By Clark Davis
After the Whale Melville within the Wake of Moby-Dick Clark Davis
After the Whale contextualizes Herman Melville's brief fiction
and poetry via learning it within the corporation of the extra primary fiction
of the 1850s period. The examine makes a speciality of Melville's imaginative and prescient of the
purpose and serve as of language from Moby-Dick via Billy Budd with
a specified emphasis on how language--in functionality and form--follows and depends
on the functionality and type of the physique, how Melville's angle toward
words echoes his angle towards §esh. Davis starts by means of finding and
describing the elemental dialectic formulated in Moby-Dick within the characters
of Ahab and Ishmael. This dialectic produces visions of physically reality
and corresponding visions of language: Ahab's, within which language
is either weapon and replacement physique, and Ishmael's, within which language
is an extension of the body--a medium of rationalization, dialog, and
play. those different types of language offer a key to knowing the difficult
relationships and formal alterations in Melville's writings after Moby-Dick.
By following every one work's perspective towards the dialectic, we will see
the contours of the later profession extra in actual fact and so start a circulation away
from weakly contextualized readings of person novels and brief stories
to a extra entire attention of Melville's profession. given that the
rediscovery of Herman Melville within the early many years of this century, criticism
has been restricted to the prose as a rule and to a couple significant works in particular.
Those who've given major consciousness to the quick fiction
and poetry have performed so usually out of context, that's, in multi-author
works committed completely to those genres. the outcome has been a criticism
with huge gaps, so much in particular for works from Melville's later
career. The relative loss of curiosity within the poetry has left us with little
understanding of ways Melville's later voices built, of the way the
novels developed into stories, the stories into poetry, and the poetry again into
prose. briefly, the advance of MelvilleÍs artwork through the final
three many years of his existence continues to be a topic of which now we have been afforded
only glimpses, hardly ever a continual consciousness. After the Whale provides
a new, extra complete knowing of Melville's development as
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Additional info for After the Whale: Melville in the Wake of Moby Dick
As in the episode of the squid, the descriptions and, to a small extent, the actual encounters with Moby-Dick reveal that it is not his "whaleness" that excites and appalls but the unusual qualities of his appearance. As in the case of the "Albino man," it is "this mere aspect of all-pervading whiteness [that] makes him more strangely hideous than the ugliest abortion" (191). His hump, his deformed lower jaw, his hieroglyphic forehead present not the face of evil but the uncontextual disproportion of the grotesquethe unexpected, troubling crux or illogical generic violation that irritates the viewer into the act of reading.
Moby-Dick and After 1. Moby-Dick and the Divided Body 3 2. Language and the Ascetic Body in Pierre and "Bartleby" 24 3. Israel Potter and the Search for the Hearth 46 II. The Limits of Form 4. Toward Deception: The Short Fiction and the Failing Body 65 5. Inverted Worlds: "Benito Cereno" and The Confidence-Man 84 III. Reshaping the Lost Debate 6. The Fissure in the Hearth: Battle Pieces 107 7. Clarel and the Search for the Divine Body 125 8. A Question of Distance: The Late Poetry 151 IV. An Open Ending 9.
The illustration on the title page is an engraving entitled Figures on a Shore in a Storm, after Claude Joseph Vernet. ) Page v For my parents and for Hillary Page vii CONTENTS Preface ix Acknowledgments xiii I. Moby-Dick and After 1. Moby-Dick and the Divided Body 3 2. Language and the Ascetic Body in Pierre and "Bartleby" 24 3. Israel Potter and the Search for the Hearth 46 II. The Limits of Form 4. Toward Deception: The Short Fiction and the Failing Body 65 5. Inverted Worlds: "Benito Cereno" and The Confidence-Man 84 III.