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Herman Melville

  • Moby Dick, or, the whale | Herman Melville

    Few things, even in literature, can really be said to be unique — but Moby Dick is truly unlike anything written before or since. The novel is nominally about the obsessive hunt by the crazed Captain Ahab of the book’s eponymous white whale. But interspersed in that story are digressions,...

  • White Jacket | Herman Melville

    This is a tale based on Melville's experiences aboard the USS United States from 1843 to 1844. It comments on the harsh and brutal realities of service in the US Navy at that time, but beyond this the narrator has created for the reader graphic symbols for class distinction, segregation and...

  • Bartleby, the Scrivener | Herman Melville

    “Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” is a short story by Herman Melville. The story first appeared, anonymously, in Putnam’s Magazine in two parts. The work is said to have been inspired, in part, by Melville’s reading of Emerson, and some have pointed to specific parallels to...

  • Omoo: A Narrative of Adventure in the South Seas | Herman Melville

    Omoo: A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas is Herman Melville's sequel to Typee, and, as such, was also autobiographical. After leaving Nuku Hiva, the main character ships aboard a whaling vessel which makes its way to Tahiti, after which there is a mutiny and the majority of the crew are...

  • Typee | Herman Melville

    Typee is Herman Melville’s first book, recounting his experiences after having jumped ship in the Marquesas Islands in 1842, and becoming a captive of a cannibal island tribe. It was an immediate success in America and England, and was Melville’s most popular work during his lifetime. It was not...

  • The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade | Herman Melville

    The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade was the last major novel by Herman Melville, the American writer and author of Moby-Dick. The Confidence-Man was Melville's tenth major work in eleven years. The novel portrays a Canterbury Tales-style group of steamboat passengers whose interlocking stories...

  • John Marr and Other Poems | Herman Melville

    Collection of poems by Herman Melville

  • The Piazza Tales | Herman Melville

    The Piazza: In The Piazza, the narrator lives in a country house without a piazza, or porch. He has one built and selected the northern side of his house, much to his neighbors' amusement. He thereafter spends much time sitting on the piazza and gazing at the magnificent view of forested...

  • Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. II | Herman Melville

    Mardi is Melville's first purely fictional work. In it he contemplates man's beliefs, and questions whether or not one faith has value over another--or is it all simply a sham? Mardi is a poetically existential analysis of religious truths as told through the protagonist's allegorical wanderings...

  • Redburn. His First Voyage | Herman Melville

    Melville wrote of some of his earliest experiences at sea in the story of Wellingborough Redburn, a wet-behind-the-ears youngster whose head was filled with dreams of foreign travel and adventure. In Redburn, the protagonist enlists for a stint as a seaman aboard Highlander, a merchant ship...

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