The BURIED Book Club discussion

Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land
This topic is about Clarel
BURIED books by KNOWN authors > Herman Melville

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message 1: by Eric (last edited Mar 12, 2013 03:55PM) (new)

Eric | 57 comments Master Melville has as noted been in some sense found out already but upon disentombment circa roarn twennies passed over this one was, at sixhundredplus pp CLAREL being America's lankiest 'pic pome (longer than Milton's LOST, than ILIAD & AENEID) & we should give it a try.

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Very nice catch. Thank yous. And that NN edition you linked looks luscious.

message 3: by Jacob (last edited Mar 10, 2013 08:19PM) (new) - added it

Jacob (jacobaugust) | 21 comments While some of Melville's work has been unearthed (I'm thinking Moby-Dick, Bartleby, Typee, some of the other short fiction, etc.), much of the rest is still buried. Confidence-Man has slightly over 1,000 ratings here on GR, but the rest don't fare so well: Pierre has 504, Omoo 289, White Jacket 257, Redburn 251, Israel Potter 116, Mardi 55. White Jacket and Mardi are probably the hardest to find, since all the others, plus his shorter fiction and some poetry, are available from Penguin Classics. Library of America collects all the novels and stories into three volumes. I found two of them today, plus a Book-of-the-Month club edition of White Jacket, so I now own Melville's complete short fiction, all of his novels except for Redburn, and a selection of his poetry and other writings. Some editions I like:

Library of America
#1: Typee, Omoo, Mardi
#9: Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick
#24: Pierre, Israel Potter, The Piazza Tales, The Confidence-Man, Tales, Billy Budd

Tales, Poems, and Other Writings

A rather nice edition of Mardi from Northwestern University Press (which actually collects all of his writings, including journals and correspondence, in fourteen fifteen volumes)

But I've only read Moby-Dick and Bartleby the Scrivener, so I'm hardly the Melville scholar. Going to read more this year, though, so I'll stay in touch.

message 4: by Jacob (last edited Mar 10, 2013 09:32PM) (new) - added it

Jacob (jacobaugust) | 21 comments And hell, since I'm looking them up right now (and because I imagine others will be interested--hi, Nathan!), here's the full list of NUP's Melville titles (under spoiler tag due to length):

(view spoiler)

message 5: by Jacob (last edited Mar 12, 2013 04:03PM) (new) - added it

Jacob (jacobaugust) | 21 comments ...of course, none of the above links really help us determine which of Melville's titles deserve to be "unburied." I was just being overenthusiastic, is all. But since most of his work was either ignored, hated, or just misunderstood during his lifetime (Moby-Dick didn't really gain cult status until several decades after his death, as I recall), it's probably all worth a brief digging-up, at least.

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 985 comments Most of his stuff is safe from oblivion. I thought that his Pierre had absconded into obscurity, but it's got 505 ratings here. Clarel, now, that was a surprise. There's a few other minor looking things that might be worth dredging up. I look forward to further reports from the field. My understanding is that his first few books had at least a modest immediate success, but that Moby-Dick (his sixth?) hit a deaf wall and that was the end of that.

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