Greg Lennes Melville's short story, "The Lightning-Rod Man" (1854) still has lessons for us today. The lightning-rod salesman says that to buy his lighting rods, you will be safe. He is the salesman of our fears. He peddled his wares during storms with dire descriptions of ruin and death. He threatens and tries to bully the main character, who is angered. The ending is the main character "seized it (lightning-rod); I snapped it; I dashed it; I trod it; and dragging the dark lightning-king out of my door, flung his elbowed, copper sceptre after him. But spite of my treatment, and spite of my dissuasive talk of him to my neighbors, the Lightning-rod man still dwells in the land; still travels in storm-time, and drives a brave trade with the fears of man." Here is a video of a reading of the tale by Stacy Carson. It was produced by Sharad Patel and Lily Cox‐Richard (2015):
Meredith Farmer We're happy to announce the first CFP for our MLA panels at MLA 2019!
CFP: READING THE CONFIDENCE-MAN TODAY
What types of interpretations come up when someone reads the The Confidence-Man in light of recent events? Presenters should offer short, reflective pieces (8 minutes) that provoke discussion. Although a lack of faith (or confidence) in political institutions is a major part of news reports today, presenters may focus on any of the topics brought up in Melville’s book, including stocks and finance, religious organizations, charity, racial identity, belief, and other considerations. Other approaches could include reflections on reading historically or the dynamics of re-reading today.
Please send 250-word abstracts and brief bios to Rodrigo Lazo at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 13.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Philosophy (Humor): "There are unknown worlds of knowledge in brutes; and whenever you mark a horse, or a dog, with a peculiarly mild, calm, deep-seated eye, be sure he is an Aristotle or a Kant, tranquilly speculating upon the mysteries in man. No philosophers so thoroughly comprehend us as dogs and horses." Redburn. His First Voyage - Chapter XL. :)
Robert Sandberg MLA Conference - 2019 - Chicago: The Melville Society's "Call for Papers" is now available on the Melville Society website
Eileen Valentino Flaxman When I joined The Melville Society FB page last August, you were just breaking a thousand followers. And now you're about to break 2,000. Congratulations!
Here is my latest contribution from my project to write a poem for every chapter in Moby-Dick. (Lines from the text are in quotations.)
Chapter 59 - Squid. -- Plenty of action and violence takes place in this novel. But there are also days of calm . . . floating on a glassy sea without swells or even the promise of a leviathan and with no chatter from a listless crew . . .
A 'profound hush' surrounds the Pequod
as it drifts in the middle of nowhere,
with 'a stillness almost preternatural
spread over the sea'.
At such a time,
what goes on inside
a sailor's mind?
Thoughts of home?
Other ways to earn a living?
As a man looks out
over endless nothingness,
do thoughts churn busily
inside his skull . . .
or is Ismael an
Meredith Farmer We're happy to announce the second CFP for our MLA panels at MLA 2019!
CFP: MELVILLE'S QUARREL WITH MODERNITY
In anticipation of an energized year in Melville studies (when on the 200th anniversary of his birth we consider Melville’s significance in the present moment) contributors to this panel will reflect on a vital but largely unexplored feature of Melville’s thinking: his quarrel with modernity.
Melville is not recognized for the clarity of his philosophical arguments. At best, his philosophizing is dismissed as ingenious but muddled. But perhaps Melville’s philosophical arguments have been hard to grasp because they have been miscategorized; they have been taken to embody the ethos of the distinctively modern world (that is, after the defining work of Descartes and Locke) when in fact what they offer is nothing less than a wide-ranging rejection of modernity’s dominant assumptions.
On this panel, accordingly, we will use Melville’s writing to turn a harsh light on some of the beliefs that characterize modern Western thought.
Melville’s writing has meant many things to many people, but as yet it has not been seen as a way to unite or bring into conversation the growing number of theorists resisting the modernity narrative—theorists making an effort to knock down the edifice of dualism, think carefully about where the nature-culture binary has come from (and what we might imagine in its place), cast doubt on the view that the body is inessential to mind, and in other ways question the account of the world offered by the moderns.
Please send 300-500 words and a vita to K.L. Evans at email@example.com by March 19.
Chad Beck Moby-Dick is discussed at 39:00. Also relevant (and leading directly into M-D) is a discussion about Job (31:23).
Greg Lennes REMINDER: March 1st deadline for registration for the two-week program called “Teaching Melville” that will take place this summer in New Bedford. The Whaling Museum will host the event which will take place from June 17th through the 30th. Go to website for details.
Robert Sandberg A Call for Book Proposals: From Richard King of the University Press of New England
The University Press of New England and the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program seek book proposals for our “Seafaring America” series.
We are looking for works in three categories:
1. Suggestions for timely reissues of forgotten, out-of-print American works of literary and cultural distinction, with new introductions that frame the work for a modern audience.
2. Proposals for anthologies and/or selected editions of writers’ work.
3. Proposals for books of original scholarship or of general interest, according to the series mission below.
We have particular interest in underrepresented voices and “blue” environmental studies.
“Seafaring America” is a series of original and classic works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama exploring the history of America’s engagement with our oceans and coastlines. Spanning diverse eras, populations, and geographical settings, the series strives to introduce, revive, and aggregate a wide range of exemplary and/or seminal stories about our American maritime heritage. This includes the accounts of First Peoples, explorers, voluntary and forced immigrants, women in maritime communities, fishermen, whalers, captains, common sailors, members of the navy and coast guard, marine biologists and oceanographers, and the crews of vessels ranging from lifeboats, riverboats, and tugboats to recreational yachts. “Seafaring America” introduces new stories of maritime interest and reprints books that have fallen out of circulation and deserve reappraisal. The series also publishes selections from well-known works that warrant reconsideration because of the lessons they offer about our relationship with our watery planet.
UPNE | Seafaring Americaupne.com
Series Editor: Richard J. King, Williams College-Mystic SeaportSeafaring America is a series of original and classic works of nonfiction, fiction, poetry, and drama exploring the history of America’s engagement with our oceans and coastlines. Spanning diverse eras, perspectives, and geographical s...
Greg Lennes To the wealthy Melvillean: Auction for a first edition of Moby-Dick ending March 7th.
Fernando Colavita One of the many argentine editions of "Bartleby, the scrivener".
This one, translated by the great Jorge Luis Borges.
Greg Lennes From Opera Wire: Pittsburgh Opera Receives NEA Grant For ‘Moby Dick’
Pittsburgh Opera Receives NEA Grant For ‘Moby Dick’operawire.com
Pittsburgh Opera Receives NEA Grant For ‘Moby Dick’ TOPICS:moby dickpittsburgh opera Posted By: Francisco Salazar February 13, 2018 The Pittsburgh Opera has announced that it will receive a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to help support the new production ...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Mardi-Gras: From New Orleans Commercial Bulletin (May 3,1849) - A. Oakley Hall (a New York Correspondent) aka Croton punning to suit New Orleans readers, called Melville's Mardi: and a Voyage Thither "a regular MARDI-GRAS of a novel, to judge from the richness of its prose. Prose! It is a poem; and you can pencil out of its pages blank verse enough to set up an hundred newspaper poets, for the balls of bowling critics to roll at." :)
Judy Gretchko At the International Antiquarian Book Fair in Pasadena, Ca., William Reese was selling the 3-volume London first edition of Mardi for $7,500. Another vendor was reading the first American 2-volume set and won't sell it until he is finished. He was half way through it and didn't know if he liked it or not. I asked him if he wasn't afraid if spilling coffee on it. No.