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The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860

The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860( )
Author: Melville, Herman
Editor: Parker, Hershel
Tanselle, G. Thomas
Hayford, Harrison
Series title:Melville Ser.
ISBN:978-0-8101-0551-5
Publication Date:Sep 1987
Publisher:Northwestern University Press
Book Format:Paperback
List Price:USD $55.00
Book Description:

In this new edition of The Piazza Tales, the editors of the acclaimed Northwestern-Newberry Edition of the Writings of Herman Melville have used the original magazine versions for five of the six stories in order to present the most accurate tests of these works. Here, in such famous stories as "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles," we find Melville's imagination and style at its best. Of the less well known tales, the humor in "The Piazza" and...
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Book Details
Pages:847
Detailed Subjects: Fiction / Literary
Physical Dimensions (W X L X H):6 x 9 x 2 Inches
Book Weight:2.65 Pounds
Author Biography
Melville, Herman (Author)
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891) was born into a seemingly secure, prosperous world, a descendant of prominent Dutch and English families long established in New York State. That security vanished when first, the family business failed, and then, two years later, in young Melville's thirteenth year, his father died. Without enough money to gain the formal education that professions required, Melville was thrown on his own resources and in 1841 sailed off on a whaling ship bound for the South Seas. His experiences at sea during the next four years were to form in part the basis of his best fiction.

Melville's first two books, Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847), were partly romance and partly autobiographical travel books set in the South Seas. Both were popular successes, particularly Typee, which included a stay among cannibals and a romance with a South Sea maiden. During the next several years, Melville published three more romances that drew upon his experiences at sea: Redburn (1849) and White-Jacket (1850), both fairly realistic accounts of the sailor's life and depicting the loss of innocence of central characters; and Mardi (1849), which, like the other two books, began as a romance of adventure but turned into an allegorical critique of contemporary American civilization. Moby Dick (1851) also began as an adventure story, based on Melville's experiences aboard the whaling ship. However, in the writing of it inspired in part by conversations with his friend and neighbor Hawthorne and partly by his own irrepressible imagination and reading of Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists Melville turned the book into something so strange that, when it appeared in print, many of his readers and critics were dumbfounded, even outraged.

By the mid-1850s, Melville's literary reputation was all but destroyed, and he was obliged to live the rest of his life taking whatever jobs he could find and borrowing money from relatives,



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