New Essays on Billy Budd

Overview

Billy Budd is Herman Melville's most read work after Moby-Dick, and it is regularly taught in literature courses of all kinds. Melville wrote the novella during the five years before his death, and it was published posthumously in 1924. The essays collected here investigate Billy Budd in the context of nineteenth-century political and social dynamics and the literary response they provoked, as well as the relevance of mythology and the histories of the classical world and Judaeo-Christian civilization to ...
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Overview

Billy Budd is Herman Melville's most read work after Moby-Dick, and it is regularly taught in literature courses of all kinds. Melville wrote the novella during the five years before his death, and it was published posthumously in 1924. The essays collected here investigate Billy Budd in the context of nineteenth-century political and social dynamics and the literary response they provoked, as well as the relevance of mythology and the histories of the classical world and Judaeo-Christian civilization to Melville's book. Also examined are Melville's later writing, including the late poetry; the text's development; and its ambiguities. The collection will prove an invaluable resource for students of this major American writer.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The collection as a whole as well as every contributor meets the highest standard of textual criticism and may exemplify the classic principles of carrying on polemics." American Studies International
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521417785
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2003
  • Series: American Novel Series
  • Pages: 168
  • Lexile: 1530L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.51 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald Yannella is the author of American Prose to 1820 (1979), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1982), The Perfect Prodigy Melville on the Birth of Malcolm (1986) and Herman Melville's Malcolm Letter (1992).

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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface
List of illustrations
Notes on contributors
Introduction 1
1 Billy Budd and American labor unrest: the case for striking back 21
2 Religion, myth, and meaning in the art of Billy Budd, Sailor 49
3 Old man Melville: the rose and the cross 83
4 Melville's indirection: Billy Budd, the genetic text, and "the deadly space between" 114
Select bibliography 145
Index 148
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