The Eaton Portrait

Herman Melville JOEaton 95ppi 250wBy permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University: 61Z-4

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Melville Society Cultural Project

Melville Society and New Bedford Whaling Museum Cultural Project The New Bedford Whaling Museum in collaboration with The Melville Society is the established home of the Melville Society Cultural Project and Melville Society Archive. The Melville Society Archive is housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum's Research Library, where significant works from this collection are also on display. The Melville Society Cultural Project also sponsors a book donation program and presents exciting annual events including the Moby-Dick Marathon and a Birthday Lecture.

Detailed Container List


BOX 1: Melville (60 Folders)


1: Folder 1

Agee, Mrs. James (Mia Fritsch), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (1 item)

Included is a thank you card referring to Leyda’s note of sympathy regarding James Agee’s death.




1: Folder 2

Allen, Gay Wilson, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (2 items)

Concerns research regarding Walt Whitman.


undated                     Dec-1955 estimated            (draft from Leyda)



1: Folder 3

Aschaffenburg, Walter, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1955: (3 items)

Walter Aschaffenburg (1927-2005) was a famous composer. Born in Germany, he immigrated to America with his parents at a young age . One of his greatest achievements was his 1964 opera, “Bartleby,” for which Jay Leyda wrote the libretto.



06-Feb-1955             (also an enclosure: plans for Artistic Creation of “Bartleby”)



1: Folder 4

Barbarow, George, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1952-1954: (3 items)

Refers to The Melville Log; some mention of Soviet Film and Emily Dickinson.






1: Folder 5

Batchelder, Charles F., Jr., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951: (1 item)

Primarily relates to The Melville Log.


09-Jul-1951   (* with notes from Leyda on back)



1: Folder 6

Bennett Book Studios (Whitman Bennett), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1947: (2 items)

Refers to a proposal regarding the publication of selected Melville poems.


undated         Jun-1947 estimated (draft from Leyda)



1: Folder 7

The Berkshire Athenaeum, Pittsfield, MA (Robert Newman), correspondence with Jay Leyda

1954: (3 items): Regards the proposal of “A Bulletin from the Melville Room.”


undated         Sep-1954 estimated (1st draft from Leyda: partial letter from Gordon Williams on back of p.2.;

         note from Leon Howard 22-Dec-1952 on back of p.3)

undated         Sep-1954 estimated (2nd draft from Leyda)



1: Folder 8

Bezanson, Walter, correspondence with The Melville Society 2006: (1 item)

Friend and Melville scholar who studied under Stanley T. Williams at Yale.  Donation of Jay Leyda Papers to Melville Society Archive.




1: Folder 9

Birss, John, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1945: (2 items)

Relates to The Melville Log.





1: Folder 10

Blitzstein, Marc, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (3 items)

Primarily relates to the libretto for “Bartleby.”


25-Oct-1954              (a few notes from Leyda)




1: Folder 11

CBS Radio (George Crothers), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953: (2 items)

Relates to Leyda’s suggestions regarding CBS Radio’s Invitation to Learning, a series on biographies.


undated                     Jan-1953 estimated (draft by Leyda)

30-Jan-1953             (also contains a draft of a reply from Leyda)



1: Folder 12

Criscitiello, John J., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (2 items)

Regards Horsford’s edition of Melville’s Journal of a Visit to Europe and the Levant.


22-Jan-1955                         (from Leyda)



1: Folder 13

Davis, Merrell Rees, correspondence with Jay Leyda date unknown: (1 item)

Merrell R. Davis(? – 1961)was one of the many prominent Melville scholars of the mid 1900s who studied at Yale University under Stanley T. Williams. Davis is most well known for his Melville's Mardi: A Chartless Voyage (Yale University Press 1952). He was a Professor of American Literature at The University of Washington from 1947 until his death in 1961. Leyda requested inter-library loan of Merrell’s Yale dissertation and received a reply indicating he would have to foster information on how it would be used prior to consent. Leyda’s subsequent, sarcastic rebuttal is only a draft. It is not known if Leyda ever sent the rebuttal to Davis.


undated – most likely prior to the 1951 publication of The Melville Log (draft from Leyda)


1: Folder 14

Fields, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1950-1954: (8 items)

Leyda wrote to the Fields, members of The National Society of Autograph Collectors, searching for the letters of August Van Schaick, manuscripts from Carroll A. Wilson’s collection, any Melville-Hawthorne letters, and manuscripts relating to Emily Dickinson.


undated                     estimated early Sep-1950   (draft from Leyda on brown paper)


undated                     18-Sep-1950                         (draft from Leyda on yellow paper)


undated                     estimated just after 20-Sep (draft from Leyda on small brown paper)

undated                     estimated late Sep 1950

18-Aug-1954                                                             (from Leyda; draft also attached)

undated                     estimated Aug. 1954 reply (on bottom of Leyda’s prior letter)


1: Folder 15

Gilman, William H., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953-1954: (4 items)

William Gilman was one of the many prominent Melville scholars of the mid 1900s who studied at Yale University under Stanley T. Williams. Gilman’s doctoral dissertation (1947) explored Melville's early life and Redburn, and was later published by the New York University Press (1951) . Gilman was an English Professor at the University of Rochester, probably at the time of this correspondence . He refers to his work on The Letters of Herman Melville (Yale University Press, 1960), co-edited with Merrell Davis, and his involvement with an edition of the Emerson Journals.







1: Folder 16

Harcourt Brace & Co. (Robert Giroux, Gerry Gross), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1950: (5 items)

Correspondence with Giroux primarily relates to the publication of The Melville Log and includes a contract.* Correspondence with Gross refers to an adaptation of Moby-Dick which Leyda “enjoyed very much.” Letters also make mention of the “upcoming John Huston film, Moby-Dick” (1956), an excerpt that Leyda sent from the George Eliot correspondence, and a movie anthology outline.


undated                     estimated Jan-1950 (draft from Leyda, to Giroux)

16-Jan-1950             (from Giroux)

14-Jun-1950 *                       CONTRACT (from Giroux)

undated                     (to Gross, from Leyda)

08-Apr-1955              (from Gross)


1: Folder 17

Hayford, Harrison M. , correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951-1955: (9 items)

Harrison M. Hayford (1916-2001), “Harry,” was one of the several prominent Melville scholars who studied at Yale University under Professor, Stanley T. Williams. He was also a Hawthorne, Emerson, and Poe scholar . He helped found The Melville Society in 1945 and was the General Editor of “The Writings of Herman Melville” published by Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL) and The Newberry Library (Chicago, IL). Hayford was a Professor of English at Northwestern University. Correspondence is both friendly and professional, covering conversations related to a variety of works. Noted is feedback on The Portable Melville and The Melville Log and references to a visit with Samuel Sukel (of Pittsfield, MA) and his Melville collection. Hayford specifically mentions Sukel’s Melville-Hawthorne letters and Sukel’s theory that “DeWolfe’s book of his seafaring life (1861)” was actually written by Melville. Hayford also specifically notes Sukel’s literary insights into “the Hat” chapter of Moby-Dick and the possibility that a gravestone with a cock on it actually did exist in Pittsfield, MA. and provides anecdotal evidence.





29-Feb-1952*                        (is signed with a typed “hh” and is likely Harrison Hayford)








1: Folder 18

Heflin, Wilson Lumpkin., correspondence with Jay Leyda 19?-1955: (5 items)

Wilson L. Heflin (1913-1985) was a Stephen Crane and Melville scholar, and an English Professor at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, at the time of this correspondence. Heflin was also a founding member of The Melville Society. The letters are both friendly and professional in nature. Of interest may be a note referring to a possible literary prototype for Bartleby found in David Daiches’s, Robert Burns. Many letters refer to Leyda’s feedback and input on Heflin’s Herman Melville’s Whaling Years, originally his 1952 Vanderbuilt University dissertation but which he was trying to publish in book form . The dissertation did not make it into book form until after Heflin’s death (edited by Mary K. Bercaw Edwards and Thomas F. Heffernan, 2004).








1: Folder 19

Howard, Leon, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951-1952: (2 items)

Leon Howard (1903-1982), Melville scholar and English Professor at The University of California. Letters are mainly personal in nature.



22-Dec-1952             (photocopy; original in Box 1: Folder 7: the Berkshire Athenaeum)


1: Folder 20

James, Cyril Lionel Robert (C.L.R) correspondence with Jay Leyda 1952-1953 estimated: (3 items)

C.L.R. James (1901–1989),a native Trinidadian, was a political philosopher, historian, and essayist. During the time of this correspondence, James was living in the United States after several years abroad in Europe. He was studying American civilization and the interplay between the creative individual and expression and government, a subset of his common theme, often described as the struggle between “socialism and barbarism.” Letters relate to James’s book, Mariners, Renegades and Castaways (1953), a political interpretation of Moby-Dick, and a 1952 CBS radio show “Invitation to Learning” regarding The Holinshed Chronicles , which James was scheduled to discuss with Louis Hacker. See also Box 1: Folder 28, Morewood, Helen.


15-Oct-1952              (Third party: Saul Blackman to Jay Leyda)

undated                     estimated 1953?

undated                     estimated 1953?  (draft from Leyda)



1: Folder 21

Kaplan, Sidney and Cora, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1952-1955: (11 items)

Sidney Kaplan was an English Professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a scholar of Melville, Poe, and Black American history and culture. Letters are both professional and personal in nature . Includes questions from Kaplan regarding his research on Melville’s Benito Cereno and feedback related to Leyda’s work on Emily Dickinson.







03-Jun-unknown year                    estimated 1955(reference to son, born in 1952, as a toddler)

02-Jan-1956                         (note from Cora, daughter)






1: Folder 22

Kazin, Alfred, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1952: (6 items)

Alfred Kazin (1915-1998) was a famous autobiographer and well known for three volumes of memoirs, A Walk in the City. Leyda lived in Kazin’s Brooklyn apartment while Kazin was away in Europe at the time of this correspondence . Letters are both friendly and professional.





18-Jun-unknown year                    estimated 1952




1: Folder 23

Kirschner, Leon, correspondence with Jay Leyda, dates unknown: (3 items)

Leon Kirschner (1919–2009) was an American composer, pianist, conductor, and Harvard lecturer. Letters refer to Leyda’s proposal for the opera, “Bartleby.”


16-Oct-unknown year                     estimated 1953 or 1954

Undated                                 (draft from Leyda)

Undated                                 (draft from Leyda)



1: Folder 24

Kirstein, Lincoln Edward, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951: (3 items)

Lincoln Edward Kirstein (1907-1996) was a Harvard graduate and founder of the literary magazine, Hound and Horn in 1927 . More notably, he was a co-founder of The Museum of Modern Art (1929) and The New York City Ballet (1948). Interested in almost all aspects of American art, literature, and culture, Kirstein authored over 500 works during his lifetime.

Correspondence alludes to Kirstein’s research on “Mr. Rimmer,” who may have been the inspiration for the character, Professor Bhaer in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Letters are both friendly and professional in nature.


02-Mar-unknown year        estimated 1951 (Catcher in The Rye was first published)


undated                                 estimated after July 2, 1951


1: Folder 25

Lankes, J.J., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Refers to Leyda’s search for information about Melville’s shipmate written about in Typee. Leyda refers to this shipmate as “ R.T. Greene? Or another?” Lankes’s reply cannot confirm the name of the shipmate, only that he was “a man who lived in Western N.Y. not far from his home,” and that the letter revealing such information “appears to have been destroyed.” Lankes provides an address for his brother who could possibly remember the man’s name.


undated                                 estimated 1954 (draft from Leyda)

20-Sep-1954                         (addressed to a third party)


1: Folder 26

Lawrence, Dan H., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951: (2 items)

Dan Lawrence was a Professor of English at New York University at the time of this correspondence . Lawrence writes Leyda thanking him for information concerning the end papers of The Melville Log. Also refers to Lawrence’s Department Chair, a Mr. Oscar Cargill, who was probably a member of the “Melville-connected Cargill Clan.”





1: Folder 27

Life Magazine (Robin Hinsdale), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (3 items)

Refers to the origins of the Acushnet watercolors featured in The Melville Log.



undated                                 estimated between July 21-30, 1954 (draft from Leyda)




1: Folder 28

Melville Family Members (Isabel LeRoy Brown, niece of Thomas Melville; Halsey DeWolf, distant relative; and Eleanor Melville Metcalf, granddaughter of Melville), correspondence with Jay Leyda, 1947, 1952: (5 items)


undated                     estimated Aug. 1947 (draft from Leyda to Brown)

31-Aug-1947             (Brown to Miss Leyda)

02-Sep-1947             (DeWolf)

13-Nov-1947             (DeWolf)

27-Mar-1952             (Metcalf)


1: Folder 29

Morewood, Helen, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951-1952: (3 items)

Helen Morewood’s parents were friends of Allan and Herman Melville . In addition to information about Melville’s family, there is a reference to a lecture by C.L.R. James and his upcoming book.






1: Folder 30

Murray, Henry A., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1947, 1952: (3 items)

Henry A. Murray (1893-1988) was a famous American psychologist who spent much of his life writing about Melville. In these letters, he provides feedback to Leyda on the manuscript for The Melville Log and offers praise.


undated                     estimated 1947




1: Folder 31

New York State Library, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1950-1954: (3 items)

Relates to Leyda’s search for issues of the Albany Microscope and the Evening Journal.







1: Folder 32

Pearson, Norman Holmes, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954-1955: (6 items)

Norman Holmes Pearson was an English Professor at Yale University and a Hawthorne scholar. Correspondence is both personal and professional in nature . Pearson comments about his progress on his work on Hawthorne and a possible reference to James Agee’s funeral. Pearson also makes many offers to employ Leyda and help him with his research.









1: Folder 33

Pierce, Cornelia Marium, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951: (2 items, 3 correspondences)

Relates to Leyda’s search for more information on the Melville family.



10-Feb-1951             (from Leyda)

13-Feb-1951             (written on Leyda’s letter of Feb. 10th)


1: Folder 34

Providence Public Library (Stuart C. Sherman), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Stuart Sherman was the Associate Librarian of the Providence Public Library at the time of this correspondence. Letters refer to notes Leyda sent Sherman on three whaling logs he discovered in the FDR Library in Hyde Park and a note about Benjamin Rush.





1: Folder 35

Random House, Inc. (Donald Klopfer, Bennet Cerf, & Albert Erskine), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1948-1952: (3 items)

Includes a contract for Leyda’s introduction to The Complete Stories of Herman Melville (Random House, 1949) . Leyda’s letter to Cerf requests removal of his name as the editor of The Selected Writings of Herman Melville (different from The Complete Stories) and explains his stance. Erskine’s letter of Sep. 16th refers to Leyda’s Bronte Project.


09-Feb-1948             * CONTRACT

30-Jun-1951             (from Leyda to Alfred Bennet Cerf)




1:Folder 36

Reeves, John, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (5 items)

John Reeves was possibly a Professor of American Literature near Saratoga Springs, NY. Letters refer to Yaddo, an artist’s community frequented by Leyda and his literary and artistic circle of friends. Mentions a trip to Gansevoort, NY.Also refers to Leyda’s idea for a Melville-Gansvoort exhibition at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs . Some brief mention of Leyda’s involvement with Dickinson and Millicent Todd Bingham.






undated                                 estimated Dec-1954


1: Folder 37

Reynal & Hitchcock (Frank Taylor, Albert Erskine, Eugene Reynal, Chester Kerr) correspondence with Jay Leyda 1946-1948: (21 items)

Correspondence primarily discusses proposals, specimens, arrangements, and timelines for the publication of The Melville Log. In 1948, Curtice Hitchcock died and Eugene Reynal sold the publishing company to Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc . The Melville Log was published by Harcout, Brace & Company, Inc. in 1951. For clarification, names of correspondents from Reynal & Hitchcock are provided. Included is a newspaper clipping attached to one of the letters.


15-Nov-1945             (from Leyda to Mr. Pistole, stapled to Jan. 8th letter from Frank Taylor)

08-Jan-1946             (from Taylor)

14-Jan-1946             (from Leyda to Taylor)

02-May-1946             (from Erskine)

07-May-1946             (from Leyda to Erskine)

21-Jun-1946             (from Erskine)

26-Jun-1946                         (from Leyda to Erskine)

18-Jul-1946               *Mentions Contract attached but is not enclosed here (from Erskine)

12-Sep-1946             (from Reynal: general letter “To Whom it May Concern” for

Leyda’s use while conducting research)

12-Sep-1946             (Office memo from Rita, a secretary, to Erskine)

12-Sep-1946             (from Reynal to Miss Belle Green, Morgan Library)

17-Sep-1946             (from Belle Green, Morgan Library, to Reynal)

20-Jan-1947             (from Kerr to Yale University Library)

12-May-1947             (from Kerr)

03-Jun-1947             * Newspaper Clipping (from Leyda to Kerr)

04-Jun-1947             (from Kerr)

17-Jun-1947             (from Kerr)

23-Jun-1947             (from Kerr)

27-Jun-1947             (from Kerr to Edward Weeks, The Atlantic Monthly)

05-Jan-1948             (from Thomas Wilson, Harvard University Press, to Reynal)

11-Jun-1948             (from Leyda to Reynal)




1: Folder 38

Roper, Laura Wood, correspondence with Jay Leyda,1952-1953: (2 items)

Laura Wood Roper (1911-2003) was a freelance writer and editor and author of several biographies. She alludes to her work on Frederick Law Olmsted, famed landscape architect and designer of New York’s Central Park. Roper eventually wrote FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted (John Hopkins University Press, 1973). Letters also mention the “Curtis-Dix correspondence at Harvard,” which Leyda offered to “go through” for Roper, and Melville’s “Putnam period” probably in reference to Melville’s relationship with George Palmer Putnam and Putnam’s Monthly in which many of his short stories were serialized.  See also Box 4: Folder 5: Hooker, Helene for a brief mention of the Ropers.





1: Folder 39

Rolfe, Edwin and Mary, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951-1952: (4 letters, 5 items)

Born Solomon Fishman to Russian Jewish Immigrants, Edwin Rolfe (1909 – 1954) was a poet, journalist, and veteran of the Spanish Civil War . Rolfe was an intermittent member of The Communist party, and was blacklisted in 1947 by The House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC). He spent the latter part of his years writing fervently against McCarthyism . He is most well known for his book of poems, First Love (1951). His wife was Mary Wolfe Rolfe. Letters are personal and professional in nature. Many refer to Rolfe’s First Love and other publications. There is also mention of “the Chaplin poem,” about which Leyda must have written to the Rolfes, asking if a friend could use it. There is a reference to The Portable Melville and a question as to whether Melville had ever read Diderot or Bougainville.



12-Nov-1951             (envelope only)

07-Feb-no year         estimated 1952 or after       (from Mary)




1: Folder 40

Rupert Hart-Davis Limited (David Garnett), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1947: (3 items)

Refers to a search for a “Mrs. [Una] Stephen Borrow.” Offers to publish any of Leyda’s book(s) on Melville, and discusses “Mocha-Dick” and its author, Jeremiah N. Reynolds. Includes brief mentions of The Musorgsky Reader and its English counterpart, Mussorgsky – A Self-Portrait in Documents, and To the Actor, a translation of Michael Chekhov’s acting manual.



30-Jun-1947             (from Leyda)




3: Folder 41

Savannah Public Library (Elizabeth Hodge), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1950-1951: (2 items)

Letters refer to Leyda’s search for information on Rachel Turner and Charles Pond.  Elizabeth Hodge, the Reference Librarian at that time, shares information she discovered about a Mrs. Williamina Barrington Turner.





1: Folder 42

Sealts, Merton M., Jr, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951-1952: (5 items)

Merton M. Sealts, Jr. (1915 - 2000) was one of the many prominent Melville scholars of the mid 1900s who studied at Yale University under Stanley T. Williams . Also a Ralph Waldo Emerson scholar, Sealts was an Associate Professor at Lawrence College in Appleton, Wisconsin, at the time of this correspondence.Letters refer to Sealts’s work on Melville's Reading: A Check-List of Books Owned and Borrowed (University of Wisconsin Press, 1966) and include very specific questions to Leyda about Melville . Includes much discussion about Melville and references to The Melville Log.








1: Folder 43

Small, Miriam R., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Refers to Small’s inquiry regarding Oliver Wendell Holmes.





1: Folder 44

Smith, Henry Nash, and William M. Gibson, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (2 items)

Henry Nash Smith (1906 – 1986) was a Mark Twain scholar and Professor of English at The University of California at the time of this correspondence. Smith and William Gibson of New York University were collaborating on an edition of the correspondence between Mark Twain and William Dean Howells. Letters refer to their work on this project.


12-Jul-1954               (from Smith)

20-Jul-1954               (from Gibson)



1: Folder 45

Society of the Colonial Wars (Larry P. Lauren), correspondence with Jay Leyda, dates unknown: (3 items)

Responses to questions Leyda had on the original colonies and refers to a manuscript.






1: Folder 46

Stauffacher, Jack Werner (The Greenwood Press), correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951: (3 items).

Jack Werner Stauffacher was the proprietor and printer of The Greenwood Press at the time of this correspondence . Letters relate to proposals for collaboration on new works.


undated                     estimated Jan or Feb 1951 (draft from Leyda)




1: Folder 47

Stavig, Richard, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953: (4 items)

Richard Stavig was a Ph.D. student at Princeton completing a dissertation on Billy Budd at the time of this correspondence. Stavig inquires about references made to Billy Budd and the Somers case in The Portable Melville. Stavig also shares his find of Melville’s copy of Thompson’s A Voice from the Nile in The Princeton Library.



undated                     estimated Jan-1953 (draft from Leyda; 2 pages - also on bottom is a

partial draft to an unidentified “Mr. P”)




1: Folder 48

Sukel, Samuel, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1954: (3 items)

Samuel Sukel, from Pittsfield, MA, refers to “The James DeWolf papers at the Baker Library” “as a total loss” to a “Melville digger.” Also references Leyda’s correspondence with Newman from The Berkshire Athenaeum about a proposed Melville room and a possible donation of Henry A. Murray’s Melville collection to said room. Also noted is Sukel’s feedback on A Reminiscence of Berkshire as a possible Melville manuscript and a suggestion to review an anonymous manuscript in the New York Public Library that he believes could have been written by Melville. Also comments on Melville works written by Vincent and Thompson. Incidentally, 44 engravings that belonged to the Melville family and formerly owned by Sukel were donated to the Melville Society Archive by William Reese.







1: Folder 49

Williams, Gordon R., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1955: (2 items)

Gordon Williams was a co-chairman of the 13th Western Books Exhibition 1953 of the Rounce & Coffin Club of the UCLA Library at the time of this correspondence and possibly an employee of Brentano’s (the bookstore) of California . Also refers to Leyda’s niece, Megan . Williams was possibly Leyda’s brother-in-law? Letters refer to Leyda’s work with Bertensson on Rachmaninoff and the opera “Bartleby”, as well as brief references to Emily Dickinson and Sergei Eisenstein. Includes a philosophical discussion of the “function” of an artist, in response to a comment made by Leyda on the nature of his work on the opera “Bartleby”.



partial, undated                    (missing postcard)


1: Folder 50

Viking Press, The, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1950-1952: (2 items)

Contains the agreements and payments for the publication of The Portable Melville (1952).


02-May-1950             * CONTRACT



1: Folder 51

Vincent, Howard Paton, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1953: (1 item)

Howard P. Vincent (1904 – 1985) was an English Professor at The Illinois Institute of Technology at the time of this correspondence. He was a Herman Melville and Honore Daumier (1808-1879) scholar, known for his edition of Moby-Dick, Or The Whale, co edited with Luther Mansfield (Hendricks House, 1952). He also produced Daumier and his World (Northwestern University Press, 1968), the first biography of the French artist, Daumier, written in the English language. Letter refers to possible collaboration between Leyda and Mentor Williams and Vincent’s own research on Daumier . Also mentions sitting in on a seminar with Harrison Hayford and a discussion about Pierre.




1: Folder 52

Williams, Mentor L., correspondence with Jay Leyda 1951: (1 item)

Mentor L. Williams was primarily a scholar of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft (1793–1864), an American geologist and ethnologist who studied early Native American culture. Williams was a Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology at the time of this correspondence. Mentions Dr. Addison Gulick’s papers pertaining to Melville and his own work on the “Melville–missionary problem.”





1: Folder 53

Wilson, Carroll Atwood, correspondence with Jay Leyda 1947: (1 item)

Carroll A. Wilson was a collector of nineteenth-century English and American Literature. He was a member of the Williams College, MA, class of 1907. Correspondence relates to arrangements to meet with Leyda. Wilson writes “I will bring my Melville catalogue home from the office.”




Chronological Correspondence


1: Folder 54

Incoming, undated, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (10 items)

Senders: unknown,“F,” “EE,” J.N. Moody, Jake, John M. Connole (New York Times Book Review), “D,” Stuart Seidel Jr., [Lawina?] P. [Taurer?],  [Rolf?]


1: Folder 55

Incoming 1946-1947, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (3 items)

Senders: Mrs. Ernst Heyl, Gladys Burch, Margot Johnson (A. and S. Lyons, Inc.).


1: Folder 56

Incoming 1948-1949, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (2 items)

Senders: Mrs. Charles Ives, Lester G. Wells (Seymour Library, Auburn, NY).


1: Folder 57

Incoming 1950-1951, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (7 items)

Senders: Abraham Bornstein (Boston Book and Art Shop, Inc.), E. Byrne Hackett, Ruth L. Connell, unknown, Sarah R. Bartlett (Concord Free Library) draft from Leyda to Mr. Pratt on back, F.B. Adams, Jr. (The New Colophon), Mrs. Carol Van Buren Wight.


1: Folder 58

Incoming 1953, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (2 items)

Senders: Irene M. Poirier (Lenox Library Association), Edith B. Jackson.


1: Folder 59

Incoming 1954-1955, correspondence with Jay Leyda: (8 items)

Senders: A.B.C. Whipple (LIFE Magazine), John [D] (Wittenberg College), Alexander Klein,Ruth Davenport, Roger W. Barrett, unknown, * Mrs. Ethel Walsh (The Town Hall Club, Inc.), Leo Marx.


* On back of the letter from Walsh, dated 09-Dec-1954, Leyda copied down portions of two different reviews of the 1954 opera Bartleby, by William Flanagan, as appeared in the New York Times and the New York Herald Tribune, both published in the May 11, 1954, editions.



1: Folder 60

Outgoing, undated, drafts by Jay Leyda: (7 items, 9 letters)


undated                     (to “Miss Bailey,” possibly Margaret Bailey)

undated                     (to “Mr. Butterfield,” possibly Lyman Butterfield – see Box 3: Folder 16) undated                      (to “Mr. Pratt”)

undated                     (to “Mr. Roseberry”)

undated                     (to “Dr. Stroven,” likely Carl Stroven, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa Library) undated                 (to “Mr. T”)

undated photocopy (to “Prof. Tinker,” possibly Chauncey Brewster Tinker ; “Willard,” likely Willard L. Thorp; and “Mr. Williams,” possibly Stanley T. Williams).


See also:


Box 2: Folder 4: Citizen’s Film Ltd, brief mention of Melville.


Box 3: Folder 12: Library of Congress, brief mention of Melville.


Box 3: Folder 28: Williams, Stanley T., brief mention of Melville


Box 3: Folder 22: Ward, Theodora Van Wagenen., brief mentions of Melville in selected letters: 17-Jul-195; 26-Aug-1954


Box 4: Folder 5: Hooker, Helene,brief mention of Melville.


Box 4: Folder 8: Smith, Robert J., on back of letters are original pieces of outgoing drafts from Leyda to Professor Tinker, Professor Willard L. Thorp (1899-1992), and possibly Professor Stanley T. Williams.



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Eileen Valentino Flaxman High atop the mast on lookout detail and inspired by nature’s grandeur, Ishmael turns philosophical in Chapter 35 of Moby-Dick – The Mast Head “With the problem of the universe revolving in me,” I perch high upon the mast of the Pequod and ponder and wonder and think great thoughts . . . but do not spot a whale. Leave meditative sailors below and send the dullards up high to be your lookout.
Greg Lennes The Folio Society has announced its new edition of Moby-Dick, featuring Rockwell Kent’s original illustrations.
Moby-Dick | The Folio Society Online shopping from the world's most extensive selection of beautiful illustrated books.
Greg Lennes Article on collecting first editions of Moby-Dick.
Collecting Melville's Masterpiece: Moby Dick Herman Melville collectors may want to consider adding the following editions of his seminal work, Moby Dick, to their shelves.
Greg Lennes Moby-Dick in Canada: The students of the Department of English at Memorial University in Canada will perform "Moby-Dick Rehearsed" on December 1st and 2nd at the Barbara Barrett Theatre in the Arts & Culture Centre - 95 Allandale Road, St-John's, Newfoundland.
Robert Sandberg Theatre Coup d'Etat is presenting Moby Dick, a new, original adaptation presented in Fallout Urban Arts Studio 3, 2601 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408. November 2–20, Thursday - Monday, all shows at 7:30 p.m. The event is sliding scale, $18-$40. Click the link below for the press release. Photo Credit - Craig James Hostetler
Greg Lennes On this date 166 years ago - On October 18, 1851, Richard Bentley published Herman Melville’s sixth novel The Whale in London. "Issued in three volumes, in a beautiful binding of brilliant sea-blue wavy-grain cloth covers with cream cloth spines, emblazoned in gold from top to bottom with diving right whales. The edition was 500 sets." Here are the spines of the 1851 three-volume set (The Whale); Right: spine of Rockwell Kent's 1930 edition.
Greg Lennes Melvillean trivia: I read former President Bill Clinton's review of Ron Chernow’s fine biography of Ulysses S. Grant in today's New York Times. Unfortunately I was disappointed in the biography for the omission of the description of Grant by Melville, who wrote the Civil War poems, "Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War." Melville captured the essence of Grant in four poems: "Donelson," "Shiloh," "Chattanooga," and "The Armies of the Wilderness." In fact Melville met with Grant at his Culpeper Virginia headquarters in April 1864. Melville stated about Grant: "I never saw any thing like it:" language which seems curiously undertoned, considering its application; but from the taciturn Commander it was equivalent to a superlative or hyperbole from the talkative." In one poem Melville described the military planning of Grant: "For the scheme that was nursed by the Culpepper hearth. With the slowly-smoked cigar-. The scheme that smouldered through winter long. Now bursts into act-into war-. The resolute scheme of a heart as calm. As the Cyclone's core." Note: Culpepper should be Culpeper. Melville spelled it wrong in his poem.
Theodore Bouloukos
Cadaverous Yet Blazing: Elizabeth Hardwick’s Ode to Bartleby While preparing some lectures on the subject of New York City, that is, the present landscape in which an astonishing number of people still live, sustaining as they do the numerical sensationalism…
Lawrence Klaes
Herman Melville's Arrowhead On Monday, October 16 at 6:00 pm, Alison Larkin will read from "Fairytales of the Fiercer! Sex," talk about her editorial process, and discuss future projects.
This free event, wrapping up our season of fairies, will be at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road. For more information, call 413.442.1793 x14.

Alison Larkin is an internationally acclaimed comedienne, award-winning audiobook narrator and bestselling author of The English American.

And save the date for the "Billy Budd in the Breadbox" book launch, by our own Jana Laiz. October 20, at Arrowhead.
Lawrence Klaes
Herman Melville's Arrowhead "Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it." Moby-Dick, chapter 1.

Come walk a path at Arrowhead in the crisp air of autumn. We are open for tours through October 23. Grounds are open daylight hours. (Shown here - the Nature Trail. It doesn't lead to water, but it does go through the woods once tramped by Melville.)
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Things get mighty dull on a 19th century, 3-year whaling voyage. A good tale is just the thing. Chapter 54 – The Town–Ho’s Story Take us away from the deck or the hammock from monotony’s dulling glare, Spin us a tale full of grit, spit and spirit and make us all wish we were there. The stakes must be high for those risking it all and the hero, tall and well–featured. And if you can, let there be Moby-Dick, that hideous, milky white creature. “The White Whale! The White Whale!” A chorus of woe rises up with excitement and dread. But despite all the fury and flurry of men, tis not Moby-Dick who falls dead. From my collection: a poem for every chapter of Moby-Dick -
Robert Sandberg Jay Leyda Symposium November 2, 3, and 4 Mount Holyoke College – Willits-Hallowell Center "A Curious Man: The Life and Work of Jay Leyda" will be held next month, November 2, 3, and 4, on the campus of Mount Holyoke College at the Willits-Hallowell Center. Register ( by October 25 to ensure adequate seating for the symposium and lunch on Friday. A variety of lodging options — including hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts — are located within a short distance from campus. From the symposium announcement: Leyda — a scholar, a translator, an artist, an archivist and a teacher — worked across the 20th century in a remarkable array of fields. He left his intellectual mark, in his characteristically understated way, on cinema, photography, music, painting and literature. This symposium brings together scholars from many aspects of Leyda’s life and work in order to spark conversation regarding his influence and legacy. ♿ Free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Robin Blaetz ( Thursday, November 2 8:00 p.m. “Leyda and His Musical World,” a concert by the Mount Holyoke College Department of Music. It will present a variety of works associated with Leyda. Pratt Hall Friday, November 3 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Presentations throughout the day. Lunch available for all attendees. Willits-Hallowell Center Saturday, November 4 9:00 a.m.–noon Morning presentations. Willits-Hallowell Center Symposium participants and topics of discussion: Weihong Bao, University of California, Berkeley (Chinese cinema) Christopher Benfey, Mount Holyoke College (Dickinson and Melville) Nathaniel Brennan, doctoral candidate, New York University (Museum of Modern Art Film Library, Film Studies and the Popular Front) Tom Gunning, University of Chicago (early cinema) Michael Kunichika, Amherst College (Shub, Vertov, Pudovkin and Tarkovsky) Charles Musser, Yale University (Steiner, Evans, Strand and “A Bronx Morning”) Gerald O’Grady, the State University of New York at Buffalo, professor emeritus (Flaherty) Ted Perry, Middlebury College, professor emeritus Harlow Robinson, Northeastern University (Rachmaninoff, Mussorgsky and Hollywood) Masha Salazkina, Concordia University (film education from VGIK to NYU) David Stirk, Princeton University (end of the Cold War) Holger Teschke Alan Trachtenberg, Yale University, professor emeritus (“The Melville Log”) Yuri Tsivian, University of Chicago (for Hannah Frank) And more
A Curious Man: The Life and Work of Jay Leyda Nov. 2, 2017 8:00 pm – 10:00 pmNov. 3, 2017 9:00 am – 5:00 pmNov. 4, 2017 9:00 am – 12:00 pmWillits-Hallowell Conference Center Register Leyda — a scholar, a translator, an artist, an archivist and a teacher — worked across the 20th century in a remarkable array of fields. He left his intellectual m...
Greg Lennes A Call for Melvillean Thespians: Oculus Theater Co. in New York City wants actors and actresses for its play, "Moby Dick Rehearsed."
Greg Lennes Melvillean Advertising: Moby-Dick is being used in the marketing campaign for the new Kindle Oasis e-reader, the first such Kindle that is waterproof. Now you can confidently read Moby-Dick at the beach, in a whaleboat, in a swimming pool, even the bathtub (sorry - but not underwater). :)
Waterproof Kindle Oasis lets you read in the pool or bathtub Amazon's pricey Kindle Oasis e-reader is waterproof and features Audible
Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history: Melville wrote a letter on October 6, 1849 to his father-in-law and chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Lemuel Shaw on upon the completion of Redburn and White-Jacket. Here is an excerpt: "They [Redburn and White-Jacket] are two jobs, which I have done for money — being forced to it, as other men are to sawing wood. And while I have felt obliged to refrain from writing the kind of book I would wish to; yet, in writing these two books, I have not repressed myself much — so far as they are concerned; but have spoken pretty much as I feel. — Being books, then, written in this way, my only desire for their “success” (as it is called) springs from my pocket, and not from my heart. So far as I am individually concerned, and independent of my pocket, it is my earnest desire to write those sort of books which are said to “fail”.
Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history: Melville sailed from New York on the SS Glasgow on October 11, 1856 beginning his travels to Europe and the Holy Land. TRIVIA: History of SS Glasgow. "The GLASGOW was a 1,962 gross ton ship, length 262ft x beam 36ft, clipper bows, one funnel, four masts (rigged for sail), iron hull, single screw and a speed of 10 knots. Accommodation for 60-1st and 100-2nd class passengers. Built by Tod & McGregor, Glasgow, she was launched on 16th Aug.1851 for the Glasgow &n New York Steamship Co. Her maiden voyage from Glasgow to New York started on 16th Sep.1851 and in 1853, accommodation for 700-3rd class passengers was added. Her last New York - Glasgow crossing started 20th Jan.1855 before she was chartered to France for use as a Crimean War transport. She resumed Glasgow - New York sailings on 22nd Jul.1856 and commenced her last voyage on this service on 14th Sep.1859. Purchased by the Inman Line, she made one further Glasgow - New York voyage, starting on 14th Dec.1859 and transferred to Liverpool - Queenstown - New York sailings on 22nd Feb.1860. Her final voyage on this route started 7th Jul.1865 and on 31st July, while homeward bound with a cargo of cotton, her cargo was found to be on fire. Passengers, crew and baggage were transferred to the barque ROSAMOND and the GLASGOW abandoned. Later transferred to the National liner ERIN, they were landed at New York 3 days later." [North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P.Bonsor, vol.1] Here is the launch of the SS GLASGOW in 1851:
Greg Lennes From South Wales Argus (UK): "Newport-based Tin Shed Theatre Co hopes to stage Moby Dick at Newport Transporter Bridge."
Theatre hopes to stage Moby Dick at Newport Transporter Bridge A THEATRE adaptation of a classic novel could take place against the iconic backdrop of Newport's Transporter Bridge next year.
Greg Lennes From The Stanly News & Press in Albemarle, North Carolina: "Stanly Early College saves the whales." Moby-Dick inspires high school students:)
Stanly Early College saves the whales Three Stanly Early College students recently held a fundraiser to help save the whales.
Greg Lennes Lecture: "The Natural History of Moby-Dick: Ishmael, the Marine Biologist, the Environmentalist, and a Climate Refugee?" Thursday, December 7, 2017 6:00pm -7:30pm. The lecture is by Dr. Richard King, research associate at Williams Mystic. It will be held at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History 165 Forest Ave, Pacific Grove, CA, 93950, PHONE: (831) 648-5716
Lecture: The Natural History of Moby-Dick: Ishmael, the Marine Biologist, the Environmentalist, and a Climate Refugee? Join us Thursday, December 7th, from 6-7:30 p..m. for this multimedia lecture on Moby Dick with Dr. Richard King, research associate at Williams Mystic.
Greg Lennes The winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in literature is Kazuo Ishiguro. He is a Japanese-born British writer who is best known for his 1989 novel "The Remains Of The Day." In the book "Conversations with Kazuo Ishiguro" when he was asked about American writers, who influenced him, he commented: "Moby-Dick" is a crazy book, yet very interesting." He didn't go into detail :)
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Is there any hope for Ahab? Is there a moment when he might have turned back? (note: lines in quotations are from the text). Moby-Dick, Chapter 132 – The Symphony. “Is Ahab, Ahab? Is it I, God, or who, that lifts this arm” like a conductor orchestrating azure melodies that float before my wondering eyes? Like music accompanied by a gentle breeze, it conjures up home, and wife, and boy and a pillow left behind, all quietly beckoning. And if the great sun itself that doth shine down on us all be only, “an errand boy of heaven,” what of me?? What power doth make this tune turn to ravings and dark thoughts nailing me to a vendetta as surely as a butterfly pinned to a page with no escape? Can I lift this arm turn off this craving and find another song?
Greg Lennes Explore the Melville Trail! Herman Melville’s work belongs to the world, and it was the Berkshires that inspired him. Explore the landscapes that inspired Melville by following the Melville Trail. A partnership of the Berkshire Historical Society at Arrowhead, The City of Pittsfield, Berkshire Athenaeum and The Trustees of Reservations, the Melville Trail deepens our understanding of Herman Melville’s connection to and love of many places in Berkshire County. Four of his most beloved places now have permanent interpretive panels: Arrowhead, Pontoosuc Lake, Berkshire Athenaeum and Monument Mountain. Included on the trail are eight more places that Melville visited. Park Square, Hancock Shaker Village, Crane Museum of Paper Making, Balance Rock, Lenox Court House, Tanglewood/Hawthorne Cottage, October Mountain and, of course, Mount Greylock.
Greg Lennes American singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen on Moby-Dick: In a recent interview with Variety Magazine Springsteen said: "The last thing I read that jumped out like “man you gotta read this” was “Moby Dick,” which I’d never read, and which ended up not being as intimidating as people claim — it was actually a boys’ adventure story that was particularly well told,
Greg Lennes Melvillean Reminder: Public Reading: Moby Dick — Iowa City Book Festival. Moby Dick will be read from the steps of the Old Capitol on Tuesday, October 10th, and Wednesday, October 11th, and from under the giant whale skeleton in Macbride Hall (17 North Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA 52240) on Thursday, Oct. 12. Please sign up for a 20 minute reading slot at
Old Capitol Museum | Hoopla The Old Capitol Museum reflects the diverse cultural environment of Iowa and by engaging the community in cultural and education programs enlivens Iowa history.
Greg Lennes From Washington Post: "On the trail of the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ in three New England towns" by Richard Selden.
On the trail of the author of ‘Moby-Dick’ in three New England towns In the ‘Melville Triangle,’ visitors learn about the author’s life and work — and, of course, whales.
Greg Lennes The Jungle Theater in Minneapolis will present Leo Geter’s play “Ishmael,” adapted from Melville’s “Moby-Dick.” Twin Cities-based actor-singer-songwriter Jack Weston will portray all 12 characters; Geter will direct. It scheduled for January 13 to February 4, 2018. The Jungle Theater is located at 2951 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408. Telephone number is 612-822-7063. MORE DETAILS LATER.
Greg Lennes Theatre Coup d'Etat to Present Original Adaptation of MOBY-DICK in Minneapolis, MN in November:
Theatre Coup d'Etat to Present Original Adaptation of MOBY DICK Herman Melville's Moby Dick has been called the 'greatest American novel'. This adaptation illustrates what truly makes America great - diversity, inclusion, and hard work. Coup d'Etat's Moby Dick is the story of a diverse crew of sailors working during the height of the whaling industry, as told th...
Ralph Savarese Greetings. At the link below you'll see a talk I gave with the nonspeaking autistic writer Tito Mukhopadhyay at Duke University. We read and discussed MOBY DICK two chapters a week for 16 months. Tito and I then visited Arrowhead and Mystic Seaport (thanks to Mary K Bercaw Edwards). In the first half, I share Tito's marvelous responses to the novel, and in the second half he takes questions from the audience. In 2019 Duke UP will publish my book SEE IT FEELINGLY: CLASSIC NOVELS, AUTISTIC READERS, AND THE SCHOOLING OF A NO-GOOD ENGLISH PROFESSOR. The first chapter takes up my experience with Tito and MOBY DICK.
Tito Mukhopadhyay & Ralph Savarese | Classical Autism and the Instruction of Literature | Duke John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Tito Mukhopadhyay and Grinnell College's Ralph Savarese have been reading and discussing literature by Skype for years. Mukhopadhyay, who has been described as “severely autistic,” types his comments on the sidebar while Savarese, who has been described as “neurotypical,” speaks. The former has neve...
Greg Lennes Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, Minnesota) on Frank Stella, Moby-Dick artist.
Greg Lennes On September 30th the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band performed "Of Sailors and Whales" - A multi-movement tone poem inspired by Melville's 'Moby- Dick.' It was held at Everett Middle School in San Francisco. Here is a video of the event.
Of Sailors and Whales by W. Francis MacBeth, performed by the SFLGFB This tone poem is based on five scenes from Herman Melville's Moby Dick. I. Ishmael 0:15 - "I go to sea as a simple sailor." II. Queequeg 4:12 - "It was quit...
Greg Lennes From Berkshire Eagle on Elizabeth Doss' play "Poor Herman"
'Poor Herman': the good, the bad and the in between PITTSFIELD — The maniacal sea captain, the mad-cap whaling ship, the crewmen from New England and the Ocean Islands sleeping peacefully in a lantern-lit tavern in New Bedford — the book …
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 109 – Ahab and Starbuck in the Cabin “Beware of thyself, old man,” warns Starbuck, long years with Ahab shoring up his resolve to speak candidly - hang the consequences. A shred of prudence perhaps remorse, even decency, calms the furrows in Ahab’s brow and reminds him that lunacy is a choice But despite Starbuck’s entreaties, Ahab sinks yet lower, leading to this scene in Chapter 123 – The Musket Ahab wrestles with the Devil in his sleep as Starbuck hovers outside the door, knowing his captain’s awakening will unleash even more madness Save thyself, Starbuck! Cradling the musket once aimed at you could end this delirium and turn the Pequod home Save thyself, Starbuck! Your wife! Your boy! Yourself! Thirty sailors who will live! The Devil tosses in his sleep Do it now Do it now Do it now Save thyself, Starbuck! from
Greg Lennes More from the Melville Collection at the Newberry Library in Chicago:)
Newberry Library Herman Melville has been memorialized in countless pieces of art (and kitsch!) since his death #onthisday in 1891. So today Will Hansen, Curator of Americana, gave us a tour of the tchotchkes of the Melville collection, including a shard of wood (possibly from a whaling ship), lightly used pillows, a stuffed whale mascot for the collection, and all manner of whale paraphernalia!
Robert Sandberg Caroline Hack's artist's book series, “Cetology,” at the Newberry Library.
Newberry Library Artist Caroline Hack created her artist’s book series “Cetology” based on Melville’s classification of whales in chapter 32 of Moby Dick. The complete set of 12 arrived at the Newberry yesterday and will soon be cataloged as part of our Melville Collection!
Greg Lennes The Melville Collection at the Newberry Library (Chicago) on twitter - "A little teaser for our Melville exhibit coming in his bicentennial year, 2019."
John Gretchko Apparently, I do not understand why I am being invited to write on FaceBook when I only intend to write here. I will repeat what I wrote there. In January 1931, Alexander Calder and his new wife, Louisa James, a grandniece of Henry and William James, sailed for France. On the voyage they read Moby-Dick together. This is no grand event, but it may be the first known time of a reading of the novel at sea. More to the point, did they comment on the novel in letters? Is there any such evidence in Calder biographies? Given another lifetime I may understand technology!
Greg Lennes From the Valley News (Lebanon, NH): "Art Notes: Painter (Christopher Volpe) Uses Oils and Tar to Plumb Darkness of ‘Moby-Dick’ "
Art Notes: Painter Uses Oils and Tar to Plumb Darkness of ‘Moby-Dick’ Christopher Volpe never expected to find himself standing at the checkout counter of his local hardware store, buying a large quantity of roofing tar to daub onto a canvas in an experimental homage to Moby-Dick.First off, he’d tried reading Herman...
Greg Lennes On September 28, 1891 Melville died at home shortly after midnight. He was seventy-two years old. The doctor listed "cardiac dilation" on the death certificate. From the "The Life and Works of Herman Melville" blog - Here are "Herman Melville's Obituary Notices."
John Gretchko I did, where is it?
Greg Lennes FYI
Herman Melville's Arrowhead “Poor Herman” is the third of the “Herman” Plays series at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead. It was written by Elizabeth Doss, Melville's great-great-great-granddaughter. "Poor Herman" was first produced in 2016 at The Off Center, Austin, Texas.
There will be an author talk-back after the performance which begins at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, October 3 at Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield. Tickets are $20 and reservations can be made at 413-442-1793, ext 13, or online at the museum store, Seating is limited.
Colin Dewey NOTICE TO MEMBERS: All communications to members will be made electronically in the future. Gone are the mailers and paper ballots of the past. Please, if you haven't done so already, be sure your electronic and postal addresses are correct and up to date. To make updates, you will log in to the Johns Hopkins University Press site, where your membership account is located. Use this URL and click "MY ACCOUNT" in the header above the Leviathan info. Coming very shortly to your inbox will be the belated 2017 ballot. There are extensive bylaws changes and revisions that have been formulated and discussed by the Executive Committee. The ballot, like our recent survey, will be sent through Survey Monkey. If you have previously "opted-out" of Survey Monkey emails you will need to "opt-in" to receive the ballot. To do that, go to and follow the directions there. Thank you for your support of the Melville Society!
Greg Lennes Bonnie Honig, the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Modern Culture and Media and Political Science at Brown University, will deliver a Presidential Faculty Award lecture on Monday, Oct. 2, titled “What Literature Can Teach Politics: Melville’s Moby-Dick as a Critique of Hobbes’ Leviathan.”
Bonnie Honig to deliver Presidential Faculty Award lecture Honig, known for her wide-ranging work on the conditions necessary for collective democratic action, will discuss how the novel ‘Moby Dick’ responds to Thomas Hobbes’ ‘Leviathan.’
Greg Lennes From "Byte Sized Biographies" Blog: Melville (includes Podcast).
David Shaerf Call Us Ishmael is a documentary about Moby-Dick and the people who have been inspired by it (poster art by Matt Kish). I encourage you to 'like' the facebook page to stay updated on upcoming screenings!
Greg Lennes Melvillean Humor: From "Comics I Don't Understand" blog. :)
Greg Lennes From Boston Globe: "Berkshire hills have provided inspiration to Hawthorne, Melville, Rowling."
Greg Lennes Melville in the News: The New York Times cited Melville when Kim Jong-un, the North Korea leader, called President Trump a ‘Dotard.’ Melville used it in a poem, The Maldive Shark." “Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.” In the poem the pilot fish leads the dull shark to food. It is the "eyes and brains to the dotard" that is the shark. In turn the pilot fish seeks protection from the shark in times of trouble. The Maldive Shark About the Shark, phlegmatical one, Pale sot of the Maldive sea, The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim, How alert in attendance be. From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw They have nothing of harm to dread, But liquidly glide on his ghastly flnak Or before his Gorgonian head; Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth In white triple tiers of glittering gates, And there find a haven when peril's abroad, An asylum in jaws of the Fates! They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey, Yet never partake of the treat- Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 86 – The Tail “Woe to that sailor, whiskers and all” when the fluke of a whale upon him does fall and the oars and the crew around him do fly and he’s floatin’ on his back starin’ up at the sky Yea, a grudging respect is all he can feel for a wallop that lands with the weight of steel And the planks of the boat around him do sprawl “very much as a juggler tosses his balls” A mere man can offer little resistance Tis something to admire – but from a distance From my collection: a poem for every chapter in Moby-Dick .
Colin Dewey "FAYAWAY: Melville, Fantasy, and Fame." FREE! Saturday at 1pm. Final "Blue Room" lecture of the season. Presented by Colin Dewey, sponsored by Cal Maritime Dept. of Culture and Communication and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melvi Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melvi Blue Room Lecture Series - The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay

The National Park Service and California State University Maritime Academy are partnering to present a series of free lectures for the public in 2017.

The Blue Room Lectures will be presented by professors from Cal Maritime and will take place in the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (900 Beach Street, San Francisco, in the Blue Room.) A Q & A period will follow each talk.

Saturday, September 23, 2017, 1:00 PM: “The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay,” by Colin Dewey, Assistant Professor of English at Cal Maritime.
Hershel Parker Everything's up to date in the new NCE!
Hershel Parker I wonder how many will agree about the change since 2001. I see it in what is posted on this site.
Greg Lennes Here is the latest copy of "Leviathan" - Journal of Melville Studies - Volume 19 Number 2 June 2017:
Luis Velez This from last year:
A Melville Marginalia Mystery A researcher's reading of erased marginalia provides insight to Melville's thoughts on religion.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia- "Tom and Jerry" cartoon episode 122 - Dicky Moe 1962:)
Juli Crockett Feldman Thrilled to share that my Herman Melville-inspired play [or, the whale] is being realized in Boston, MA by the Imaginary Beasts theater company this October/November! Tickets on sale soon!
Imaginary Beasts For their 2017|18 season, imaginary beasts draws inspiration from the ocean’s murky depths, and the extraordinary fight for survival waged by those titans of the sea - the Giant Squid and the Sperm Whale.

Nautical quests across (and under!) unfathomable, watery depths, and epic battles with mythical marine monsters are the order of the day as the beasts offer a pair of daring, theatrical adventures based on classic tales of the briny deep.

First up: [or, the whale] by Juli Crockett, performing October 13-November 4, 2017.

Inspired by Melville’s Moby Dick, [or, the whale] is a poetic meditation on loss and longing; a song of finding and forgetting; and, a theatrical reflection upon humankind’s ongoing quest for wholeness. The play follows multiple Captain Ahabs as they form a mad crew whose purpose is to search for Ahab’s missing leg, which is lost in the impossible vastness of the seas. We are especially pleased to be collaborating with Kangaroo Rat Music, popular Provincetown buskers, for this Boston-premiere production! [For more information:].

And announcing Winter Panto 2018, performing January 13-February 3, 2018.

We’ve been threatening to do this for years, and, at long last, it’s happening: the beasts would like to officially reveal this year’s title for their annual winter celebration: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea {A Steampunk Panto}! Taking cross-eyed, unsteady aim at Jules Verne’s classic work of science fiction, this year’s Panto follows a motley crew of adventurers as they navigate some mighty troubled waters under the command of mad genius Captain Nemo. When a protesting Jules Verne storms the stage to put an end to the nonsense, it’s anyone’s guess how this Panto will end!

And the adventure continues: this year, both productions will take place at the Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill Street, Charlestown, MA 02129.

That’s right, we’re changing venues, bringing our distinctive sense of play to a charming brick Victorian firehouse! If you’re not familiar with CWT, you should be!

Save the above dates, and we hope to see you at the theater soon!
Greg Lennes Melvillean France. In Besançon France Théâtre Alcyon presents a play based on Melville's "The Confidence-Man" this month.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Every sailor goes to Sunday services before embarking on a 3-year voyage. From my collection: Ch. 7 – The Chapel Taking refuge inside a chapel where 'moody fishermen' pay their respects before they sail I am protected from the wind and sleet but not from what lies ahead Words etched in marble line the walls paying homage to departed sailors ~Lost overboard near the Isle of Desolation~ (Look ahead, look straight ahead at the preacher) ~Towed out of sight by a whale~ (Don’t look at the walls!) ~Killed by a Sperm Whale on the coast of Japan~ (I will go to sea I will go to sea)
Greg Lennes Start planning:) 22nd Annual Moby-Dick Marathon, January 5–7, 2018 at New Bedford Whaling Museum (MA).
Greg Lennes FYI - at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead on Tuesday, September 19
Herman Melville's Arrowhead Carl A. Rossi’s play “Hawthorne & Melville” opens the “Herman” Plays series at Herman Melville’s Arrowhead on Tuesday, September 19 at 6:30pm directed by J. Peter Bergman. The play follows the friendship between the two American authors from August 1850 through November 1851 when both men were working on their new novels, “The House of Seven Gables” and “Moby-Dick” and building a relationship that never completely gelled.
Admiring the older author with a near-passion, Melville attempts to stretch their acquaintance into something larger than life while Hawthorne, a shyer, more reticent man, tries to keep their relationship more casual. Almost a mediator between them Sophia Hawthorne encourages both men to enjoy an intimacy rare for her husband whose reluctance to engage has made him an introverted human being.
Rossi gives us the two men whose actual intimacy inspired in Melville a new way of writing and confirmed for him his own capabilities if not his genius. Surrounding them with other literary greats of the era, the play provides a perspective on this unique friendship from outside and inside, from a child’s point of view, a wife’s imagination and a merging of two giants into a single entity: Hawthorne & Melville.
Tickets for the play are $20 and seating is limited. Call 413.442.1793 x13 to make reservations, or e-mail Mel Cobb plays Melville and Kirk Jackson is Hawthorne. Laura Gardner plays Sophia with Erin Hunt as Lizzie Melville, Andrew Joffe as Evert Duyckinck, John Trainor as Cornelius Mathews, Robert Bruyr as Oliver Wendell Holmes, J. Peter Bergman as James Fields.
Next in the series is “Kraken: A Story of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville” by Len Jenkin on Tuesday, September 26 at 6:30 followed by “Poor Herman” by Elizabeth Doss on Tuesday, October 3 at 7:00
Image is of a painting of Hawthorne, 1841 (Peabody Essex Museum)
Hershel Parker As of today I have the 3rd pass for the proofs of 3rd Norton Critical Edition of MOBY-DICK. Should not take many days.
Hershel Parker If this posts, it is to celebrate the latest discoveries we have been able to get into the NCE. This is Bob Madison's. Rah rah Bob!
Colin Dewey
Why Melville Matters Jean Giono’s short, unclassifiable book is an ode to "Moby-Dick" and the power of literature to command empathy.
Greg Lennes From the New Republic: "Why Melville Matters Jean Giono’s short, unclassifiable book is an ode to "Moby-Dick" and the power of literature to command empathy."
Why Melville Matters Jean Giono’s short, unclassifiable book is an ode to "Moby-Dick" and the power of literature to command empathy.
Greg Lennes From Elmira College (NY): "Dr. McCall Co-Edits a New Collection of Herman Melville Writings."
Greg Lennes Readings from new Herman Melville plays at Arrowhead on September 3rd, September 26th and October 3rd.
Herman Melville's Arrowhead Come see staged readings of the new Herman Melville plays! In the big red barn at Arrowhead.
Edward G Pettit The Rosenbach's Moby-Dick course starts this Saturday, taught by Peter Norberg, associate general editor of Melville's Marginalia Online. The course meets the third Thu of the month for six months and features presentations of the Rosenbach's Melville collection.
Course: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville This course includes 6 monthly sessions on every third Saturdays from September 16 to February 17. Details to come.
Greg Lennes From Broadway News - Minneapolis: "Theatre Coup d'Etat Presents Staged Reading of MOBY DICK."
Theatre Coup d'Etat Presents Staged Reading of MOBY DICK Herman Melville's Moby Dick has been called the greatest American novel . This adaptation illustrates what truly makes America great - diversity, inclusion, and hard work.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman From Moby-Dick: Ch. 75 -- The Right Whale’s Head – Contrasted Views. From my collection: “Ancient dames moved about gaily” Above and beneath the sea Which was playground, dining table, kingdom For creatures ever joyful and free Creatures ever joyful and free Gracefully and powerfully ruled Over miles and oceans and eons And their offspring they carefully schooled Their offspring they carefully schooled From blowhole to brit to baleen In charge of all that was ‘round them And then came man in between Then came man in between Setting his sights far and wide Craving what lay beyond him He could never be satisfied He could never be satisfied On the oceans he would be king More, ever more, not enough Til he’d plundered everything
Lawrence Klaes
inSerial: part eleven Delusions of Being Observed “The one thing to remember about Melville is that he wrote Moby Dick when he was thirty years old. Thirty.” I hold up a battered paperback copy. The same copy I read in high school.
Greg Lennes From Literary Hub: "The Original 1851 Reviews of Moby-Dick."
The Original 1851 Reviews of Moby Dick All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; …
Greg Lennes Anti-Melvillean Humor: From Chicago Tribune - "The Biblioracle: 'Ulysses,' 'Moby-Dick' and other books you shouldn't feel obligated to read" by John Warner. Here is an excerpt: "It's OK not to have read something, but let's say you're looking at the classics and thinking you want to add some notches to your reading belt. I'm going to save you time by telling you which ones you can safely bypass, starting with "Moby-Dick." How can this guy be telling me not to read a book he hasn't read? you're asking, and I'm saying, "exactly." I'm risking a *parade of pitchfork-wielding Melville Society members* on my porch for this, but the book is long and ponderous and I'd only barely reached the detailed chapters on the ins and outs of the whaling trade. Yes, it's an important and deserved icon of American literature, but fortunately, if you need to know what Melville was up to, we have the much shorter sea tale, "Billy Budd."
Greg Lennes Interesting German story on Melville in the Berkshires.
Miguel Angel Prado Zamora Desde 2013 promoviendo el arte, la cultura y la salud mental.
Greg Lennes Melville on Immigrants and Diversity: "There is something in the contemplation of the mode in which America has been settled, that, in a noble breast, should forever extinguish the prejudices of national dislikes. Settled by the people of all nations, all nations may claim her for their own. You can not spill a drop of American blood without spilling the blood of the whole world." ( "Redburn: His First Voyage" -- Chapter 33 THE SALT-DROGHERS, AND GERMAN EMIGRANT SHIPS)
Greg Lennes From City A.M. (London): "Moby-Dick author Herman Melville's house on sale in Covent Garden." Are any Melvilleans in the market for a home? :)
Moby Dick author Herman Melville's house on sale in Covent Garden If you live for the drama, a home in the heart of theatreland means you’ve made it to the big time.
Brian Yothers Something for Melvilleans to anticipate:
A Squeeze of the Hand a little going away present from the Comets to our fans. this is a song from Moby Dick, a mammoth musical that will happen someday soon. music & lyrics by da...
Greg Lennes Wellfleet Library (55 West Main Street, Wellfleet MA, 508 349 0310) Celebrates! Steve Durkee's MOBY-DICK Poems. Wellfleet Library will present an ensemble reading by Steve Durkee’s friends, who each chose four favorite poems from Melville’s MOBY- DICK.
Ensemble Reading and Celebration Wellfleet Library will present an ensemble reading by Steve Durkee’s friends, who each chose four favorite poems from Herman Melville’s MOBY- DICK Hidden Treasures Found Poetry discovered by Stephen Durkee. The reading will be on Tuesday, Septem [...]
Greg Lennes From Salon: The 10 best Labor Day movies: One is “Bartleby” “Bartleby” Adapted from Herman Melville’s story, “Bartleby the Scrivener,” this offbeat comedy has the title character (a terrific Crispin Glover) answering, “I would prefer not to” when the Boss (David Paymer) asks him for help with something. Bartleby further explains that he has given up working. I could tell you more about this film, which is very good, and darkly comic, but I would prefer not to." Excerpt from film:
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia: Armed Services Editions (ASEs) were small, compact, paperback books printed by the Council on Books in Wartime for distribution within the American military during World War II. This program was in effect from 1943 to 1946. The slogan of the Council on Books in Wartime was, "Books are weapons in the war of ideas." Here are two of the Melville books: Moby-Dick and Omoo (Typee is not pictured here): Moby_Dick Omoo
Greg Lennes For Melvillean Gamblers: "Have a whale of a time with new Moby Dick online slot." :)
Have a whale of a time with new Moby Dick online slot | Casinopedia Rabcat Gaming have unveiled a new Moby Dick online slot game which will premiere at 32Red Online Casino in October 2017 before docking at other casinos.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Humor: British writer-illustrator Tom Gauld's new book "Baking With Kafka" will be published in October. It is a new collection of his one-panel cartoons. It is described as "a droll commentary on the writing business and the decline of books and reading." It includes his Melville cartoon:)
Greg Lennes Here is a video of unique Moby-Dick sand art at Warnemünde, seaside resort and a district of the city of Rostock in Mecklenburg, Germany.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman This poem for Chapter 121 in Moby-Dick speaks to all the chaos occurring in the world right now and is dedicated to the people of Houston. A sailor is anchored to his ship, his ship to the ocean, the ocean to the planet. The planet, which feels steady and solid as granite, floats and spins, held down by He who planned it and whose whims test all who withstand it.
Greg Lennes The Norton Critical Editions 2017-2018 catalog is now available! Featured is HERMAN MELVILLE - Moby-Dick Edited by Hershel Parker, University of Delaware ( will be published in October). This is from the new catalog: "One of the great strengths of this third edition is Hershel Parker’s inclusion of commentary on Moby-Dick from its publication in 1851 right into the 21st century to answer why Moby-Dick —boisterous, beautiful, filled with soaring language, forever questioning, and nearly 200 years old—is more popular than ever." — Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, University of Connecticut. This Norton Critical Edition includes: * Melville’s classic novel of whaling and revenge, based on Hershel Parker’s revision of the 1967 text edited by Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker. * Twenty-six illustrations, including maps, contemporary engravings, and diagrams of whaleboat rigging. * Background and source materials centering on whaling and whalecraft, Melville’s international reception, the inspirations for Moby-Dick , and Melville’s related correspondence. * Forty-four reviews and interpretations of the novel spanning three centuries. * A revised and updated Selected Bibliography. THIRD EDITION 978-0-393-28500-0 736 pages October 2017 18.00
Greg Lennes From the Melvillean Past: Melville's short story, "The Fiddler" was published anonymously in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine for September 1, 1854
The Fiddler A free story every week, sponsored by The Library of America
Greg Lennes Melvillean trivia: Here is a biography of the Irish poet, James Clarence Mangan (1803—1849), who influenced Melville. In 1952 writing for the Dublin Magazine, Seumas O'Sullivan suggested that Melville particularly liked " The Time of the Barmecides " and flattered its author by " The Age of the Antonines." Melville originally bought his poems on February 15, 1862 and annotated his copy. Louise Imogen Guiney, whose essay entitled “James Clarence Mangan” had appeared in The Atlantic Monthly (November, 1891 ; LXVIII, pp. 641-59). Here is the poem: "Time of the Barmecides" by Mangan
Colin Dewey The Whale as a Dish
Dave Malloy - The Whale As A Dish (from Moby Dick) @ W Times Square, 8/27/17 Dave Malloy sings the new song "The Whale As A Dish" from his upcoming work based on Moby Dick. Part of Broadway at W, W New York Times Square, Sunday, Augus...
Elizabeth Schurman There used to be a plaque and a bust of Melville on the site of his birth, in Manhattan, at 6 Pearl Street. I visited it maybe two years ago, and shortly afterward, I returned, and it was gone. Maybe it has to do with New York Unearthed, which used to be there? Anyone know what happened to it? I was heartbroken.
Tim Robbins Two years ago, I had the great fortune to speak with Ognen Cemerski about his Macedonian translation of Moby Dick. He was a wonderful person and a beautiful intellect. RIP.
Macedonian ‘Moby-Dick’ Translator Ognen Čemerski, 42, Was a Meticulous Linguist and Engaged Educator · Global Voices Čemerski passed away on August 25 of cancer. Beyond literature, he was remembered as someone who made thoughtful commentary about the tense state of affairs in Macedonia.
Greg Lennes From Global Voices: "Macedonian ‘Moby-Dick’ Translator Ognen Čemerski, 42, Was a Meticulous Linguist and Engaged Educator."
Macedonian ‘Moby-Dick’ Translator Ognen Čemerski, 42, Was a Meticulous Linguist and Engaged Educator · Global Voices Čemerski passed away on August 25 of cancer. Beyond literature, he was remembered as someone who made thoughtful commentary about the tense state of affairs in Macedonia.
Greg Lennes Forthcoming Publication: "Melville among the Philosophers" edited by Corey McCall and Tom Nurmi - Afterword by Cornel West - Contributions by Troy Jollimore; Mark Anderson; Edward F. Mooney; Jason M. Wirth; Gary Shapiro; Tracy B. Strong; Marilyn Nissim-Sabat; Kris Sealey; Eduardo Mendieta and David LaRocca. It will be published in October 2017 by Lexington Books.
Melville-among-the-Philosophers This book is aimed at both philosophers and scholars of American literature who wish to reexamine the philosophical depth of Melville’s writings. Contributions deal with various philosophical...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Question: Here is an interesting story from Perth (Australia) Daily News for January 12, 1907 (original article in Manchester Guardian) : "The family of the American novelist Herman Melville are collecting material for the biography of their distinguished relative, and invite assistance from all who possess letters or other documents, bearing on the subject." I didn't know the family was collecting material on Melville. Maybe a Melvillean can explain this.
Greg Lennes From Los Angeles Review of Books -- "Foreign Companion: Jean Giono’s “Melville: A Novel” By Adam Fales.
Greg Lennes The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor College of Visual and Performing Arts and the UMHB Art Department are presenting the exhibition "A Moby-Dick Experience: Hershall Seals." The exhibit will be on display through Friday, September 22, in the gallery of the Baugh Center for Visual Arts on the UMHB campus (812 Shine Street, Belton, TX).
Hershall Seals Presents A Moby Dick Experience Belton, TX – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor College of Visual and Performing Arts and the UMHB Art Department are proud to present the exhibition A Moby Dick Experience: Hershall Seals. The exhibit will be on display from Monday, August 21, though...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Boxing Trivia: Melville was knowledgeable about English bare knuckle boxing matches. He mentions boxers William Abednego Thompson (1811-1880), aka "Bendigo" and James ("Deaf") Burke in Moby-Dick when Captain Ahab defies his opponents and Starbuck. Burke lost to Bendigo in 10 rounds on February 12, 1839. "They think me mad—Starbuck does; but I'm demoniac, I am madness maddened! That wild madness that's only calm to comprehend itself! The prophecy was that I should be dismembered; and—Aye! I lost this leg. I now prophesy that I will dismember my dismemberer. Now, then, be the prophet and the fulfiller one. That's more than ye, ye great gods, ever were. I laugh and hoot at ye, ye cricket-players, ye pugilists, ye deaf Burkes and blinded Bendigoes! I will not say as school-boys do to bullies,—Take some one of your own size; don't pommel me! No, ye've knocked me down, and I am up again; but ye have run and hidden. Come forth from behind your cotton bags! I have no long gun to reach ye. Come, Ahab's compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me." By the way Bendigo was not blinded. He was crowned as the Champion Prize Fighter of All England. One of Bendigo’s famous fights with his great rival Ben Caunt, went for 96 rounds lasting over two hours. Melville also mentions Bendigo in his correspondence for April 26, 1847 to his cousin, Augustus Van Schaick . Here is a picture of Bendigo.
Greg Lennes Moby-Dick Celebration on November 18th at the Rosenbach Museum & Library 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (215-732-1600):
Moby-Dick Celebration Our first annual reading of Moby-Dick will feature local literati reading selected passages from Herman Melville’s most famous novel and a celebration of one of the great American authors. This eve…
Greg Lennes Forthcoming Publication for October: "Herman Melville in Context" edited by Kevin J. Hayes. Publisher is Cambridge University Press. Table of Contents Part I. Geographical Contexts: 1. New York Kevin J. Hayes 2. The Berkshires Peter Bergman 3. The American West Nathaniel Lewis 4. The Pacific Alex Calder 5. London Jonathan A. Cook 6. Europe David Watson 7. The Holy Land Brian Yothers Part II. Social Contexts: 8. Men and women and men David Greven 9. Islanders and missionaries Sean Brawley and Chris Dixon 10. Literary circles David O. Dowling 11. Slaves, masters, and abolitionists Susan M. Ryan 12. Dons and Cholos Rodrigo Lazo 13. Bachelors and gentlemen Maura M. D'Amore 14. Officers and men Martin Griffin Part III. Cultural Contexts: 15. Opera Kevin J. Hayes 16. Panoramas Susan Tenneriello 17. Natural history Jennifer Schell 18. Technology Klaus Benesch 19. The lyceum movement Tom F. Wright 20. Painting and prints Colin Dewey Part IV. Literary Contexts: 21. The Bible Dawn Coleman 22. Seventeenth-century English prose Robin Grey 23. The picaresque novel Kelly Richardson 24. Travel writing Tim Youngs 25. German metaphysics Kim C. Sturgess 26. Gothicism Jonathan Crimmins 27. British romanticism Shawn Thomson Part V. The Contexts of Literary Reception: 28. Make-or-break reviews Hershel Parker 29. The Melville revival Eric Aronoff 30. Modernism David M. Ball 31. Postmodernism Timothy Parrish 32. Translations Rute Beirante 33. Biographies Ian Maloney 34. The cinema John Parris Springer.
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Eileen Valentino Flaxman Moby Dick Chapter 104 - The Fossil Whale Man stares out over the vast ocean Endless, gray-blue waves churning as far as the eye can see and feels reduced to a thimble, a cork, bobbing powerlessly on the endless surface No more substantial than a dot on a map sharing his insignificance with even the gargantuan leviathan who, spotted miles away looks but a dot himself in the boundless vista. Man stares next into earth’s vast history Eons of time and space and experience without his presence and feels dwarfed once again But this time not joined by the Ancient Whale who populated the planet and explored the seas some 40 million years ago, when man ‘twas not even a dream.
Greg Lennes The 2017 Newlyn Fish Festival in Cornwall UK has the James Wilton Dance Company presenting LEVIATHAN - "a blend of athletic dance, martial arts, and partner-work" as the cast of seven re-imagine Melville’s epic novel, "Moby-Dick". It is scheduled for August 28th. You can't have a fish festival without Moby-Dick:)
The best things about this weekend's Newlyn Fish Festival It's going to be a bumper Bank Holiday weekend in west Cornwall - but it's not all pirates as Cornwall's favourite fish festival is set to return

Fellowships and Scholarships

Melville Society Archive
Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.


Click here for more information and application details.


New York Public Library
Short-term Research Fellowships


Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.


Click here for more information and application details.

From Our Photo Collections

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Woodlawn Cemetary

WoodlawnWoodlawn Cemetary - final resting place of Herman, his wife, Elizabeth, and other family members. Click here to view photos of the gravesites.

125th Anniversary Celebration

125th Woodlawn

A celebration of Melville's life at Woodlawn Cemetary on the 125th anniversary of his passing.

Lansingburgh Historical Society

Melville House

Melville lived for nine years in this Lansingburgh house. It was here that he wrote Typee and Omoo

Berkshire Historical Society

ArrowheadMelville's Arrowhead home and farm in Pittsfield, MA where he wrote Moby-Dick and lived for most of the 1850s.