Bodhi Tree Bookstore - LA-3.jpg

NYRB Review: Hershel Parker’s Melville: The Making of the Poet and Robert Milder’s Exiled Royalties: Melville and the Life We Imagine

Both Hershel Parker and Robert Milder have written in-depth studies of the last three decades of Melville’s life when he concentrated on writing and publishing poetry. Parker does so in the second volume of his Herman Melville: A Biography as well as in his recent Melville: The Making of the Poet. Milder has written of the second half of Melville’s career in various works, most notably for his anthology, Billy Budd, Sailor and Selected Tales, and, more recently, in several of his essays collected in Exiled Royalties: Melville and the Life We Imagine. Generally speaking Parker and Milder take different critical approaches in their studies of the older Melville, his poetry, and the 30 years during which it occupied most of his creative energy and time. But read together Parker and Milder complement one another and give us a comprehensive appreciation and understanding of not only Melville the poet but of his poems as well.

In the June 26, 2008 issue of the New York Review of Books, Christopher Benfey, Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke, reviews both Hershel Parker’s Melville: The Making of the Poet and Robert Milder’s Exiled Royalties: Melville and the Life We Imagine. The opening of Benfey’s review, “Melville’s Second Act,” excerpted on the NYRB website, shows us Melville on a voyage in the summer of 1860, the summer he unsuccessfully attempted to publish his first volume of poetry:

On August 1, 1860, Herman Melville’s forty-first birthday, he was aboard the clipper ship Meteor, captained by his younger brother Thomas, as it made the hazardous passage around Cape Horn bound for San Francisco. A gale arose that day and lasted, as Melville noted in his diary, for three brutal days of ‘snow, rain, hail, sleet, mist, fog, squalls, head-winds, refractory stove, smoky cabin, drunken ship &c &c &c.’ A week later, as strong winds continued unabated, a young sailor from Nantucket was blown from the rigging to the deck and was killed instantly. After the funeral service, presided over by Tom, the body was tipped into the ocean and the blood washed from the deck. ‘All goes on as usual,’ Melville reported, ‘as if nothing had happened—as if I did not know that death is indeed the King of Terrors.’

If you can not find the June 26, 2008 NYRB Review at your bookstore or library, you can click here to read an online version.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Calendar
December 2019
M T W T F S S
« Sep    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
Archives
Politics, Culture, Philosophy
  • Rachel Maddow
  • Frank Schaeffer
  • Roberto Ruiz

AG Bill Barr tries to rescue Trump from Justice Dept findingsAttorney General William Barr's efforts to politicize the Justice Department were already a pro [...]

DOJ investigation shreds Trump's claims about FBI, Russia probeThere was no attempted "coup." There was no "deep state" scheme. The FBI never [...]

Trump's own words lead collection of evidence in his impeachmentRep. Val Demings, member of the House Judiciary Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about whether sh [...]

Durham compromises credibility with public statement on IG reportDavid Laufman, former chief of the DOJ's counterintel and export control section, talks with Ra [...]

Trump campaign was not spied on: DOJ IG; Barr reverts to deceitRachel Maddow reports on some of the findings in the DOJ inspector general report, including that th [...]

DOJ IG report debunks Flynn Hail Mary defense ahead of sentencingRachel Maddow reports on DOJ inspector general's report on the origins of the investigation of [...]

Rachel Maddow 12/9/19Watch the full episode of Monday night's The Rachel Maddow Show. [...]

Rachel Maddow 12/9/19Watch the full episode of Monday night's The Rachel Maddow Show. [...]

Monday's Mini-Report, 12.9.19Today's edition of quick hits. [...]

GOP's McCarthy argues against first-term presidential impeachments"In modern history, we've never gone after impeaching a president in the first term," [...]

Why are the perpetrators of 9/11 STILL invited to America to learn from our military? The Saudi stud [...]

Leading social indicators are trending their way, but somehow it is only Trump who stands between us [...]

I dropped out of film school to edit video for the conspiracy theorist because I believed in his wor [...]

This is the best ever on TRUMP as a crook. Read, share, weep, VOTE!!! Read at Washington Post By Ric [...]

Based on their support for Trump, American white evangelicals are the only people in America who con [...]

By Richard SpencerNovember 27, 2019 at 3:56 p.m. MSTRichard Spencer is the former secretary of the N [...]

By Emma Graham-Harrisonand Juliette Garside Sun 24 Nov 2019 13.00 EST Read at The Guardian The inter [...]

by Nancy Jo SalesOriginally posted Fri 1 Nov 2019 02.00 EDT A report released by Common Sense Media [...]

Attorney General and Trump Personal Attorney William Barr recently made a speech at Notre Dame. Thes [...]

Sorry to be rude but this is just nuts: “As a Christian, I believe that Satan is behind this. He is [...]

After having been unjustly convicted of the bogus charges brought against him in that most infamous [...]

The Philosophy of Christopher NolanEver since I first watched Memento and its fascinating exploration of the philosophical question of [...]

Voltaire - CandideThe philosophical problem of evil—the question of how the existence of unnecessary suffering is poss [...]

Arrow - A Celebration of LoveLife is hard enough as it is. Existence, in many ways, is suffering. Obviously, some have it much wo [...]

If 'Despacito' Were Written by an Evo-Devo BiologistIf you are a geek, you are likely to get excited over things others might find boring, laughable, la [...]

James Baldwin Debates William F. BuckleyJames Baldwin, the great essayist, poet, civil rights activist, writer and orator, would have turned [...]

Genius of the Ancient World - SocratesFew figures have been more important and influential in the history of civilization than the ancient [...]

The PresocraticsAnyone who's ever contemplated Raphael's celebrated painting The School of Athens knows th [...]

President Obama's Farewell AddressAs his presidency sadly comes to an end, President Obama delivered last night what is sure to become [...]

John Berger - Ways of SeeingArt critic John Berger's recent death has left a huge void in the world of art appreciation. Wh [...]

Right Living, Thinking, Etc
  • Two Truths News
  • Natural Living-Healthy Planet

Is “comfort food with zing” a contradiction? This spicy noodle platter on the cover of The Mindful K [...]

Wat Buddha Dhamma is a monastery of the Thai Forest Tradition, and was founded by Phra Khantipalo an [...]

The Buddha told a famous story about a blind turtle and a golden yoke to illustrate how rare the cha [...]

In our Weekend Reader newsletter, Koun Franz discovers a new dharma in the Winter 2019 issue of Budd [...]

Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, and Laurie Anderson will perform at the Tibet House US 33rd Anniversary Benef [...]

The future of Buddhism will be decided by how we act right now, says Johnny Edward Dean Jr. He’s put [...]

Reflecting on his experience bringing Buddhism to college campuses, Aaron Stryker says engagement, i [...]

In the sixth and final issue in our 40th anniversary series, five young Buddhists look to the future [...]

I see inclusivity, change, kindness, and community, says Tara Umemoto. I see "Namo amida butsu. [...]

It’s not just about mind and meditation, says Ravi Mishra. To meet the needs of this time, Buddhists [...]

(Natural News) Many people still believe today that Dr. Jonas Salk was the “God” of cult pharmacolog [...]

(Natural News) Turmeric is an Indian spice used to give curry it’s distinct golden color. But beyond [...]

(Natural News) Dear Star Wars fans: Are you ready for some intergalactic LGBT action? Because that’s [...]

(Natural News) We have reached one of the most critical points in American history, and there should [...]

(Natural News) Parasites are small organisms that depend on a living host for their survival and pro [...]

(Natural News) Sprouts are the young, thin plants that grow from germinated seeds. There are many ty [...]

(Natural News) Folate, often referred to as folic acid or vitamin B9, is an essential nutrient found [...]

(Natural News) Wild yam joins the roster of heart-healthy foods, as a study published in the Journal [...]

(Natural News) If you disagree with the medical establishment’s lies about vaccines, you have no rig [...]

Science News
  • The Universe Today
  • Perimeter Institute
  • Science Daily
  • Sky and Telescope

When astronaut Charlie Duke walked on the Moon in April of 1972 during the Apollo 16 mission, he bro [...]

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu in December 2018, and just one week later, it [...]

As of Dec. 4th, the Yutu 2 rover element of the Chang'e-4 mission had traveled a total of over [...]

Using data collected by Kepler's K2 observation campaign, an international team of scientists w [...]

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx arrived at asteroid Bennu in December 2018. During the past year, it’s been imagin [...]

Astronomers have discovered a large Neptune-sized planet orbiting a white dwarf star. The planet is [...]

The Robotic Tool Stowage (RiTS) unit recently launched for the ISS, where it will be integrated and [...]

LIGO is so sensitive it can hear the quantum fluctuations of a vacuum. But by squeezing light it can [...]

A new study by a team astrobiologists shows how certain types of extreme bacteria thrive on meteors, [...]

Astronomers have spotted a 40 billion solar mass black hole in the Abell 85 cluster of galaxies. The [...]

Perimeter researcher wins prestigious AMS prizeFriday Nov 15, 2019Kevin Costello lauded for his effo [...]

Giacomo Torlai receives APS prize for outstanding thesisWednesday Nov 06, 2019A Perimeter PhD gradua [...]

Krembil Foundation elevates its commitment to Canadian-based breakthroughsTuesday Nov 05, 2019The Ca [...]

Perimeter postdoc wins prestigious €1-million research grantThursday Oct 17, 2019Sebastian Steinhaus [...]

Perimeter congratulates Canadian cosmologist James Peebles on Nobel Prize in PhysicsTuesday Oct 08, [...]

Perimeter researchers win Breakthrough and New Horizons PrizesThursday Sep 05, 2019Perimeter researc [...]

Inaugural program invites undergrads to experience life as researchersWednesday Sep 04, 2019This sum [...]

ISSYP demonstrates power of collaboration in physicsThursday Aug 15, 2019At Perimeter’s Internationa [...]

New grads, alumni, and instructors celebrate 10 years of Perimeter Scholars InternationalFriday Jun [...]

Perimeter mourns the passing of a brilliant rising star in cosmologyFriday Jun 14, 2019Chiamaka Okol [...]

New research finds that killer whale grandmothers who were no longer able to reproduce had the bigge [...]

Researchers have discovered jet stream patterns that could affect up to a quarter of global food pro [...]

Researchers have discovered a new method for turning nearly any object into a data storage unit. Thi [...]

Slashed across the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus are four straight, parallel fissures o [...]

Reductions in air pollution yielded fast and dramatic impacts on health-outcomes, as well as decreas [...]

A crab's nervous system could help scientists learn what causes single neurons in the human bra [...]

Researchers have developed a more accurate method of measuring bisphenol A (BPA) levels in humans an [...]

New research reveals how a week in the dark rewires brain cell networks and changes hearing sensitiv [...]

The first evidence of a giant planet orbiting a dead white dwarf star has been found in the form of [...]

Some stress at a young age could actually lead to a longer life, new research in roundworms shows. [...]

Meade Telescopes files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection after loosing an antitrust lawsuit broug [...]

The post IC410 Nebula with Tadpoles appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post A state of hydrogen appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post IC434, Horsehead nebula and surroundings, RGB and Ha blend appeared first on Sky & Tele [...]

Astronomers have struggled to understand the origin of the parallel fractures on Saturn’s icy moon E [...]

In 1967, astronomer Jocelyn Bell Burnell (1943–) discovered the first pulsars — cosmic lighthouses t [...]

This week, Jupiter is disappearing deep into the sunset, while Venus, having ditched Jupiter, is on [...]

Astronomers have long suspected that white dwarfs eat their planetary companions. Now, indirect obse [...]

The near-Earth asteroid constantly shoots out rocks, leaving planetary scientists perplexed. The pos [...]

In the first public release of data from NASA’s flagship heliophysics mission, scientists on the Par [...]