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Products for grant FEL-257517-18

Literary Form in the Works of Herman Melville (1819-1891)
Samuel Otter, University of California, Berkeley

Grant details:

"Melville's Style" (Article)
Title: "Melville's Style"
Author: Samuel Otter
Abstract: I argue for the significance across Melville’s writing of the colonial encounters in the South Pacific that he experienced and then fictionalized in his first book, Typee (1846). Linking Melville’s early prose in Typee to his later poetry, especially the Holy Land epic Clarel (1876) and the short poem “To Ned” (1888), I analyze a characteristic verbal line that Melville associated with the fissured landscape of the island of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas, where he spent a month in 1842 after jumping ship: a line of sight composed of ridges and gaps, whose traversal involves a discontinuous progression. The distances and depths that open unexpectedly between adjective and noun or between adjective and verb or across the syntax in Melville’s prose and poetry are continually tied to experiences of disorientation and reorientation. By analyzing a verbal strenuousness and sensuousness in Melville’s lines that gain force from ideological situation, I seek to contribute to recent efforts to come to terms with the elusive concept of verbal style. Crossing the boundaries of prose and poetry, I respond to Colin Dayan’s recent provocation in her essay “Melville’s Creatures” (2014): “Let us imagine what prose would look like if it were to become a perspectival phenomenon, a means of seeing otherwise or crosswise.”
Year: 2019
Primary URL: http://
Primary URL Description: Cambridge University Press website
Access Model: purchase only
Format: Other
Publisher: Cambridge University Press