteries out of ourselves: identity and textual form in the novels of Herman Melville. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.
Bercaw, Mary K. Melville's sources. Evanston, IL.: Northwestern University Press, 1987.
Bernstein, John. Pacifism and rebellion in the writings of Herman Melville. Mouton, 1964.
Berthoff, Warner. The example of Melville. Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1962.
Bixby, William. Rebel genius: the life of Herman Melville. New York: McKay, 1970.
Blau, Richard Manley. The body impolitic: a reading of four novels by Herman Melville. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1979.
Bloom, Harold. Herman Melville. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2006.
Bloom, Harold. Herman Melville's Billy Budd, Benito Cereno, and Bartleby the scrivener. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1996.
Boswell, Jeanetta. Herman Melville and the critics: a checklist of criticism, 1900-1978. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1981.
Bowen, James K. A critical guide to Herman Melville; abstracts of forty years of criticism. Glenview, Ill:  Scott, Foresman, 1971.
Bowen, Merlin. The long encounter; self and experience in the writings of Herman Melville. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1960.
Branch, Watson G. Melville, the critical heritage. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1974.
Bredahl, A. Carl. Melville's angles of vision. Gainesville, University of Florida Press, 1972.
Brodhead, Richard H. Hawthorne, Melville, and the novel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976.
Browne, Ray Broadus. Melville's drive to humanism. Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Studies, 1971.
Bryant, John. Melville dissertations, 1924-1980: an annotated bibliography and subject index. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.
Budd, Louis J. and Cady, Edwin Harrison. On Melville. Durham: Duke University Press, 1988.
Cahoon, Herbert, ed. Herman Melville; a check list of books and manuscripts in the collections of the New York Public Library. New York, 1951.
Canaday, Nicholas. Melville and authority. Gainesville, University of Florida Press, 1968.
Casarino, Cesare. Modernity at sea: Melville, Marx, Conrad in crisis. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
Chase, Richard Volney. Herman Melville, a critical study. New York: Macmillan Co., 1949.
Chase, Richard Volney. Melville: a collection of critical essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1962.
Curl, Vega. Pasteboard masks: fact as spiritual symbol in the novels of Hawthorne and Melville. Philadelphia: R. West, 1976, reprint of 1931 edition.
Davis, Clark. After the whale: Melville in the wake of Moby-Dick. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1995.
Delbanco, Andrew. Melville: his world and work. New York: Knopf, 2005.
Dillingham, William B. An artist in the rigging: the early work of Herman Melville. Athens, University of Georgia Press, 1972.
Dillingham, William B. Melville's later novels. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1986.
Dillingham, William B. Melville's short fiction, 1853-1856. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1977.
Dimock, Wai-chee. Empire for liberty: Melville and the poetics of individualism. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989.
Dryden, Edgar A. Monumental Melville: the formation of a literary career. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2004.
Duban, James. Melville's major fiction: politics, theology, and imagination. Dekalb: Northern Illinois University Press, 1983.
Durer, Christopher S. Herman Melville, romantic and prophet: a study of his romantic sensibility and his relationship to European romantics. Fredericton, N.B., Canada: York Press, 1996.
Fisher, Marvin. Going under: Melville's short fiction and the American 1850s. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1977.
Fisher, Marvin. Herman Melville: life, work, and criticism. Fredericton, NB: York Press, 1988.
Fogle, Richard Harter. Melville's shorter tales. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 1960.
Freeman, John. Herman Melville. New York: Haskell House Publishers, 1974.
Geist, Stanley. Herman Melville: the tragic vision, and the heroic ideal. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1939.
Grejda, Edward S. The common continent of men; racial equality in the writings of Herman Melville. Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1974.
Grenberg, Bruce L. Some other world to find: quest and negation in the works of Herman Melville. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
Gross, Theodore L. Hawthorne, Melville, Stephen Crane; a critical bibliography. New York: Free Press 1971.
Hardwick, Elizabeth. Herman Melville. New York: Viking, 2000.
Hayford, Harrison.. Melville's prisoners. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2003.
Higgins, Brian,  Parker, Hershel. Herman Melville: the contemporary reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Higgins, Brian, Herman Melville, an annotated bibliography. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979. .
Higgins, Brian, Herman Melville: a reference guide, 1931-1960. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1987.
Hillway, Tyrus. Herman Melville. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1963.
Howard, Leon. Herman Melville. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1961.
Hull, Raymona E., 1907. Studies in the minor and later works of Melville. Hartford: Transcendental Books, 1970.
Humphreys, A. R.  Herman Melville. New York, Grove Press, 1962.
Ishag, Saada & Denniston, Constance.The American novel; two studies. Emporia, Kan., Graduate Division of the Kansas State. Teachers College, 1965.
Jehlen, Myra. Herman Melville: a collection of critical essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1994.
Jones, Alfred Goldsborough. Long ago and "Faraway." New York: New York Public Library, 1948.
Karcher, Carolyn L. Shadow over the promised land: slavery, race, and violence in Melville's America. Baton Rouge, LA.: Louisiana State University Press, 1980.
Kirby, David. Herman Melville. New York: Continuum, 1993.
Lee, A. Robert. Herman Melville reassessments. London: Vision Press, 1984.
Levin, Harry. The power of blackness: Hawthorne, Poe, Melville. New York, Knopf, 1958.
Levine, Robert S. The Cambridge companion to Herman Melville. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Madison, Mary K. Books on Melville, 1891-1981: a checklist. Evanston, IL.: Hayford Associates, 1982.
Mani, Lakshmi. The apocalyptic vision in nineteenth century American fiction: a study of Cooper, Hawthorne, and Melville. Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1981.
Martin, Robert K. Hero, captain, and stranger: male friendship, social critique, and literary form in the sea novels of Herman Melville. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
Mason, Ronald. The spirit above the dust: a study of Herman Melville. London: J. Lehmann, 1951.
Maxwell, D. E. S. Herman  Melville. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1968.
McLoughlin, Michael. Dead letters to the New world: Melville, Emerson, and American transcendentalism. New York: Routledge, 2003.
Metcalf, Eleanor Melville, 1882-1964. Herman Melville, cycle and epicycle. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953.
Milder, Robert. Exiled royalties: Melville and the life we imagine. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.
Miller, Edwin Haviland. Melville. New York: G. Braziller, 1975.
Minnigerode, Meade. Some personal letters of Herman Melville and a bibliography. New York: E.B. Hackett, 1922.
Mumford, Lewis. Herman Melville, a study of his life and vision. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962.
Mumford, Lewis. Herman Melville. New York: The Literary Guild of America, 1929.
Newman, Lea Bertani Vozar. A reader's guide to the short stories of Herman Melville. Boston, MA.: G.K. Hall, 1986.
Pahl, Dennis. Architects of the abyss: the indeterminate fictions of Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1989.
Parker, Hershel, ed. The recognition of Herman Melville; selected criticism since 1846, edited by Hershel Parker. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1967.
Parker, Hershel. Herman Melville: a biography. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996
Phelps, Leland R. Herman Melville's foreign reputation: a research guide. Boston, MA.: G.K. Hall, 1983.
Pops, Martin. The Melville archetype. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1970.
Pullin, Faith. New perspectives on Melville. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1978.
Ramachandra, R. Melville & Conrad: a comparative study. Mysore: Vasudha Prakashana, 1983.
Reeve, F. D. The white monk: an essay on Dostoevsky and Melville. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 1989.
Ricks, Beatrice. Herman Melville: a reference bibliography, 1900-1972, with selected nineteenth-century materials. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1973.
Robertson-Lorant, Laurie. Melville: a biography. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 1996.
Rogin, Michael Paul. Subversive Genealogy: The Politics and Art of Herman Melville. New York: Knopf, 1983.
Rosenberry, Edward H. Melville. London: Routledge & K. Paul, 1979.
Samson, John. White lies: Melville's narratives of facts. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989.
Sastri, P. S. Herman Melville. Bombay: Tata McGraw-Hill, 1972
Sealts, Merton M. Melville as lecturer. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1957.
Sedgwick, William Ellery. Herman Melville; the tragedy of mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1944.
Seelye, John D. Melville: the ironic diagram. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1970.
Seltzer, Leon F., 1940. The vision of Melville and Conrad; a comparative study. Athens, Ohio University Press, 1970
Sherrill, Rowland A. The prophetic Melville: experience, transcendence, and tragedy. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1979.
Solomon, Pearl Chesler. Dickens and Melville in their time. New York: Columbia University Press, 1975.
Stern, Milton R. The fine hammered steel of Herman Melville; with a checklist of Melville studies. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1957.
Stone, Geoffrey. Melville. New York, Sheed & Ward, 1949.
Vincent, Howard Paton. The Merrill checklist of Herman Melville. Columbus, OH: C. E. Merrill, 1969.
Wilson, James C., ed. The Hawthorne and Melville friendship: an annotated bibliography, biographical
and critical essays, and correspondence between the two. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 1991.
Young, Philip. The private Melville. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993.