A scathing, razor-sharp satire set on a New Orleans-bound riverboat, The Confidence-Man exposes the fraudulent optimism of so many American idols and idealists--Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and P. T. Barnum, in particular--and draws a dark vision of a country being swallowed by its illusions of progress.Why is Dalkey Archive doing yet another edition of The Confidence-Man? And why is it doing Melville at all? First, this edition, originally published by Bobbs-Merrill over forty years ago, contains remarkable annotations by H. Bruce Franklin, intended for both the general reader and the scholar. It's an edition we have long admired. More importantly, we believe that The Confidence-Man is America's first postmodern novel--game-like, darkly comic, and completely inventive.
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This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.Book Description:
Long considered the author's strangest novel, The Confidence-Man is a comic allegory aimed at the optimism and materialism of mid-eighteenth-century America. A mysterious shape-changing Confidence-Man approaches passengers on a Mississippi steamboat and, winning over the (not quite innocent) victims with his charm, urges them to implicitly trust in the cosmos, in nature, and even in human nature-with predictable results.
The Confidence-Man represented a departure for Melville, a satirical and socially acute work that was to be a further step away from his sea novels. Yet it confused and angered reviewers who preferred to pigeonhole him as an adventure writer. Some have argued the book was a joke on the readers loyal to his sea stories, but if so, it backfired. Dismissed by critics as unreadable, and an undoubted financial failure, The Confidence-Man's cold reception undermined Melville's belief in his ability to make a living writing works that were both popular and profound, and he soon gave up fiction. It was not until the mid-twentieth century that critics rediscovered the book and praised its wit, stunningly modern technique, and wry view that life may be just a cosmic con game.
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Book Description Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc, New York, 1964. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. First Thus. Some wear and creasing to cover edges, text is clean. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾". Bookseller Inventory # 00526128
Book Description Harcourt School, 1948. Paperback. Book Condition: Used: Good. Bookseller Inventory # 8971669
Book Description HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON,, NY, 1964. PAPER BACK BLACK/WHITE. Book Condition: GOOD. 5 1/4 X 8 1/4. edited with an introduction by Hennig Cohen, covers rubbed, pages browned around edges, price sticker on front cover, pen markings throughout book DATE PUBLISHED: 1964 EDITION: 275. Bookseller Inventory # 077078
Book Description HOLT, RINEHART AND WINSTON,, NY, 1964. HARD BACK RED. Book Condition: GOOD. 5 1/4 X 8 1/4. edited with an introduction by Hennig Cohen, ex-library, usual markings, pages browned DATE PUBLISHED: 1964 EDITION: 275. Bookseller Inventory # 077077