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This Kraken Edition of Pierre, or The Ambiguities is a reconstruction of the text that Melville delivered to Harper & Brothers early in January 1852, just as some of the most devastating reviews of Moby-Dick were appearing. The Harper brothers apparently decided that Pierre was even more outrageous than Moby-Dick and tried to avoid publishing it by offering Melville less than half the royalties they had paid for his previous books. Accepting the humiliating contract, Melville took a self-destructive revenge. After Book XVI, he interpolated a new section on "Young America in Literature", in which he arbitrarily announced that his hero, Pierre, had been a juvenile author. Melville proceeded to add an intrusive "Pierre as author" sub-plot, disparaging American literary life and the world of publishing, which he left unassimilated into the book he had first completed. Melville scholar Hershel Parker has long believed that the psychological stature of Moby-Dick would best be understood in the light of the original, shorter version of Pierre, in his opinion "surely the finest psychological novel anyone had yet written in English". Moby-Dick and the reconstructed Pierre are at last revealed as complexly interlinked companion studies of the moods of thought - the Typee and Omoo of depth psychology. Furthermore, all Melville lovers will be challenged by Maurice Sendak's extraordinary pictures, which constitute a brilliantly provocative interpretation of Melville's study of moral and mental ambiguities.About the Author:
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), and after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.
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