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A biography of herman melville an american novelist who wrote his whaling novel moby dick

Wanderings and voyages

Sign up Herman Melville books: Remembering the author of 'Moby Dick' Google today honors Herman Melville books, such as his novel 'Moby Dick,' which was published 161 years ago today. October 18, 2012 By Matthew Shaer The Google homepage today depicts a white whale, a choppy sea, and a skiff captained by a one-legged harpooner.

  • Here there is, if not a statement of being reconciled fully to life, at least the peace of resignation;
  • After Hawthorne praised "Moby Dick" — the story of a white sperm whale and his pursuer, the one-legged Captain Ahab — Melville wrote him a letter that burbles over with giddy happiness;
  • He tried unsuccessfully for a job in the U;
  • Melville, who was just 31, had never met Hawthorne;
  • The two men gradually drew apart.

The doodle, of course, is an homage to " Moby Dick ," which was first published 161 years ago, by Herman Melville. So who was Melville, exactly? Only one of the titans of modern literature — and a writer responsible, in the words of Nathaniel Philbrickfor "what is generally considered the greatest American novel ever written. As a boy, he was hired to help staff a ship running between the United States and LiverpoolEngland.

Herman Melville books: Remembering the author of 'Moby Dick'

In 1841, he signed on with the crew of the whaling vessel Acushnet and spent several months in the Pacific. A Narrative of the South Seas. In 1850, Melville moved with his young wife, Elizabeth, to a farm in PittsfieldMass.

He raised a small family — he and Elizabeth had four children in all — and set to work on the long novel that would become "Moby Dick. After Hawthorne praised "Moby Dick" — the story of a white sperm whale and his pursuer, the one-legged Captain Ahab — Melville wrote him a letter that burbles over with giddy happiness.

Ineffable socialities are in me. I would sit down and dine with you and all the gods in old Rome 's Pantheon.

Herman Melville

Despite Melville's high hopes for the novel, the book was slow to catch on. By comparison, "Typee" sold 6,000 copies in two years.

  1. After a grinding search for work, he taught briefly in a school that closed without paying him.
  2. Melville was a ragged, voluble, romantic New Yorker from mercantile stock.
  3. British reviewers were puzzled to read a book with a first-person narrator who apparently did not survive to tell the tale.
  4. Six months later he disembarked at Lahaina , in the Hawaiian Islands. These, in turn, cast a shadow over the American reception of the novel.
  5. By comparison, "Typee" sold 6,000 copies in two years.

Melville wrote a few more novels, including the very fine "Pierre," but he struggled to attain the commercial success of his early career. In 1856, Melville visited Hawthorne in England, where Hawthorne was working at the American consulate. Hawthorne was shocked by the state of his old friend.

  • By comparison, "Typee" sold 6,000 copies in two years;
  • So how homoerotic was this friendship?
  • It is a literary performance that is exhilarating, extraordinary, sometimes exasperating and, towards its apocalyptic climax, unputdownable;
  • Melville wrote a few more novels, including the very fine "Pierre," but he struggled to attain the commercial success of his early career;
  • The most important was the change of title.

He died in 1891, at the age of 72.