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 Ishmael boards the Pequod a neophyte, his intense curiosity and eagerness making him a dedicated student and staunch defender of whaling. Over the long voyage, he examines everything and misses nothing, inevitably turning thoughtful, even philosophical, an awed observer of both man and nature. Chapter 105 – Does the Whale's Magnitude Diminish?—Will He Perish? “He swam the seas before the continents broke water,” Ishmael muses, eyeing the slaughter. Are they declining, asks the man with a conscience? Will they be diminished, says the man, with prescience. To cheer himself, he turns to other beasts hunted, claiming them all equally confronted. Buffalos, elephants brothers to the whale, Living creatures turned into products for sale. See the complete collection at
Greg Lennes Melvillean Humor: It is the "Black Friday" shopping day. This event makes me think of Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” in which Bartleby throws his Wall Street law office into a moral panic simply by uttering these words: “I would prefer not to.” These words reflect my decision for today. "Ah Bartleby, ah humanity!" :)
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia: Herman Melville Signpost - One of several road sign sets pointing toward separate American cities and towns that together form the names of literary figures in The Green, a public space in downtown Charlotte NC - "Dead Poets' Society Memorials." These two signs for the cities of Herman, Nebraska (1203 miles from Charlotte) and Melville, Montana (2128 miles from Charlotte) form the name of Herman Melville. :)
Greg Lennes A new production of Jake Heggie's "Moby-Dick" is the highlight of Utah Opera's 2017-18 season. The 2018 production is scheduled for January 20, 22, 24, 26 and 28.
Utah Symphony | Utah Opera | Jake Heggie & Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick Since its debut in 2010, Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s opera adaptation of Melville’s classic novel has enraptured audiences with its innovative storytelling. Now, come experience this entirely new production created by and for Utah Opera. Don’t miss this incredible combination of astounding visuals...
Greg Lennes Melvillean Thanksgiving Recipe: Clam Chowder from "Moby-Dick." :)
Clam Chowder from Moby Dick - Alison's Wonderland Recipes This clam chowder recipe inspired by Moby Dick is sure to warm you up!
Robert Sandberg To commemorate the publication of the final volume of the fifteen-volume NN WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE series, Northwestern University Press has posted on its blog "A Brief History of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of the Writings of Herman Melville" by Meaghan Fritz.
“The coiled fish of the sea”: A brief history of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of the Writings of Herman Melville By Meaghan Fritz The fifteen-volume Northwestern-Newberry Edition of The Writings of Herman Melville, completed in fall 2017 with the publication of “Billy Budd, Sailor” and Other Uncompleted Writi…
Greg Lennes More on the Moby-Dick Project
The Moby-Dick Project Featured in the Hewitt Gallery of Art Curated by Hallie Cohen and Duston Spear, The Moby-Dick Project is a collaborative art exhibition featuring work by Bedford Hills College Program (BHCP) stud...
Greg Lennes BOOK REVIEW: "Moby-Dick," the Third Norton Critical Edition edited by Hershel Parker, the foremost Melville scholar, is a leviathan of a Melvillean treat and brings Melville into the 21st century. Melville wrote in "White Jacket..." " the books that prove most agreeable, grateful and companionable are those we pick up by chance here and there... those that pretend to little, but bound by much." There is so much added to this superb third edition of "Moby-Dick," including the splendid portrait of Ahab on the cover by Oleg Dobrovolski. In the well-written preface, Hershel Parker clearly indicates how the different Norton editions published in 1967, 2001 and 2017 addresses the times and issues of their publication dates. Parker describes why Melville means so much more to us today then he did to his contemporaries and how our vision of Melville has changed from 1967 such as global warming, the extinction of species and human overpopulation. Parker mentioned that Chapter 105 "... Will He Perish?" of Moby-Dick" is read differently today. No longer do we believe as Melville did "we account the whale immortal in his species." Of course the book contains the authoritative text pioneered by Parker and Harrison Hayford. In this case with numerous added notes. Then Hershel Parker has written a new chapter, "Glimpses of a Melville as a Performer." This section clearly shows the talented Melville as a debater, actor, raconteur, lecturer and a master storyteller thru the eyes of his contemporaries. One of my favorite chapters that appears in all editions deals with whaling and whale craft with nautical terms and the well-illustrated whaling industry section. There is so much new and important material in this third edition. Highly recommended is reading the "Melville Revival 1879-1927." In conclusion it was exciting to read the new rich material in this third edition. Anyone interested in Melville, "Moby-Dick" or reading this classic piece of literature for the first time, needs to have this latest edition on his or her bookshelf. The essays at the end by some of the outstanding Melville scholars are an enriching experience. Walter Bezanson, Harrison Hayford, Greil Marcus, Timothy Marr, Mary K. Bercaw Edwards, Wyn Kelley, Robert K. Wallace, Jonathan Letham and Robert Payne takes us on a voyage and comprehensively bring "Moby-Dick" into the 21st century by addressing the present generation. They cover such "Moby-Dick" topics as the character of Ishmael; the reading and rereading of the book; the "Moby-Dick" in popular culture; the surprising proliferation of "Moby-Dick" public reading marathons; its influence in the arts and even a discussion of the song of whales. This is truly a "mighty book" on "Moby-Dick." When you read this volume, you will have a whale of a time!
Corey Thompson I have ordered and am waiting for the final NN edition of Billy Budd. I am dying to see, but is the text the same as Hayford and Sealts 1962 edition? Are there any significant (or any) textual changes, or is the H and S edition still the "standard" text?
Greg Lennes Melville's First Thanksgiving Day at Arrowhead in 1850: This is from Kevin J. Hayes's excellent new book on Melville:
Greg Lennes From Los Angeles Times: Inspired by Moby-Dick, painter Ellen Gallagher's tragic sea tales is on exhibit at Hauser & Wirth, 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles until January 28th. Of “Moby-Dick,” Ms. Gallagher says, “I think of it as an Afrofuturist text.”
Painter Ellen Gallagher's tragic sea tales: How African slaves went from human to cargo on the Atlantic In the depths of the ocean, painter Ellen Gallagher finds stories of African American life, death and the harrowing Middle Passage. Gallagher's works explore history, power and race as she examines the watery graves left behind by the slave trade.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Trivia: Marvel's "The Punisher" on Netflix premiered on November 6, 2017, with the full 13 episodes released on November 17, 2017. The main character Frank Castle wages a personal violent revenge war on the underworld. "Bearded and haunted, Frank spends his days on a construction site, tirelessly wielding a sledgehammer, and his nights reading Moby-Dick.". :)
Greg Lennes On December 7th Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature Roberto Castillo Sandoval will discuss his recent Spanish translation of Herman Melville's 1853 work “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street,” published by Hueders, 2017. It will be held at Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Avenue, Haverford, PA 1904. (610) 896-1000
Lenny Hall How Predestinate that the week Moby Dick was published with some of the crew coming from the Vineyard I would find the bones of his progeny on the beach Here ~
Greg Lennes From the Centre Daily Times: "‘Moby-Dick’ still deserves a read" by David Porter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Penn State.
Greg Lennes The Pizzuti Collection (632 North Park Street Columbus, OH 43215) opened an exhibition on Friday, November 17 of a collection of work by American painter/sculptor/printmaker Frank Stella. The exhibition will feature experiments on paper that advanced his Black series, color woodcuts and screenprints from the 1980s. Also presented will be Stella’s “Moby Dick Deckle Edges,” a series of nine, large-scale works based on the Herman Melville novel. It will conclude on April 29, 2018.
home After our doors close, one of the world's most important collections of contemporary art provides the inspirational backdrop to a night of culture and community. Free to those 21+.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman As we await the president's decision on whether or not to allow elephant trophies to once again be imported into our country, I am reminded of the loss of all magnificent creatures . . . From MOBY-DICK, Chapter 69 – The Funeral (line in quotations from the text) "Oh, Horrible vultureism of earth!" No one mourns this whale Let me! Remember a life Once mighty and free Let me! Sing a song of melancholy Let me! Never forgetting he ruled the seas Let me! Let me! Let me!
Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history (maybe): Melville's letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne. Pittsfield, Mass., November 17(?), 1851
Letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne, November [17?] 1851 My Dear Hawthorne, -- People think that if a man has undergone any hardship, he should have a reward; but for my part, if I have done the hardest possible day's work, and then come to sit down in a corner and eat my supper comfortably -- why, then I don't think I deserve any reward for my hard day's...
Greg Lennes Norton Critical Editions of MOBY-DICK: September 1967, September 2001, November 2017. The Third Edition is now available.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 78 – Cistern and Buckets. Balancing on a whale's head while lowering a bucket to collect sperm oil isn't as easy as it sounds . . . “Man overboard!” Swallowed up (if a beast with no head can be said to swallow). “Man overboard!” Tashtego falls in, disappears, Queequeg follows. “Men overboard!” Submerged in the cavernous sweet–smelling hollow. “Men overboard!” And up they both pop, for tis deadly to Wallow. See the complete collection at
Greg Lennes New Melvillean Play: Footloose Presents A Staged Reading of a New Play, The Moby Dick Diaries, Written by Andrea Mock, Directed by Bernard Vash. The players are: Angel Brown, Emily Corbo, Alan Coyne, Matilda Darragh-Ford, Chris Jones and Karina McLoughlin. Info/Res: 510-658-3530 or Free admission. We ask that if you can make a small donation at the door, this helps pay the rent and the actors. No one turned away for lack of funds. TWO NIGHTS ONLY Both at 8:00 PM SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 SPRING FALL STUDIO in West Berkeley 2547 8th Street between Dwight and Parker SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts new venue in San Francisco 145 Eddy at Mason near Powell Bart Kirchner The Moby Dick Diaries Synopsis "First love, first death, first masterpiece. THE MOBY DICK DIARIES is a semi-fictional, semi-autobiographical account of how—growing up redneck—MOCK ended up as a Berkeley modern dance choreographer. Your basic white girl, LEE WEST, reads then decides to choreograph Moby Dick, her ticket out of her depressing, drought-stricken town. In a battle of wills, her eco-warrior boyfriend, DAVID MONROE, demands “What good is Art if we all fry from global warming?” LEE finds in her bones the strength to prevail in this battle of wills. Her answer is the modern dance she creates for Porterville’s Got Talent. Her dance doesn’t save the earth, nor her relationship with DAVID, but it does save one quirky girl from a life trapped in a stifling town."
Steve Vitoff ten great lines from moby-dick
Herman Melville's "Moby Dick": 10 most memorable lines Here are 10 of the lines most closely associated with Herman Melville's masterpiece "Moby Dick".
Greg Lennes "A Poet’s Perspective: Herman Melville and the Civil War" by Caroline Davis:
A Poet’s Perspective: Herman Melville and the Civil War It was November of 1860, and America had a new president. He was highly popular among the northern states, but he was widely disliked in the South. At the same time you have Herman Melville, famous…
Greg Lennes From Letaba Herald - South Africa: "ON THIS DAY: In 1851, Moby-Dick was published in the U.S."
ON THIS DAY: In 1851, Moby-Dick was published in the U.S. | Letaba Herald On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville about the voyage of the whaling ship Pequod, was published by Harper & Brothers in New York.
Greg Lennes From HarperCollins: Here is the original agreement between Herman Melville and Harper & Brothers Moby-Dick.
HarperCollins at 200 Discover this moment in HarperCollins history. #hc200
Steve Vitoff a landmark day for melville fans: . . . . moby-dick was published 166 years ago today - - nov. 14, 1851
Greg Lennes Drawing of Melville's table, looking out the window at Mt. Greylock, courtesy of Bill Pettit.
Herman Melville's Arrowhead On this day in November, 1851, Harpers & Brothers published "Moby-Dick; or, The Whale" in New York City. It was not a financial success for the young author, Herman Melville. Now it is considered one of the finest novels in literary history.
It's not too late to see where it was written. The Berkshire County Historical Society is keeping Arrowhead open on weekends through December 10. For details, visit
Drawing of Melville's table, looking out the window at Mt. Greylock, courtesy of Bill Pettit.
Greg Lennes "MOBY-DICK" PAST AND PRESENT: On November 14, 1851 "Moby-Dick" was first published in America by Harper & Brothers in New York. According to Amazon, on November 15, 2017 the Third Edition of the Norton Critical Edition of "Moby-Dick" edited by Hershel Parker will be released. All three editions have invaluable commentary and belong on the bookshelves of all Melvilleans and of anyone interested in this classic tale. :)
Greg Lennes From the Guardian (UK): "A whale of a time: a Moby-Dick marathon in Massachusetts" by Stephen Phelan - experiences during the 2017 Moby-Dick marathon at New Bedford.
A whale of a time: a Moby-Dick marathon in Massachusetts Fans gather in a non-stop reading of Herman Melville’s entire masterpiece at an annual winter festival in New Bedford, where the idea for the novel was born
Greg Lennes Today in Melvillean history: On November 12, 1856, Nathaniel Hawthorne, who was Consul of the United States Consulate in Liverpool, and his houseguest at Southport, England, Melville, sat amid sand dunes that sheltered them from the brisk sea winds, smoked cigars, and talked. In Hawthorne's journal entry for November 12, 1856 he recounted the last meeting between him and Melville: ". . we took a pretty long walk together, and sat down in a hollow among the sand hills (sheltering ourselves from the high, cool wind) and smoked a cigar. Melville, as he always does, began to reason of Providence and futurity, and of everything that lies beyond human ken, and informed me that he had "pretty much made up his mind to be annihilated;" but still he does not seem to rest in that anticipation; and, I think, will never rest until he gets hold of a definite belief. It is strange how he persists -- and has persisted ever since I knew him, and probably long before -- in wandering to and fro over these deserts, as dismal and monotonous as the sand hills amid we were sitting. He can neither believe, nor be comfortable in his unbelief; and he is too honest and courageous not to try to do one or the other. If he were a religious man, he would be one of the most truly religious and reverential; he has a very high and noble nature, and better worth immortality than most of us." Meanwhile Melville wrote in his Journal about November 12th, "At Southport. An agreeable day. Took a long walk by the sea. Sands & grass. Wild & desolate. Good talk ..." Here is the Southport dunes area:
Corey Thompson In Mumford's 1929 biography he states that "one can scarcely doubt" that "Monody" was about Hawthorne. I don't have (or can find online or elsewhere) a copy of Weaver's 1921 biography; does he mention anything about "monody" or discuss in any capacity whether or not it was about Hawthorne?
Greg Lennes From Peterborough Examiner (Canada): "Ishmael's clash with God: Part 2 of a look at Herman Melville's Moby-Dick" by Michael Peterman :
Moby-Dick: Ishmael's clash with God Moby-Dick begins with this curious sentence:
Eileen Valentino Flaxman MOBY-DICK, Chapter 87 – The Grand Armada, contains a mesmerizing scene. In the middle of an enormous pod of whales being ruthlessly chased and harpooned lies . . . serenity: “ ... far beneath this wondrous world upon the surface, another and still stranger world met our eyes as we gazed over the side. For, suspended in those watery vaults, floated the forms of the nursing mothers of the whales, and those that by their enormous girth seemed shortly to become mothers. The lake, as I have hinted, was to a considerable depth exceedingly transparent; and as human infants while suckling will calmly and fixedly gaze away from the breast, as if leading two different lives at the time; and while yet drawing mortal nourishment, be still spiritually feasting upon some unearthly reminiscence;- even so did the young of these whales seem looking up towards us, but not at us, as if we were but a bit of Gulfweed in their new-born sight.” Amidst chaos, tumult and brutality lies an oasis of tranquility, an innermost fold of warm, blue waters where new mothers, near enough for a sailor’s gentle touch, float below the transparent surface calmly nursing their young, who gaze dreamily into the distance but do not see their own future futilely fighting for its life. from my collection:
Chris Censullo
The Long Now Foundation "The whales will turn around and welcome you into the pod," author James Nestor describes how Sperm whale react to Free diving humans and shows footage & sound of these amazing creatures. Watch his full talk:
Corey Thompson In melville's obituaries, much talk has been made about his first name appearing wrong. Howard in 1951 says he was mis-named as "Henry" but Parker (are you there Hershel?) lists the error as "Hiram." Which is the right error? Henry or Hiram?
Greg Lennes Reminder: Moby-Dick Celebration on November 18th at the Rosenbach Museum & Library 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (215-732-1600):
Greg Lennes From Barnes and Noble Review: "Up the Masthead" by Melissa H. Pierson.
Up the Masthead A writer takes a turn in Herman Melville's chair -- or the next best thing -- to find inspiration, and courage against the blankness of the page.
Greg Lennes I just received my copy of "Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings"- an outstanding book. First thing I did was to read one of my favorite poems "Montaigne and His Kitten" and related "Notes." Melville compares the kitten's carefree life to human existence. Montaigne speaks about immortality "the grandiose eternity" to Blanche. Melville first read Montaigne's Essays in 1848. MONTAIGNE AND HIS KITTEN, by HERMAN MELVILLE Hither, Blanche! 'Tis you and I. Now that not a fool is by To say we fool it -- let us fool! We, you know, in mind are one, Alumni of no fagging school; Superfluous business still we shun; And ambition we let go, The while poor dizzards strain and strive, Rave and slave, drudge and drive, Chasing ever, to and fro, After ends that seldom gain Scant exemption from life's pain. But preachment proses, and so I. Blanche, round your furred neck let me tie This Order, with brave ribbon, see, -- The King he pinned it upon me. But, hark ye, sweeting -- well-a-day! Forever shall ye purr this way -- Forever comfortable be? Don't you wish now 'twas for ye, Our grandiose eternity? Pish! what fops we humans here, Won't admit within our sphere The whitest doe, nor even thee -- We, the spotless humans, we! Preaching, prosing -- scud and run, Earnestness is far from fun. Bless me, Blanche; we'll frisk to-night, Hearts be ours lilt and light -- Gambol, skip, and frolic, play: Wise ones fool it while they may!
Corey Thompson Question: when maria took Herman and his 2 siblings to Albany in 1819 to escape "the Fever" and Allan wrote to his father, was it yellow fever? Cholera? Is there a difference? Conflicting views / statements in what I've read. Thanks.
Greg Lennes Must-reading for Melvilleans: Here is an excerpt from Dr. Brian Yothers’s introductory essay “Reading and Teaching Clarel” published in the latest issue of Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies (Volume 19, Number 3, October 2017). This Leviathan has a number of interesting articles related to Melville's Clarel poem. "Critical neglect of Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) constitutes the most perennial of tropes in discussions of Melville’s longest poem, even and especially as the poem gains more attention. By this point, we might draw back from describing Clarel as being neglected at all. It is available in two exemplary modern critical editions, Walter Bezanson’s 1960 Hendricks House edition and the 1991 Northwestern University Press/Newberry Library edition, which among its wealth of supporting material incorporates much of Bezanson’s scholarship. For use in the classroom, there is also an affordable Northwestern Newberry reader’s edition. Clarel has been a primary point of focus for no fewer than seven book-length studies: Joseph G. Knapp’s Tortured Synthesis (1971), Vincent Kenny’s Herman Melville’s Clarel: A Spiritual Autobiography (1974), Larry Edward Wegener’s A Concordance to Herman Melville’s Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1979), Stan Goldman’s Melville’s Protest Theism: The Hidden and Silent God in Clarel (1993), Laura López Peña’s Beyond the Walls: Being with Each Other in Herman Melville’s Clarel (2015), and William Potter’s Melville’s Clarel and the Intersympathy of Creeds (2004) are devoted to Clarel in their entirety, and Hilton Obenzinger’s American Palestine: Melville, Mark Twain, and the Holy Land Mania (1999) devotes roughly half of its 300-plus pages to the poem.... Two recent edited collections, Branka Arsić’s and K. L. Evans’s Melville’s Philosophies (2017) and Jonathan A. Cook’s and Brian Yothers’s Visionary of the Word: Melville and Religion (2017), each devote multiple chapters to Melville’s Holy Land poem. If Clarel is not yet one of Melville’s greatest hits, it is at least far from invisible. The works cited list for this essay can serve as a select bibliography of the important work already devoted to Clarel." Here is a Table of Contents for the latest Leviathan.
Greg Lennes Melvillean trivia: CNN TV news anchor Jake Tapper is among the high profile users to take advantage of a new 280-character limit on Twitter, after the company doubled the length of messages allowed on the messaging platform. He used his newfound Twitter freedom to post an excerpt from "Moby-Dick." :)
Jake Tapper on Twitter “Call me Ishmael. Some years ago- never mind how long precisely- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. #280”
Hershel Parker November 8 is Leon Howard's birthday. He was born in 1903.
Greg Lennes From Star Tribune in Minneapolis: "Small Twin Cities theater tackles great white whale in Moby-Dick."
Small Twin Cities theater tackles great white whale in 'Moby Dick' Intimate adaptation of the Melville classic aims to put us on board the whaling ship.
Greg Lennes Melvillean Quote for the Day: In "Pierre or The Ambiguities" Herman Melville has a really eloquent quote that explains the importance of silence in our daily lives. It combats those individuals who claim to hear the direct word of God. Melville writes: “That profound Silence, that only Voice of our God, which I before spoke of, from that divine thing without a name, those impostor philosophers pretend somehow to have got an answer; which is as absurd, as though they should say they had got water out of a stone; for how can a man get a Voice out of Silence?"
Lenny Hall Ahab's Vengeance ~ I took this today in Menemsha a fishing village on Martha's Vineyard (where many Melville characters lived) what was bizarre was the file # on the photo came out 1851 ~~~!!!!!
Mindy Wallis From an exhibit in the NY State Museum in Albany.
Greg Lennes From New York Times Book Review - section By the Book: Walter Issacson, author of "Einstein," "Steve Jobs," and recently "Leonardo da Vinci," when asked: "If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?" His answer: “Moby-Dick.” His answer:
Walter Isaacson: By the Book The author of “Einstein,” “Steve Jobs,” and, most recently, “Leonardo da Vinci,” has a weakness for cyberpunk dating to the 1980s: William Gibson, Bruce Sterling, Neal Stephenson.
Greg Lennes From Washington Post: Esther J. Cepeda - "Moby-Dick represents US destiny."
Greg Lennes The Hewitt Gallery of Art, located in Marymount Manhattan College in New York City is featuring an exhibit in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Bedford Hills College Program (BHCP). A unique exhibition of artworks based on Moby-Dick has been created by the incarcerated women artists of the BHCP after participating in a course called “Illustrating the Novel,” taught by professor and artist Duston Spear. The art exhibition will run thru December 6, 2017.
Helping Incarcerated Women Heal Through Art Former female prisoners at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility exhibit their work in Manhattan.
Lawrence Klaes
Herman Melville's Arrowhead The North Field in early November. Melville's view of Mt. Greylock.
Greg Lennes From the National Endowment for the Humanities: "Beyond Moby Dick: Native American Whalemen in the 19th Century" by Stefanie Walker.
Greg Lennes From "The Enterprise" newspaper: "Moby-Dick Marathon Approaches" at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 57 of Moby-Dick – Of Whales in Paint; in Teeth; in Wood; in Sheet-Iron; in Stone; in Mountains; in Stars Man hunts whale whale does not hunt man - and yet could, there being many more whales than ships, a whale outweighing a man and in his element out in the vast ocean, and man needing to be propped up in wooden buckets that splinter and break like teacups when the mighty forces of weather and waves work together against him. And all the while, the whale glides by or slips below, reemerging at his leisure to find the sea as smooth as glass. from my collection:
Brian Yothers Leviathan 19.3 is up on Project Muse! It includes a cluster of essays on Clarel by Zachary McLeod Hutchins, Neal Schleifer, Karen Lentz Madison and R. D. Madison, and Brian Yothers; essays on "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids" and Pierre by Jonathan A. Cook and Susanna Compton Underland; poetry by Robert Farrell and Diane Raptosh; book reviews by Colin Dewey and Dawn Coleman; and Extracts. Melville Society members who are current on your dues should look for your print copies in the mail over the next couple of weeks!
Project MUSE - Leviathan-Volume 19, Number 3, October 2017 Use the simple Search box at the top of the page or the Advanced Search linked from the top of the page to find book and journal content. Refine results with the filtering options on the left side of the Advanced Search page or on your search results page. Click the Browse box to see a selection of…
Greg Lennes FYI - Today is the 164th anniversary of the publication of “Bartleby, the Scrivener."
Everyman's Library Herman Melville’s “Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” appeared on this day in 1853, the first part published in Putnam’s Monthly, with the second part in December.

“I would prefer not to.”
—from “Bartleby, the Scrivener"

Herman Melville (1819-91) brought as much genius to the smaller-scale literary forms as he did to the full-blown novel: his poems and the short stories and novellas collected in this volume reveal a deftness and a delicacy of touch that is in some ways even more impressive than the massive, tectonic passions of Moby-Dick. In a story like “Bartleby, the Scrivener” — one of the very few perfect representatives of the form in the English language — he displayed an unflinching precision and insight and empathy in his depiction of the drastically alienated inner life of the title character. In “Benito Cereno,” he addressed the great racial dilemmas of the nineteenth century with a profound, almost surreal imaginative clarity. And in Billy, Budd, Sailor, the masterpiece of his last years, he fused the knowledge and craft gained from a lifetime’s magnificent work into a pure, stark, flawlessly composed tale of innocence betrayed and destroyed. Melville is justly honored for the epic sweep of his mind, but his lyricism, his skill in rendering the minute, the particular, the local, was equally sublime. READ more here:
Jim Hill It would be great if humans stopped hunting whales. That's what I wanted since the first time I read "Moby Dick".
Theodore Bouloukos
The Short, Sad Story of Stanwix Melville "\u201cHe seems to be possessed with a demon of restlessness,\u201d Stanwix\u2019s mother remarked. But his real demon was motionlessness. After eighteen months in California, Stanwix reports: \u201cI am still stationary.\" After Bartleby\u2019s employer suggests that he might consider \u201cgoing a...
Greg Lennes Revised Reminder (11/2): Barnes and Noble has more copies of "Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings" available. Use code VUP2S1UDV3U3K to get a 15% discount until November 5th. It worked for me. Everyone interested in Melville and his writing should have a copy in his or her library. :) It is a major publishing event.
Billy Budd, Sailor and Other Uncompleted Writings: The Writings of Herman Melville, Volume 13 The gripping tale of a handsome and charismatic young sailor who runs afoul of his ship’s master-at-arms, is falsely accused of inciting a mutiny, and hung,...
Greg Lennes From New York Review of Books: "The Short, Sad Story of Stanwix Melville" by Christopher Benfey.
The Short, Sad Story of Stanwix Melville “He seems to be possessed with a demon of restlessness,” Stanwix’s mother remarked. But his real demon was motionlessness. After eighteen months in California, Stanwix reports: “I am still stationary." After Bartleby’s employer suggests that he might consider “going as a companion to Europe, to ente...
Michelle Tuella Fernandes I try to plan my Moby-Dick unit with Halloween in hopes that it inspires some costumes. Pictured are some props from one Ahab. Not pictured is the hunt between whale and captain running down the hallway! Happy Halloween! 🎃
Greg Lennes From Berkshire Eagle: "Berkshire Theatre Group | A touring Melville tale, beyond the whale."
Berkshire Theatre Group | A touring Melville tale, beyond the whale PITTSFIELD — There's more to the life and times of author Herman Melville than 'Moby Dick.' In her latest book, 'Billy Budd in the Breadbox: The Story of Herman Melville and Eleanor,' and a …
Greg Lennes From Hershel Parker: Harrison Hayford photos in advance of what would have been his 101th birthday 1 November 2017. His dream of the publication of the final volume of the fifteen-volume Northwestern-Newberry WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE for which he was general editor is realized.
Robert Sandberg As of today, October 29, the paperback edition of “BILLY BUDD, SAILOR” AND OTHER UNCOMPLETED WRITINGS is available on the Northwestern University Press website The hardcover is still in production, but should be available by the end of November. The publication of this final volume of the fifteen-volume Northwestern-Newberry WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE prompted the series General Editor and author of the volume’s “Historical Note,” Hershel Parker, to post today on the Melville Society Facebook page a summary of the discoveries he made during the years he was researching his two-volume biography, HERMAN MELVILLE: A BIOGRAPHY. Besides this summary, he sketched an account of how many of these discoveries at first went inexplicably unacknowledged or contradicted. He also underscored the importance of understanding that the final Northwestern-Newbery volume contains NOT completed, but uncompleted writings that Melville left in manuscript when he passed away on September 28, 1891. It has taken a very long time (more than 45 years) to process the 1,000 or so manuscript leaves for publication in the final volume of the fifteen-volume Northwestern-Newberry WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE series. It was just over 35 years ago that I sat daily as a graduate student from June 8 through August 6, 1982, Monday through Saturday, at the Houghton Library at Harvard transcribing the 335 leaves of the PARTHENOPE (formerly “Burgundy Club”) poems and prose pieces contained in fifteen folders (including the folder containing “Pausilippo” removed by Melville for publication in TIMOLEON). From July 30 to August 2, 1982, I transcribed what I eventually came to realize was the theretofore unknown and untranscribed, “House of the Tragic Poet.” At the time, I thought surely someone had transcribed this piece previously. But as I worked in the following years on my dissertation with my advisor, Harrison Hayford, we finally determined that “House of the Tragic” poet was in fact a new piece. In the summers of 2013 and 2015, to prepare the reading and transcription texts for the now published final volume, I did a fresh literal transcription of these same manuscripts, as well as new transcriptions of the manuscripts of “Rammon,” “Story of Daniel Orme,” “Under the Rose,” and around 36 uncollected poems unpublished at the time of Melville’s death on September 28, 1891. Many funding issues delayed the work needed to complete the final volume of the Northwestern-Newberry WRITINGS OF HERMAN MELVILLE series. Sadly, the series General Editor, Harrison Hayford — who began the Northwestern-Newberry publishing project in 1965 — passed away in 2001. But happily by 2010 Northwestern University Press could commit the funds needed to print the final volume, and the editors of the final volume — Hershel Parker, Thomas Tanselle, Alma A. MacDougall, and I — found time in our personal schedules, over a five-year period beginning in 2012, to bring to a successful conclusion the project of publishing the final volume. Completion of the volume was the result of a sustained collaboration among the editors. Hershel Parker, General Editor, wrote the "Historical Note," coordinated the editorial process, and negotiated the restart of the project with Northwestern University Press. G. Thomas Tanselle, Bibliographical Editor, who has contributed to each of the NN volumes, was again tireless in the effort he devoted to this final volume. He wrote the "General Note on the Text," produced all of the editorial appendices for BILLY BUDD and WEEDS AND WILDINGS, proofed and checked for accuracy the components of all the other the editorial appendices (discussion notes, lists of emendations, all transcriptions, notes on individual pieces, related documents), and corrected and revised the heretofore standard reading and transcription texts of BILLY BUDD (Harrison Hayford and Merton M. Sealts, Jr., Univ. of Chicago, 1962) and WEEDS AND WILDINGS (Robert C. Ryan, dissertation, 1967). Alma A. MacDougall has acted as the supervising editor for all the NN volumes published since 1982 [ISRAEL POTTER (1982), THE CONFIDENCE-MAN (1984), THE PIAZZA TALES (1987), MOBY-DICK (1988), JOURNALS (1989), CLAREL (1991), CORRESPONDENCE (1991), and PUBLISHED POEMS (2009)]. For this final volume, Alma served as Executive Editor and reviewed for accuracy all reading and transcription texts, historical notes, discussion notes, emendation lists, illustrations, created the index, and prepared the final printer's copy for the press. Hershel Parker, who succeeded Harrison Hayford as the series General Editor, suggested that we might think of the publication of the final volume as a birthday present for Harry Hayford on what would have been, on November 1st, his 101st birthday. Happy Birthday, Harry!
Scott Lidak
The Short, Sad Story of Stanwix Melville “He seems to be possessed with a demon of restlessness,” Stanwix’s mother remarked. But his real demon was motionlessness. After eighteen months in California, Stanwix reports: “I am still stationary." After Bartleby’s employer suggests that he might consider “going as a companion to Europe, to ente...
Hershel Parker LOOKING BACK. 10 YEARS AGO, IN THE JUNE 2007 NINETEENTH-CENTURY LITERATURE I PROTESTED ABOUT THE PRACTICE OF REFERRING TO MOST OF MELVILLE'S UNPUBLISHED POETRY AS "LATE." Maybe about the same time I realized that the first (1965) flyer from Northwestern-University Press gave the title of Volume 13 as "BILLY BUDD AND OTHER LATE MANUSCRIPTS (late unpublished prose and poetry, 1860-1891)." When was it? after 2007 for sure, I realized we were still using the old title or a variant of it and got us all to say UNCOMPLETED instead of LATE. Now it has become clear that much more is at stake than referring to BILLY BUDD as completed and ready for the press (which still happens) or referring to all the unpublished poems as "late." In 1965 we did not have a good sense of the history of Melville's working life. We had been warned in 1960 in the LETTERS that Melville had finished a book in 1853, but even after I found the title and published an article in AMERICAN LITERATURE (1990) about it some critics still denied the existence of THE ISLE OF THE CROSS and POEMS (which Weaver in 1921 had not known about). (I alone in my "black hole" had imagined POEMS, a critic said in the N Y Times in 2002). A biographer-to-be said I was unreliable throughout both volumes of the biography because I had said there was a book called THE ISLE OF THE CROSS and another called POEMS. Another critic called these "books" merely "putative." This was not the worst, in some ways. Others listed Melville's published works as if "Bartleby" and other stories came right next to Melville's work on PIERRE. Others referred to BATTLE-PIECES as Melville's first volume of poetry, not acknowledging that if two or more publishers had not rejected the manuscript in 1860 POEMS would have been Melville's first volume of poetry. That is, critics have ignored the stretch from the fall of 1852 to May 1853, especially from December 1853 on, when Melville was writing (absorbed in writing) THE ISLE OF THE CROSS. Such critics ignore the long stretch from late 1857 or early 1858 until May 1860, when Melville was writing 3 lectures and many poems. Now, it helps if you as an academic have written long (you think important) pieces that did not find a publisher. You then have a sense of your working life as including the months you labored on something that does not show on your vita as published in an academic journal or as a book. Most of us have not looked at Melville's working life in the same way. My great hope for my "Historical Note" in the new volume, the final NN volume, is that it will encourage everyone to rethink what they think they know about the trajectory of Melville's working life. Tanselle's notes to BILLY BUDD, SAILOR and Sandberg's notes to many of the poems he has so astonishingly transcribed (with help from Hayford's working transcriptions) will also help anyone willing to rethink what he or she thinks she knows about Melville's sometimes "late" but always "uncompleted" works. That would be a wondrous outcome, and a reward for all our labors, notably Alma MacDougall's, who held everything together for so very long. [Ah, Alma! The divine Alma and I worked out changes in the contents page of READING "BILLY BUDD" on the telephone, if you can imagine, not e-mail.] Well, enough of morning maunderings.
Luisa Fabioli
Sea Monsters of the Abyss and Maelström of Dreams Need this fabric!!! 😍
The #MobyDick Toile sold only at Weatherly Design LLC, Nantucket MA, ph 508-228-3846.
T. Keller Donovan Inc.
Greg Lennes From Peterborough Examiner (Canada): "Cast off, set sail, cut loose: Herman Melville's Moby-Dick" - personal reflections by Michael Peterman, professor emeritus of English literature at Trent University.
Cast off, set sail, cut loose One of the greatest novels ever written is Herman Melville's Moby-Dick, Or, The Whale (1852). It makes almost every Best 100 Novels list and has been a staple of American literature courses around the world for the last 70 years. However, it is not a book taken up by many book clubs these days, part...
Greg Lennes Melvillean House for Sale: "A North Carolina Home With Ocean Views Inspired by Moby-Dick." Unfortunately the house is going for $11.99 million, and my bank account is inadequate for a purchase. Melville would comfort me by saying: "This is America,'s bank account is of no account whatever in an American's estimate of a fellow American." I would disagree:)
A North Carolina Home With Ocean Views Inspired by Moby-Dick The house, on a car-less island, pays homage to the Herman Melville classic, with plenty of upscale touches
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Here are two short poems from my Moby-Dick collection. In the first, Ishmael wanders the freezing streets of New Bedford trying to find an inn he can afford, and finds that and more - hot food and a future friend (Queequeg). The second pays tribute to that heavenly oasis, The Try-Pots, famed for its fragrant and mouth-watering chowders that warm a seaman inside and out. (Lines in quotations are from the text) Chapter 3 – The Spouter Inn Pitch black and frigid, the inhospitable night pushes me toward the only affordable light in sight - an inn as cold as the curb. My frozen hands clutch scalding tea but then, “Good heavens! dumplings for supper!” A knobby bench in a blowy corner leaves me no option but bedding down with a complete stranger - “a clean, comely looking cannibal.” Not nearly so bad as “a drunken Christian”. Chapter 15 – Chowder Just landed and a nip’s in the air Ye can keep yer gold and silver give me chowder! Comon’ lads, pull up a chair, Ye can choose from clam or codfish Give me chowder! Hot steaming bowls to chase the cold away, Rubbing elbows with my mates Bring it here now, don’t delay! Fill yer gullet No, don’t mull it Give me chowder! Give me chowder!! Give me chowder!!! (When’s breakfast?)
Nunia Yi two-day seminar at the MIT libraries
Rare Book School Registration is now open for a two-day RBS seminar at MIT on 11–12 December, "Digital Sustainability for Cultural Collections." See the link below for details and to sign up!
Greg Lennes Rachel Chavkin and Dave Malloy, the director and songwriter whose musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 are on Broadway, are also at work on a new musical adaptation of Melville's Moby-Dick. Malloy is finishing up his musical adaptation of Moby-Dick, which has been in the works for the last few years and, in its current form, is nearly five hours long. From "Vulture" Blog: "The show, co-commissioned by the Public Theater and the Berkeley Rep, crosses genres between Broadway musical, vaudeville (for the whaling scenes), jazz cycle (in the story of Pip, a young black sailor who goes overboard), and dream ballet (“where everything goes to hell”). “We’re still talking about whether there will be splash zones or not,” Malloy says. “I mean, we’ve literally talked about ponchos. Aside from the chance to once again break apart a classic novel, Moby-Dick also lets Malloy dig into uniquely American themes. He’s interested in the precedent set by Angels in America, another show with a history at the Public and the Berkeley Rep, for ambitious theater that reaches outward at many different ideas. He wants to talk about race, and to acknowledge his limited perspective. Ahab — the “white man, taking this boat, which is America, to its destruction,” which feels especially potent in this political moment, Malloy points out — will be played a white performer, while the rest of the crew of the Pequod will not. “Melville is a white writer and I am a white writer,” he says. “I really want to own that and acknowledge that. I’m writing for this very diverse cast, but my voice is not their voice.” Here is a song from Malloy's Moby-Dick. Malloy published this video with the caption: “This is a song from Moby Dick, a mammoth musical that will happen someday soon.”
Greg Lennes Halloween is just around the corner. Here is a Melvillean way to celebrate:)
Greg Lennes Panini Comics has released the new graphic novel of Moby-Dick illustrated by Jose Ramon Sanchez. This is an English translation by Google of the Spanish text. It is a rough translation. "Panini Comics now sells a very personal title: 'Moby Dick', the adaptation of the great work of Herman Melville to graphic novel. It is a work by the artist José Ramón Sánchez, awarded the National Award for Illustration in 2014. The work is published within its line Evolution, which focuses on quality projects, more alternative and for adults. Moby Dick is the sea and its essence, the mysterious breeze, the breath of the ocean, a route, an obsessive pursuit. The same obsession that has led the author José Ramón Sánchez to sail for sixteen years in the immortal novel of Melville. The author, National Award for Illustration 2014, is a nostalgic reference for a generation because of its presence in programs like Sabadabadá or El kiosko whalers in Cantabria. At the age of eighty, the master of illustrations embarked on the Pequod as a humble harpooner, and with pencil and paper he took up minutes, for ten intense months, of everything when it happened on the ship. And it shows us with this graphic novel that the years are a matter of the spirit, and his is that of a nonconformist artisan, always ready to cross the waters of any artistic manifestation. Panini Comics has released the new graphic novel of Moby-Dick illustrated by the Jose Ramon Sanchez. Jesús Herrán Ceballos has given voice to the illustrations, trying to combine the tone of the American author with the images of the Cantabrian artist, and Daniel Sánchez Arévalo greets the publication with words that are full of affection and admiration towards his father. The recommended price is 24 euros."
Panini Comics presenta 'Moby Dick', de José Ramón Sánchez La primera novela gráfica de José Ramón Sánchez, Premio Nacional de Ilustración en 2014, se publica bajo el sello Evolution, de Panini Comics
Greg Lennes From Literary Hub: "6 Famous Writers Injured While Writing" - including Melville. "Over at Poets & Writers, Anelise Chen notes that Herman Melville “dove with such intensity into his whale book that his entire family circulated letters conspiring to make him rest. Ignoring their pleas, he emerged from Moby-Dick plagued with eye spasms, anxiety attacks, and debilitating back pain.” John J. Ross quotes Melville’s wife Lizzie, who wrote that “this constant working of the brain, & excitement of the imagination, is wearing Herman out. . . [He is] toiling early & late at his literary labors & hazarding his health.” Nathaniel Hawthorne had a similar assessment, writing that his friend “no doubt has suffered from too constant literary occupation, pursued without much success, latterly; and his writings, for a long while past, have indicated a morbid state of mind.”
Greg Lennes From RR Auction: Herman Melville Autograph Letter Signed - "Rare ALS signed “H. Melville,” one page, 5 x 7.5, August 26, no year [likely circa 1855]. Written from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, a letter to Osmond Tiffany, in full: “With pleasure I comply with your request, but hardly think that any letter will further your object; still if the accompanying one can be made of the least service, I shall be happy. Wishing you all success in your affairs.”
Robert Sandberg Click the "Links" file in the "Group Files" listed below in the right sidebar for links to selected Melville Society website pages: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly calendar pages of upcoming events, information about Melville Society membership (which includes a subscription to LEVIATHAN), listings of current and past officers and committee members, and Society by-laws. Established in 1947, the Melville Society is one of the largest international single-author societies, dedicated to the study of the life and works of Herman Melville, and their cultural impact since the nineteenth century. The organization enjoys the fellowship of scholars, artists, teachers, writers, readers, and enthusiasts throughout the world. All members receive our award-winning journal Leviathan, which is published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, and offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events. With subscriptions starting at just $25 per year, our membership remains an incredible bargain. To join, or learn more, go to:
Robert Sandberg "Group Files" listed in the right sidebar contain links to selected Melville Society website pages: a calendar of upcoming events, information about joining the Melville Society and subscribing to Leviathan, current by-laws, and a historical listing of officers and committee members. Established in 1947, the Melville Society is one of the largest international single-author societies, dedicated to the study of the life and works of Herman Melville, and their cultural impact since the nineteenth century. The organization enjoys the fellowship of scholars, artists, teachers, writers, readers, and enthusiasts throughout the world. All members receive our award-winning journal Leviathan, which is published three times a year by Johns Hopkins University Press, and offers scholarly articles, book and art reviews, Society news, and Melville-related current events. With subscriptions starting at just $25 per year, our membership remains an incredible bargain. To join, or learn more, go to:
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.
Dennis Mischke news again: "Ahab’s harpoon had shed older blood than the Pharaoh’s"
Ocean Conservation Society 200-year-old harpoon fragment found lodged in Bowhead whale

Biologists have long been searching for answers when it comes to the age of whales. But they got lucky when a 50-ton bowhead whale was found in Alaska with fragments of a 19th-century harpoon lodged in a shoulder bone.

It’s quite a clue for biologists. The weapon was used more than a century ago by whalers from New Bedford, Massachusetts. This allowed researchers to estimate the bowhead whale to be at least 115 years old, and supports their belief that bowhead whales are one of the longest-living mammals on earth, surviving up to 200 years.

read the entire article here:

image: Kate Stafford via Wikipedia

#bowhead #harpoon #whaling
Colin Dewey Looking for something special for that special someone? Moe's Books in Berkeley has a first edition Moby-Dick for sale listed at $22,500.
Moe's Books, Art & Antiquarian Shop Moe's Books, 2476 Telegraph Avenue, Berkeley CA 94704. Open 10 am to 10 pm every day. (510) 849-2087. More Moe's, open noon to 6pm every day. (510) 849-2133. Moe's Books is the legendary bookstore founded in 1959 by Moe Moskowitz. The store's four story building holds over one hundred thousand volum...
Greg Lennes Oklahoma City Theatre Company to showcase "MOBY DICK The Musical!" in 2018" by Robert Longden and Hereward Kaye. Directed by Megan Montgomery FEBRUARY 9-18 2018 "Facing the closure of their rough and tumble school due to unpaid utility bills, The young juvenile delinquents of St. Godley’s School for Girls write and stage a spectacular musical production of Herman Melville’s great novel, MOBY DICK. With unstoppable Headmistress Dorothy Hyman in charge (and doubling as Ahab!) and all of the young women playing the rest of the parts, and using anything they can find from the school as props, you’ll see how this hilarious musical comedy became a cult favorite during its run in London’s West End." OKC Theatre Company is a resident company of Civic Center Music Hall located in downtown OKC at 201 N. Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Telephone number is (405) 626-6605.
Frank Hanavan Reading along and then a phrase jumps out at you.
Greg Lennes Melvillean TV Trivia: In 1964 the "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" TV Series had an episode entitled "The Ghost of Moby-Dick," a liberal adaption of Melville's story. :)
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.
Chris Censullo
Barbed Water 1968 Whaling documentary (narrated by Orson Welles) Barbed Water was filmed in Horta on the island of Faial, in the Azores, in the summer of 1968. 1968 was one of the last years that open boat whaling took pla...
Greg Lennes Moby-Dick in Italy: A Milanese premiere at the Teatro Menotti (Via Ciro Menotti, 11, 20129 Milano MI, Italy) from 14th to 19th November with ‘Moby-Dick’ directed by Michele Losi and starring Mariasofia Alleva, Andrea Pietro Anselmi, Lucia Donadio, Carolina Leporatti, Giovanni Serratore and Joseph Scicluna in video. "On stage the great protagonist is Anticipation. And not just for Moby Dick, the great White Whale. One protagonist is absent, Captain Ahab, who is not present on Pequod's bridge with Ishmael, Queequeg, and all the crew of the famous whaler. The dramatic adaptation is authentic to Herman Melville's novel's, choosing to bring out the existential tensions of the characters. It is a Moby Dick tale in which in which the alternation between individual depth and collective action defines the rhythm and shape of the performance but also leaving space for moments of comedy and irony." Click translation link for English version.
14 | 19 novembre – Teatro Menotti – Centro di Produzione Milano La scelta di avvicinarsi a un grande classico come Moby Dick rappresenta la sfida di affrontare il mare aperto dell’esistenza. Saliamo a bordo della baleniera Pequod con Ismaele, Queequeg e l’equipaggio per uno spettacolo di parole, suoni, gesti e attese. In scena una grande assenza, quella del Capi...
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.)

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.