Mardi: and a Voyage Thither by Herman Melville | Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Mardi: And a Voyage Thither

Mardi: And a Voyage Thither

by Herman Melville
     
 

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After publishing two volumes he claimed were autobiographical but that many readers found implausible (Typee and Omoo), Melville set about writing a work of fiction to see if the public might find it more believable. Mardi, however, is far more than the South Seas adventure of the first two novels. The book contains some of Melville's most splendid descriptions of

Overview

After publishing two volumes he claimed were autobiographical but that many readers found implausible (Typee and Omoo), Melville set about writing a work of fiction to see if the public might find it more believable. Mardi, however, is far more than the South Seas adventure of the first two novels. The book contains some of Melville's most splendid descriptions of nature and also substantial samples of the philosophical musings that would make Moby Dick famous.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781495485237
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
02/09/2014
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Meet the Author

Herman Melville's reputation was immediately established in 1846 with the publication of his first novel, Typee, yet for the most part he lived in near-seclusion and died in relative obscurity for a man of his talents. He wasn't fully appreciated until the 20th century. The conservative religious Americans of his day didn't trust him: his unorthodoxy regarding religion, his South Seas travels, his cynicism, his bitter criticism of the hypocrisy of missionaries, and his satires of religion and religious figures made him an outcast. Today, however, some critics claim that only Dostoyevsky is his equal among 19th century writers.

At seventeen, he became a merchant seaman, sailing first to Liverpool, where the sexual activity at the docks at first shocked him but then opened up a new world for him, for he was attracted to men. At age twenty-one, he sailed to the South Pacific. Four novels came from this experience: Typee, Omoo, Mardi, and White Jacket. Another early novel, Redburn, is set primarily aboard ship. Philosophically, the strength of his early novels is his disdain for the white man trying to force civilization onto a people who were blissfully happy without it. He particularly objected to the indoctrination of religion. All of the books contain an undeniable homoeroticism.

Melville moved to the countryside to write Moby Dick. The novel is an adventure story and a tale of revenge, but it is also an audacious experiment. The reaction from critics was so harsh that from the publication of Moby Dick in 1851 until about 1938, Melville was not afforded much respect among scholars.

In 1852, Melville published Pierre, which is autobiographical in its anatomy of the despair Melville was feeling at the rejection of Moby Dick. Pierre was scandalous for its day, almost as if Melville were thumbing his nose at society. Melville was now only thirty-two but considered a failed writer. His next story was refused for publication, so he retired and lived in relative obscurity for the remainder of his days. When he died, however, he left Billy Budd, which some critics think the equal of Moby Dick.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
August 1, 1819
Date of Death:
September 28, 1891
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Place of Death:
New York, New York
Education:
Attended the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, until age 15

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