Elizabeth Hardwick Herman Melville

ISBN 13: 9780670891580

Herman Melville

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9780670891580: Herman Melville
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The life story of the author of Moby-Dick furnishes an analysis of all of Melville's writings and depicts his days as a whaleship deckhand and his bitterness over the public's failure to embrace his master work, Moby-Dick. 25,000 first printing.

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Ernest Hemingway famously declared Huckleberry Finn to be the true font of American prose--and in the case of his own stripped-down stories, he was right. But there's another, more rococo strain in our literature, of which fish fancier Herman Melville would be the undisputed king. So who better to chronicle his life in brief than Elizabeth Hardwick? This deliciously acerbic critic and novelist hasn't, of course, attempted to mimic Melville's language, which often sounds like the sort of thing Shakespeare would have written if he'd been an ichthyologist. But she, too, is the possessor of an eccentric, sometimes shaggy style, and has already written about Melville with rare penetration. Even her opening salvo has an appropriately over-the-top ring to it:

Herman Melville: sound the name and it's to be the romance of the sea, the vast, mysterious waters for which a thousand adjectives cannot suffice. Its mystical vibrations, the great oceans "holy" for the Persians, a deity for the Greeks; forbidden seas, passage to barbarous coasts--a scattering of Melville's words for the urge to know the sparkling waters and their roll-on beauty and, when angry, their powerful, treacherous indifference to the floundering boat and the hapless mariners.
In a study of this length (160 pages), Hardwick doesn't even pretend to compete with such broad-canvas predecessors as Hershel Parker or Laurie Robertson-Lorant. But she hits all the high points (and the numerous low ones) in this all-American life, from Melville's earliest seagoing expeditions to his running aground in middle age. "The cabin boy became a family man," she notes, "or at least a man with a family, one always at home, but hardly the man of the house, with his scullery routine of writing at frightening speed, as if driven by a tyrannical overseer." There was, alas, worse to come: trapped in a dead-end job as a New York customs inspector, Melville retreated into desperate silence. But Hardwick burrows in to disclose new singularities, new complications, and to acknowledge that her subject's life is hardly less ambiguous than his art. "So much about Melville," we are told, "is seems to be, may have been and perhaps." What's certain, however, is that we could hardly find a better narrator than Hardwick herself. --Bob Brandeis

About the Author:

Elizabeth Hardwick is the author of Sight Readings, Bartleby in Manhattan, A View of My Own, and Seduction and Betrayal, which was nominated for the National Book Award. Her novel Sleepless Nights was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Gold Medal for Belles-Lettres and Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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Hardwick, Elizabeth
Published by Viking, New York (2000)
ISBN 10: 0670891584 ISBN 13: 9780670891580
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Book Description Viking, New York, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; First Printing. New book, unmarked, in crisp dj.; Penguin Lives; 0.39 x 7.48 x 5.12 Inches; 160 pages; A single novel, an eternal classic, established him as a founding father of American literature. Now, a century after his death, a new popular surge of interest in Herman Melville calls for Elizabeth Hardwick's rich analysis of "the whole of Melville's works, uneven as it is, and the challenging shape of his life . . . a story of the creative history of an extraordinary American genius."Hardwick's superb critical interpretation and award-winning novelistic flair reveal a former whaleship deckhand whose voyages were the stuff of travel romances that seduced the public. Later, a self-described "thought-diver" into "the truth of the human heart," Melville harbored a bitterness that knew no bounds when that same public failed to embrace his masterwork, Moby-Dick. Invaluable for enthusiasts of American literature, Herman Melville is itself a masterpiece of critical commentary in the tradition of D. H. Lawrence's Studies in Classic American Literature. Seller Inventory # 48660

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Book Description Viking Adult, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0670891584

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Book Description Viking book, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Book Description: A single novel, an eternal classic, established him as a founding father of American literature. Now, a century after his death, a new popular surge of interest in Herman Melville calls for Elizabeth Hardwick's rich analysis of "the whole of Melville's works, uneven as it is, and the challenging shape of his life . . . a story of the creative history of an extraordinary American genius." Hardwick's superb critical interpretation and award-winning novelistic flair reveal a former whaleship deckhand whose voyages were the stuff of travel romances that seduced the public. Later, a self-described "thought-diver" into "the truth of the human heart," Melville harbored a bitterness that knew no bounds when that same public failed to embrace his masterwork, Moby-Dick. Invaluable for enthusiasts of American literature, Herman Melville is itself a masterpiece of critical commentary in the tradition of D. H. Lawrence's Studies in Classic American Literature. About the Author: Elizabeth Hardwick is the author of Sight Readings, Bartleby in Manhattan, A View of My Own, and Seduction and Betrayal, which was nominated for the National Book Award. Her novel Sleepless Nights was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Gold Medal for Belles-Lettres and Criticism from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Seller Inventory # ABE-1102418063

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Book Description Viking Adult. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0670891584 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0246916

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