New York Public Library-2008-7.jpg

Melville’s Second Act

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
Calendar
February 2018
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728  
Archives
Politics, Culture, Philosophy
  • Rachel Maddow
  • Frank Schaeffer
  • Roberto Ruiz

Tuesday's Mini-Report, 2.20.18Today's edition of quick hits. [...]

Trump moves forward with plan to ban 'bump stocks'Trump is prepared to support regulations banning "bump stocks," which is a notable step, b [...]

Allies abroad urged to ignore Trump's intemperate tweetsAmericans have a message to the world: the position of the United States on key international issues [...]

Tuesday's Campaign Round-Up, 2.20.18Today's installment of campaign-related news items from across the country. [...]

Trump helps put the spotlight back on his women accusersDonald Trump seems eager to relitigate the fight over the women who've accused him of sexual mi [...]

Why Republicans and the US mainstream keep going in opposite directionsThe question is why Republicans, who ostensibly have to worry about elections, are going in one dire [...]

Despite reality, Trump insists he's been 'tough' on RussiaWhen it comes to his record on Russia, Donald Trump says we should "just look at the facts. [...]

Trump's 'no foreign deals' pledge came with an asteriskAs one observer noted, "Trump's company is literally selling access to the president' [...]

The awkward dance between Donald Trump and Mitt RomneyRomney's opinion of Trump has changed a half-dozen times in recent years. It's as if he [...]

Burdened by scandals, school shooting offered Trump World a 'reprieve'If you work in a White House so overcome by scandal that a slaughter in a high school offers a breat [...]

What’s the best definition of a (in Trump’s words) “shithole country?” Maybe this: Any nation where [...]

I recently had the opportunity to chat with historical theologian and author Randal Rauser and Premi [...]

“He always had guns on him,” a former classmate said of Nikolas Cruz, who had a history of problems. [...]

At this point perhaps it might be easier if we just sort out which of Trump’s men HAS NOT been accus [...]

ICYMI – Here’s my appearance this morning on AM Joy, discussing Evangelical Christians’ continued su [...]

Here’s a great (free) NEW outlet put together by an amazing young woman I met; Annafi Wahed, CFA, a [...]

America: We have a draft-dodger ordering up a self-aggrandizing military parade. Eisenhower saved th [...]

I’m in New Orleans at the “Unrig the System” conference with lots of folks talking about ways to get [...]

Democrats have a rational positive agenda you can find in white papers and ten-point-plans that no o [...]

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 [...]

Some Thoughts and Feelings on the Aftermath of the ElectionWhen I saw that anger, hate and bigotry were going to win two nights ago, I had to unplug for a whil [...]

The Philosophy of Marvel's DaredevilEveryone is familiar with the most obvious tropes of superhero comics: exciting action sequences, sk [...]

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

Ven. Eido T. Shimano Roshi, founder of the Zen Studies Society, died on February 18 in Japan at the [...]

Naropa University is launching the Chögyam Trungpa Institute to highlight the work of its founder, m [...]

Matthieu Ricard provides a glimpse into the life of Patrul Rinpoche, one of the most revered spiritu [...]

Apparently, no one was harmed, and the Tibet Daily reports that the fire was "quickly extinguis [...]

Leslie Booker offers step-by-step instruction. The post How to Practice Walking Meditation appeared [...]

Colin Beavan, a senior teacher in the Kwan Um School of Zen, looks at the meaning of meditation in l [...]

Upaya Zen Center announced Wednesday that Matthew Kozan Palevsky has been selected to serve as the c [...]

Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society has published a letter clarifying the teaching status [...]

Guo Gu, a longtime student of the late Master Sheng Yen, presents an experiential look at the Chan p [...]

The Padmasambhava Buddhist Center of Tennessee is building a new Tibetan Buddhist temple near downto [...]

(Natural News) Herbicide drift continues to plague millions of acres of American crops, and the expe [...]

(Natural News) Keeping your brain healthy well into old age can be difficult. But with the right com [...]

(Natural News) The latest tactic of the “mob rule” Left is to puppeteer high school students, paradi [...]

(Natural News) There are plenty of examples in history of mind control being used to influence masse [...]

(Natural News) Nearly all Americans were horrified by the latest school shooting — this one at a hig [...]

(Natural News) American physician, author, and speaker on public health issues Dr. Michael Heschel G [...]

(Natural News) The demand for plastic surgery has gone way up, especially with both men and women’s [...]

(Natural News) Just how ready is the United States to serve the needs of the natural gas market? Bet [...]

(Natural News) Diabetes and obesity: These diseases now affect tens of millions of people worldwide. [...]

(Natural News) Through a special arrangement with The Food Grow Network and Food.news, we’ve made a [...]

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

According to the Department of National Intelligence's (DNI) 2018 report, China and Russia coul [...]

A team of Japanese astronomers conducted the first detailed observation of a dust and gas torus surr [...]

The Opportunity rover just experienced its 5000th sunrise on Mars and is still revealing things abou [...]

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter, written by Universe Today publisher Fraser Cain. The post [...]

Hubble images track the demise of an enormous storm in Neptune's atmosphere. Rather that expiri [...]

Welcome to the 549th Carnival of Space! The Carnival is a community of space science and astronomy w [...]

According to a recent study by a French-Chinese collaboration, the Andromeda galaxy (as we know it) [...]

An award-winning astrophotographer in California has captured images of the Tesla Roadster and its d [...]

According to the latest study by a team that has been observing 'Oumuamua since it was first di [...]

According to a new study, there is a slim chance that Musk's Roadster (and Spaceman) could coll [...]

Perimeter welcomes cosmologist Neal Dalal to facultyWednesday Jan 31, 2018 New Faculty member Neal D [...]

Perimeter hosts international planning session for G7 SummitTuesday Jan 30, 2018 Representatives fro [...]

“Big bounce” work earns cosmology award for Turok and GielenTuesday Jan 09, 2018 With second- and th [...]

Perimeter Founding Faculty member named to Order of CanadaTuesday Jan 02, 2018 Raymond Laflamme, a f [...]

2017: Perimeter’s scientific year in reviewTuesday Dec 19, 2017 Science typically advances in increm [...]

Pedro Vieira wins Sackler PrizeTuesday Dec 12, 2017 Quantum field theorist shares $100,000 award for [...]

Myers makes "most influential" list for fourth timeFriday Dec 08, 2017 Perimeter Faculty C [...]

Perimeter cosmologist shares in Breakthrough PrizeMonday Dec 04, 2017 Perimeter cosmologist Kendrick [...]

Lieutenant Governor champions empowerment through scienceThursday Nov 16, 2017 Ontario Lieutenant Go [...]

Award honours Perimeter's impact on high-skills labour marketThursday Nov 16, 2017 Toronto’s Cr [...]

Largest study of its kind finds alcohol use biggest risk factor for dementiaAlcohol use disorders are the most important preventable risk factors for the onset of all types of [...]

Distant tropical storms have ripple effects on weather close to homeResearchers report a breakthrough in making accurate predictions of weather weeks ahead. They'v [...]

'Brain on a chip' reveals how the brain foldsOur brains are wrinkled like walnuts by the time we are born. Babies born without these wrinkles -- [...]

Land use change has warmed Earth's surfaceRecent changes to vegetation cover are causing Earth's surface to heat up. Activities like cutt [...]

Researchers achieve 'Olympic ring' molecule breakthrough just in time for Winter GamesMore than 7,000 miles away from the snowcapped peaks of PyeongChang, scientists in Florida have unlo [...]

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signalsA new study shows how tiny, light-powered wires could be fashioned out of silicon to manipulate elec [...]

Brain aging may begin earlier than expectedPhysicists have devised a new method of investigating brain function, opening a new frontier in the [...]

Low-fat or low-carb? It's a draw, study findsNew evidence might dismay those who have chosen sides in the low-fat versus low-carb diet debate. Cu [...]

Quintillionths of a second in slow motionMany chemical processes run so fast that they are only roughly understood. To clarify these processe [...]

Astronomers reveal secrets of most distant supernova ever detectedAstronomers have confirmed the discovery of the most distant supernova ever detected -- a huge cosmi [...]

The recent budget proposal for NASA dealt a blow to the astronomical community, putting several key [...]

The post IC443, a Lum/Ha-SII Bi-color picture. appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Orion in appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Rosette Nebula with filters SHO appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Rosette Nebula with filters HOO appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post HDR image of the Great Orion Nebula. appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post A beautiful transit! appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post The eclipsed sun under a blanket of clouds appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Going to sleep appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]

The post Eclipse at sunset appeared first on Sky & Telescope. [...]