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Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)

  Moby Dick is not just about a whale.  Melville: dear friend and admirer of Hawthorne, metaphysical muser, extraordinarily beautiful and peculiarly Amrrican writer, and precursor to Conrad and Faulkner.

I share a passage from Israel Potter (1855) as a small example of his gift: "A hermitage in the forest is the refuge of the narrow-minded misanthrope; a hammock on the ocean is the asylum for the generous distressed.  The ocean brims with natural griefs and tragedies; and into that watery immensity of terror, man's private grief is lost like a drop."



Typee complete online text

Moby Dick; or the Whale complete online text

"I and My Chimney" online text


(great authors main page)


List of Works










Moby Dick (or the Whale)


Pierre (or the Ambiguities)


Israel Potter


The Confidence Man


Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War







(not a complete list)




(In a letter to Hawthorne 1851): "...Truth is the silliest thing under the sun.  Try to get a living by the Truth - and go to the Soup Societies...Why so?  Truth is ridiculous to men."





"Faith, like a jackal, feeds among the tombs, and even from these dead doubts she gathers her most vital hope."





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