Herman Melville, Mariner and Mystic

George H. Doran Company, 1921 - 385 páginas
All of Melville's books were out of print by 1876, and when he died in 1891 he was considered an extremely minor figure in American literature. Raymond Weaver's 1921 biography of Melville helped kick off a rediscovery and reappreciation of Melville's work that is today called the "Melville Revival." In these pages, Weaver traces Melville's life from his brief career as a sailor, through his early literary success with the classic travel tales "Typee" and "Omoo," and into his later obscurity and death. Weaver is particularly concerned with the spiritual and philosophical side of Melville's work and offers explanations for some of the author's more obscure passages.

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Página 41 - I SAw him once before, As he passed by the door; And again The pavement stones resound, As he totters o'er the ground With his cane. They say that in his prime, Ere the pruning-knife of Time Cut him down, Not a better man was found By the Crier on his round Through the town. But now he walks the streets, And he looks at all he meets Sad and wan ; And he shakes his feeble head. That it seems as if he said,
Página 125 - And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned. But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life ; and this is the key to it all.
Página 74 - When the Sun rises, do you not see a round disk of fire somewhat like a Guinea?' O no, no, I see an Innumerable company of the Heavenly host crying 'Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty.
Página 332 - Melville, as he always does, began to reason of Providence and futurity, and of everything that lies beyond human ken, and informed me that he had 'pretty much made up his mind to be annihilated;' but still he does not seem to rest in that anticipation, and, I think, will never rest until he gets hold of a definite belief. It is strange how he persists — and has persisted ever since I knew him, and probably long before — in wandering to and fro over these deserts, as dismal and monotonous as...
Página 141 - The Nantucketer, he alone resides and riots on the sea; he alone, in Bible language, goes down to it in 'ships; to and fro ploughing it as his own special plantation. There is his home; there lies his business, which a Noah's flood would not interrupt, though it overwhelmed all the millions in China.
Página 318 - I stand for the heart. To the dogs with the head ! I had rather be a fool with a heart, than Jupiter Olympus with his head. The reason the mass of men fear God, and at bottom dislike Him, is because they rather distrust His heart, and fancy Him all brain like a watch.
Página 332 - He can neither believe, nor be. comfortable in his unbelief; and he is too honest and courageous not to try to do one or the other. If he were a religious man, he would be one of the most truly religious and reverential ; he has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us.
Página 322 - After supper, I put Julian to bed; and Melville and I had a talk about time and eternity, things of this world and of the next, and books, and publishers, and all possible and impossible matters...
Página 144 - Quincunxes," as Coleridge pithily says, "in heaven above, quincunxes in earth below, quincunxes in the mind of men, quincunxes in tones, in optic nerves, in roots of trees, in leaves, in everything.
Página 355 - OH, ye ! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations, Holland, France, England, Germany, or Spain, I pray ye flog them upon all occasions, It mends their morals, never mind the pain...

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