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The Value of Herman Melville


Part of The Value of

  • Date Published: September 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108452915

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About the Authors
  • In The Value of Herman Melville, Geoffrey Sanborn presents Melville to us neither as a somber purveyor of dark truths nor as an ironist who has outthought us in advance but as a quasi-maternal provider, a writer who wants more than anything else to supply us with the means of enriching our experiences. In twelve brief chapters, Sanborn examines the distinctive qualities of Melville's style - its dynamism, its improvisatoriness, its intimacy with remembered or imagined events - and shows how those qualities, once they have become a part of our equipment for living, enable us to sink deeper roots into the world. Ranging across his career, but focusing in particular on Moby-Dick, 'Bartleby, the Scrivener', 'Benito Cereno', and Billy Budd, Sanborn shows us a Melville who is animating rather than overawing, who encourages us to bring more of ourselves to the present and to care more about the life that we share with others.

    • Connects Melville's stylistic qualities to the political and theoretical dimensions of his works
    • Provides close readings of passages from Melville's works
    • Foregrounds the extravagant and energizing qualities of Melville's writing
    • Provides extended readings of Melville's four most enduring works
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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108452915
    • dimensions: 216 x 137 x 9 mm
    • weight: 0.22kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Living the experience
    2. He knew not what it would become
    3. Grief's fire
    4. Susceptibilities
    5. Disportings
    6. A new way of being happy
    7. The meaning of Moby-Dick
    8. As if
    9. Camp Melville
    10. Courting surprise
    11. All things trying
    12. The non-communicating central self.

  • Author

    Geoffrey Sanborn, Amherst College, Massachusetts
    Geoffrey Sanborn is currently the Henry S. Poler '59 Presidential Teaching Professor of English at Amherst College, Massachusetts. He is the author of Plagiarama!: William Wells Brown and the Aesthetic of Attractions (2016), Whipscars and Tattoos: The Last of the Mohicans, Moby-Dick, and the Maori (2011), and The Sign of the Cannibal: Melville and the Making of a Postcolonial Reader (1998). He has also co-edited Melville and Aesthetics (2011) with Samuel Otter and published cultural-historical editions of William Wells Brown's Clotel (2016) and Herman Melville's Typee (2003). His essays on writers such as Frances Harper, Pauline Hopkins, Edgar Allan Poe, Sandra Cisneros, and James Fenimore Cooper, have appeared in American Literature, PMLA, J19, African American Review, ELH, and elsewhere. His essay 'Whence Come You, Queequeg?' won the Foerster Prize for Best Essay in American Literature in 2006 and his essay 'Keeping Her Distance: Cisneros, Dickinson, and the Politics of Private Enjoyment' won the Parker Prize for Best Essay in PMLA in 2002.

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