Herman Melville was already considered to be a successful author when he wrote Moby-Dick in just under two years. Yet despite his earlier success, the novel was widely misunderstood by its 19th-century readers, who expected a more traditional adventure novel. Today Moby-Dick is considered to be an undisputed classic, and many believe it to be the epitome of the great American novel. With an unforgettable cast of characters, including the mad Captain Ahab, Melville skillfully documents the Pequod crew's tragic hunt for the great white whale. The full-length essays presented in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, Updated Edition provide expert commentary on the huge canvas of symbols, themes, and subjects presented in this novel, as well as an introduction, a chronology, a bibliography, and an index, that will help students navigate confidently through Melville's masterpiece.
CONTENTS Editor's Note Introduction (Harold Bloom) Introduction to Moby-Dick (Alfred Kazin) Introduction to Moby-Dick (Patrick McGrath) Cannibalism, Slavery, and Self-Consumption in Moby-Dick (Homer B. Pettey) The Questions of Race in Moby-Dick (Fred V. Bernard) A Jonah's Warning to America in Moby-Dick (Carolyn L. Karcher) "Its wood could only be American!": Moby-Dick and Antebellum Popular Culture (David S. Reynolds) The Madness of Ahab (Henry Nash Smith) Call Me Ishmael, or How to Make Double-Talk Speak (Carolyn Porter) A Moby-Dick Manuscript (Charles Olson) Sounding the Whale: Moby-Dick as Epic Novel (Christopher Sten) Moby-Dick as Revolution (John Bryant) Chronology Contributors Bibliography Acknowledgments Index