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Finding Aid to the Jay Leyda Papers (1944-1956)



Table of Contents

Overview of Collection

Biography of Jay Leyda

Scope and Content

General Organization and Arrangement


Index Terms

General Finding Aid

Detailed Container Lists


Overview of the Collection

Repository:  The Melville Society Archive, New Bedford Whaling Museum Library, New Bedford

                        Whaling Museum, 18 Johnny Cake Hill, MA


Creator:         Jay Leyda (1910-1988)


Title:               Jay Leyda Collection


Dates:                        ca 1944-1956


Language:    English


Prepared by:            Initial sorting done by Michael P. Dyer; initial organization by Nathan Adams;Series I: Amy O’Neal; Series II: Peter Craig Edwards; edited by Mary K. Bercaw Edwards



The collection contains the papers of Jay Leyda ca 1944-1956, including correspondence, clippings, some manuscript materials, articles, research notes, and transcripts. Of particular interest are files in the first three boxes of Series I, which include correspondence relating to his work on Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, and Russian film. Series II, Box 6, contains articles, research, notes, and images directly related to Leyda’s work on The Melville Log.


Acquisition Information:

The Leyda collection was presented to The Melville Society Cultural Center by Walter E. Bezanson through a note dated April 5, 2006. Walter Bezanson was a Melville scholar (PhD from Yale) and good friend of Jay Leyda. The original copy of the note (seeBOX 1, Folder 8) is transcribed here: “Jay Leyda left this box of notes and letters with me years ago. He and his exotic wife, Si-Lan, stayed with us overnight several times. We had a large old home, and at the time Jay and Si-Lan seemed to have no “place”, other than the beat up car in which they arrived. Jay asked if he might leave this box with me. He never re-claimed it. I did not open it until recently, [and] have not gone through its contents. It seems appropriate for this miscellany from the time when Jay was working on The Melville Log to come to rest with the society. It’s merely a fragment from his incredibly productive and slightly mysterious life. He was a dear friend. – Walter”


Preferred Citation: Jay Leyda Papers, Melville Society Archive



Jay Leyda (1910-1988) was a film maker, film historian, photographer, translator, and scholar of Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, and the Russian composers Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Leyda’s first film “A Bronx Morning” (1931) led to his acceptance into the Moscow State Film School, where he studied directing with Sergei Eisenstein, most famous for his 1925 silent film “The Battleship Potemkin.” Leyda worked with Eisenstein during the making of “Bezhin Meadow” (1937), which was suppressed and believed destroyed. Leyda's work in Soviet film, especially with Eisenstein, ultimately led to the publication of The Film Sense (1942) and Film Form: Essays in Film Theory (1949), both translated and edited collections of Eisenstein’s essays; Kino: A History of the Russian and Soviet Film (1960); and Eisenstein at Work (1982), with Zina Voynow. Leyda served as Assistant Curator of the Film Department of the Museum of Modern Art (New York) from 1936 until his resignation in 1940, convinced that the administration saw him as too much of a “Trotskyite.” While working as a technical advisor in Hollywood, Leyda began his study of Melville documents, resulting in the publication of the Complete Stories of Melville (1949), the Portable Melville (1952), and most importantly The Melville Log: A Documentary Life of Herman Melville (1951). The Melville Log was initially compiled as a birthday gift for Eisenstein, a Melville enthusiast. In 1943, in the midst of World War II, he was briefly drafted into the Army. Leyda collaborated with Sergei Bertensson on The Musorgsky Reader: A Life of Modeste Petrovich Musorgsky in Letters and Documents (1947) and Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Lifetime in Music (1956). He spent 1955 peripatetically in Washington, DC, cataloging the Bingham Dickinson collection at the Folger Shakespeare Library. From the mid-1950s until the mid-1970s, Leyda and his Trinidadian-Chinese wife Si-lan Chen Leyda (1905-1996), whom he had married in 1934, traveled extensively; during this time, he wrote The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (1960) and Films Beget Films: A Study of the Compilation Film (1964). Leyda wrote the libretto for Walter Aschaffenburg’s opera Bartleby, a work consisting of a prologue and two acts based on Melville’s short story. The opera premiered at Oberlin College in 1964. Leyda taught briefly at Yale University and York University, Toronto, before becoming Gottesman Professor of Cinema Studies at New York University in 1974. Voices of Film Experience: 1894-to the Present (1977) was published eleven years before his death in 1988 at the age of 78. Si-Lan Chen Leyda’s autobiography, Footnote to History, was published in 1984.


Scope and Content

The Leyda papers include correspondence, notes, images, articles, offprints, and transcripts (1944-1956) related to Leyda’s work primarily on Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Russian and Soviet Film History and Sergei Mikhailovich Eisenstein (Soviet film director, 1898 – 1948), and limited references to Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, 1873 – 1943). Specific works highlighted throughout the collection include, but are not limited to, The Melville Log (Harcourt Brace, 1951), The Portable Melville (The Viking Press, 1952), the libretto written for Walter Aschaffenburg’s opera, “Bartleby” (1964), The Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (Yale University Press, 1960), Kino, A History of The Russian and Soviet Film (Macmillan, 1960), and The Musorgsky Reader (W.W. Norton, 1947) which he co-edited and translated with Sergei Bertenson. Also contains correspondence with Millicent Todd Bingham while she was editing Emily Dickinson's Home: Letters of Edward Dickinson and His Family (Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1955). Finally, the collection includes other professional and personal correspondence as well as other miscellaneous academic papers, letters, and articles by Leyda. Contains some memorabilia relating to friends, family, and Leyda’s Military Service.


General Organization and Arrangement

Series I: Correspondence: Boxes 1-4. All letters are from the correspondent except where noted. Information is added where possible to provide context.


Series II: Research, notes, news clippings, manuscripts, transcripts, and offprints: Boxes 5-8.


Series I


Box 1             Melville Correspondence: Leyda’s research and work on Herman Melville

(1944-1956), including arrangements and contract(s) for The Melville Log (1951) and The Portable Melville (1952). Contains correspondence that is addressed to or from prominent Melville scholars and/or family members. This box may also contain brief references to other works outside of Melville.


Box 2 Film & Russian Studies Correspondence: Leyda’s research and work on Soviet and Russian

Film History and the writing of Kino, A History of The Russian and Soviet Film (Macmillan, 1960). Also includes letters to and/or from friends and professionals in the film industry that may make mention of other projects not necessarily related to Russian film.


Box 3 Dickinson Correspondence: Leyda’s research and work on Emily Dickinson and The

Years and Hours of Emily Dickinson (Yale University Press, 1960). Contains letters to

and from other prominent Dickinson scholars such as Millicent Todd Bingham and

Thomas H. Johnson and his editorial assistant, Theodora Van Wagenen Ward from

Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.


Box 4 A House to Be Born In, Friends and Family Correspondence: refers to an original

poem by Leyda he intended to publish called A House to Be Born In. Family and friend correspondence may contain references to projects Leyda and/or the correspondents were working on at the time but are more personal than academically informative in nature with regards to Leyda’s specific works. Also includes holiday greeting cards. Friends include Daniel Curley (1919-1989) and Gladys Yang (1919-1999).


Series II


Box 5 Articles, research, notes, and images directly related to Herman Melville. Includes copies

of Melville’s works and letters.


Box 6 Articles, research, notes, and images directly related to Leyda’s work on The Melville Log.

            Includes copies of Melville’s works and letters and Melville Society Newsletters.


Box 7 Articles, research, notes, and transcripts directly related to Sergei Eisenstein, Emily

Dickinson, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Also includes miscellaneous academic papers, lectures, and articles by Leyda.


Box 8 Odd size items, including research and personal notes on 3x5 paper, oversize research

            notes on the Melville family, notes and library slips bundled in rubber bands, and an

            accordion folder filled with notes.


Box 9 Offprints.



Citation for all use must be made to the Jay Leyda Papers, Melville Society Archive.
Index Terms



Bertensson, Sergei (1885 – 1962)

Bingham, Millicent Todd (1880 - 1968)

Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886)

Eisenstein, Sergei Mikhailovich (1898 – 1948)

Johnson, Thomas H. (1902-1985)

Melville, Herman (1819-1891)

Musorgsky, Modest Petrovich (1839-1881)

Rachmaninoff, Sergei (1873 – 1943)


Corporate Bodies (and vessels)

Acushnet (vessel)

George Allen & Unwin

Berkshire Athenaeum, The

Greenhouse Press, The (San Francisco, CA)

Harcourt, Brace & Company, Inc.

New York State Library

Random House

Reynal & Hitchcock

Rupert Hart-Davis Limited

Somers (vessel)



American Literature




Motion pictures

Russian and Soviet Film History



Amherst, MA

Pittsfield, MA


Soviet Union

“Yaddo”, Saratoga Springs






Film Director


General Finding Aid


BOX 1: Melville Correspondence (60 Folders)


1: Folder 1                Agee, Mrs. James (Mia Fritsch)   1955                           (1 item)


1: Folder 2                Allen, Gay Wilson                           1955                           (2 items)


1: Folder 3                Aschaffenburg, Walter                  1954-1955                 (3 items)


1: Folder 4                Barbarow, George                         1952-1954                 (3 items)


1: Folder 5                Batchelder, Charles F., Jr.                       1951                           (1 item)


1: Folder 6                Bennett Book Studios                  1947                           (2 items)


1: Folder 7                The Berkshire Athenaeum                      1954                           (3 items)


1: Folder 8                Bezanson, Walter                           2006                           (1 item)

                                    (correspondence with The Melville Society)


1: Folder 9                Birss, John                                      1945                           (2 items)


1: Folder 10  Blitzstein, Marc                               1954                           (3 items)


1: Folder 11  CBS Radio (George Crothers)    1953                           (2 items)


1: Folder 12  Criscitiello, John J.                                    1955                           (2 items)


1: Folder 13  Davis, Merrell Rees                                    unknown                 (1 item)


1: Folder 14  Fields, Mr. & Mrs. Joseph 1950-1954                 (8 items)

(National Society of Autograph Collectors)


1: Folder 15  Gilman, William H.                          1953-1954                 (4 items)


1: Folder 16  Harcourt, Brace                              1950, 1955                (5 items)

                                    and Company, Inc.


1: Folder 17  Hayford, Harrison M.                     1951-1955                 (9 items)


1: Folder 18  Heflin, Wilson Lumpkin                unknown – 1955     (5 items)


1: Folder 19  Howard, Leon                                 1951-1952                 (2 items)


1: Folder 20  James, Cyril Lionel Robert                      1952-1953                 (3 items)


1: Folder 21  Kaplan, Sidney and Cora             1952-1955                 (11 items)


1: Folder 22  Kazin, Alfred                                                1952                           (6 items)


1: Folder 23  Kirschner, Leon                              unknown                  (3 items)


1: Folder 24  Kirstein, Lincoln Edward             1951                           (3 items)


1: Folder 25  Lankes, J.J.                                      1954                           (2 items)


1: Folder 26  Lawrence, Dan H.                           1951                           (2 items)


1: Folder 27  Life Magazine (Robin Hinsdale)             1954                           (3 items)


1: Folder 28  Melville Family Members              unknown, 1947, 1952 (5 items)


1: Folder 29  Morewood, Helen                           1951-1952                 (3 items)


1: Folder 30  Murray, Henry A.                             1947, 1952                (3 items)


1: Folder 31  New York State Library                1950-1954                 (3 items)


1: Folder 32  Pearson, Norman Holmes                       1954-1955                 (6 items)


1: Folder 33  Pierce, Cornelia Marium               1951                           (3 items)


1: Folder 34  Providence Public Library                       1954                          (2 items)


1: Folder 35  Random House, Inc.                                  1948-1952                 (3 items)


1:Folder 36               Reeves, John                                              1954                           (5 items)


1: Folder 37  Reynal & Hitchcock                                   1946-1948                 (21 items)


1: Folder 38  Roper, Laura Wood                                   1952-1953                 (2 items)


1: Folder 39  Rolfe, Edwin and Mary                  1951-1952                 (5 items)


1: Folder 40  Rupert Hart-Davis Limited                       1947                           (3 items)


1: Folder 41  Savannah Public Library                         1950-1951                 (2 items)


1: Folder 42  Sealts, Merton M., Jr                      1951-1952                 (5 items)


1: Folder 43  Small, Miriam R.                              1954                           (2 items)


1: Folder 44  Smith, Henry Nash                                     1954                           (2 items)

                                    and William M. Gibson


1: Folder 45  Society of the Colonial Wars       unknown                  (3 items)


1: Folder 46              Stauffacher, Jack Werner                        1951                           (3 items).


1: Folder 47  Stavig, Richard                               1953                           (4 items)


1: Folder 48  Sukel, Samuel                                 1954                           (3 items)


1: Folder 49  Williams, Gordon R.                                   1955                          (2 items)


1: Folder 50 Viking Press, The                           1950-1952                 (2 items)


1: Folder 51  Vincent, Howard Paton                1953                           (1 item)


1: Folder 52  Williams, Mentor L.                         1951                           (1 item)


1: Folder 53  Wilson, Carroll Atwood                 1947                           (1 item)


Chronological Correspondence


1: Folder 54  Incoming                                          unknown                 (10 items)


1: Folder 55  Incoming                                          1946-1947                 (3 items)


1: Folder 56  Incoming                                          1948-1949                 (2 items)


1: Folder 57 Incoming                                          1950-1951                 (7 items)


1: Folder 58  Incoming                                          1953                           (2 items)


1: Folder 59  Incoming                                          1954-1955                 (8 items)


1: Folder 60  Outgoing drafts by Leyda                        unknown                  (7 items, 9 letters)



Box 2: Film & Russian Studies Correspondence (19 Folders)


2: Folder 1                The American Scholar                  1946                           (1 item)


2: Folder 2                Bertensson, Sergei Lvovich                   1954-1955                 (3 items)


2: Folder 3                British Film Academy                    1949-1950                 (5 items)


2: Folder 4                Citizens Film Ltd                             1947                           (3 items)

& Preslit Literary Agency


2: Folder 5                Elton, Arthur                                                unknown                  (2 items)


2: Folder 6                George Allen & Unwin Ltd.          1949                           (3 items)


2: Folder 7                Harcourt, Brace                              1945                           (1 item)

                                    and Company, Inc.


2: Folder 8                Ivens, Joris, and Marion Michelle           1946                           (5 items)


2: Folder 9                Koch, Howard and Anne              1951 – unknown     (7 items)


2: Folder 10  Lerner, Irving                                   unknown                  (1 item)


2: Folder 11  Mahaska County                            1946                           (1 item)

                                    Community Theatre


2: Folder 12  Powers, R.M.                                               1955                           (1 item)


2: Folder 13  Rotha, Paul                                      1949                           (3 items)


2: Folder 14  Roucek, Joseph                             unknown                  (1 item)


2: Folder 15  Russian Research Center                       1953                           (1 item w/ enc)


2: Folder 16  Seton, Marie                                     1951-1952                 (10 items)


2: Folder 17  Souvaine Selective Pictures, Inc.          1952-1953                 (2 items)


2: Folder 18  Incoming, unknown correspondent 1946                               (1 item)


2: Folder 19  Outgoing draft                                 undated                    (1 item)


BOX 3: Dickinson Correspondence (37 Folders)


3: Folder 1                Amherst College                             1956                           (3 items)


3: Folder 2                Bingham, Millicent Todd              1954-1956                (28 items)


3: Folder 3                Bookstores/                                                 undated, 1954             (6 items)

                                    Booksellers & Collectors


3: Folder 4                Connecticut Valley                                    1954-1956                 (3 items)

                                    Historical Museum


3: Folder 5                DuPont, Marcella                            1955                           (2 items)


3: Folder 6                Haight, Gordon Sherman             1955                           (1 item)


3: Folder 7                Hampson, Mrs. Alfred Landis     1955                           (1 item)



3: Folder 8                Harcourt, Brace                              1951                          (1 item)

                                    & Company, Inc.


3: Folder 9                Harper & Brothers                         1954                           (1 item


3: Folder 10 Harvard University, Library of    1954                           (1 item)


3: Folder 11  Haverford College Library                       1954                           (1 item)


3: Folder 12  Johns Hopkins University                       1956                           (1 item)


3: Folder 13  Johnson, Thomas H.                                1953-1955                 (8 items)


3: Folder 14  Library of Congress                                  1954-1955                 (2 letters, 4 items)


3: Folder 15  Milwaukee County                                     1954                           (3 items)

Historical Society


3: Folder 16  New England Quarterly                undated                    (1 item)


3: Folder 17  New Republic                                              1954-1955                 (4 items)


3: Folder 18  Papers of Thomas Jefferson      1955                           (1 item)


3: Folder 19  Pohl, Frederick and Josephine undated, 1955         (3 items)


3: Folder 20  Providence Public Library                       1953-1954                 (1 item)


3: Folder 21  Seven Gables Bookshop                         undated, 1954-1955            (3 items)


3: Folder 22  Todd, Minister G. Hall                    1954-1955                 (8 items)


3: Folder 23  Trustees of Forbes Library                     1956                           (1 item)


3: Folder 24  University of California                 1953                           (1 item)


3: Folder 25  Van Boven, Alice                            1954                           (1 item)


3: Folder 26  Wadsworth re: photographs       1954                           (2 items)


3: Folder 27  Walter, Dorothy C.                          1954                           (1 item)


3: Folder 28  Ward, Theodora Van Wagenen 1954-1956                 (17 items)


3: Folder 29  Williams, Stanley T.                                   1954                           (2 items)


3: Folder 30  Williams, Mrs. Arthur L                  1953                           (1 item)

                                    (Theresa Wright Williams)


3: Folder 31  Yale University Press                    1955-1956                 (4 items)


3: Folder 32  Zermer, Louise Gray                      1954                           (2 items)


Chronological Correspondence


3: Folder 33  Incoming                                          undated                    (3 items)


3: Folder 34  Incoming                                          1953                           (2 items)


3: Folder 35  Incoming                                          1954                           (4 items, 5 letters)


3: Folder 36  Incoming                                          1955                           (3 items)


3: Folder 37  Outgoing drafts                              undated                    (3 items, 5 letters)



BOX 4: Personal Correspondence (15 Folders)


4: Folder 1                “A House to Be Born In,” regarding     1955                           (2 items)

                                    (Leyda’s essay in biography)


4: Folder 2                “Carl,” University of Maryland    1955                           (2 items)


4: Folder 3                Curley, Daniel                                  1954-1955                 (9 items)


4: Folder 4                Hendrickson, James and June  1951, 1955                (3 items)


4: Folder 5                Hooker, Helene                               undated, 1951         (2 items)


4: Folder 6                Leyda Family Correspondence  undated, 1952         (5 items)


4: Folder 7                Miscellaneous Friends                 undated, 1951-1954            (8 items)


4: Folder 8                Smith, Robert J. (Jack)                 1951                           (2 items*)

                                    * Also contains 3 outgoing

drafts on back.


4: Folder 9                Stallman, Robert Wooster                        undated                    (2 items)                                            and son, William


4: Folder 10  Whitmore, Stanford                                   1954-1955                 (3 items)


4: Folder 11  Writer’s Guild of America                         1956                           (1 item)


4: Folder 12  Yang, Gladys                                               undated, 1954-1955            (4 items)




4: Folder 13  Army Correspondence                 undated, 1944         (2 items)


4: Folder 14  Holiday Greetings                          1946-1955                 (11 items)

Cards & Announcements


4: Folder 15  Miscellaneous                                 1946-1954                 (5 items)



BOX 5: Herman Melville (13 Folders)


5: Folder 1                Melville Log Material                                              (11 subfolders; 54 items)       

5: Folder 2                Possible Melville Sources                                                (5 subfolders; 30 items)


5: Folder 3                Melville’s Lectures                                                 (3 subfolders; 3 items)


5: Folder 4                Reviews of Melville’s works                                            (2 subfolders; 11 items)


5: Folder 5                Melville Family History and Correspondence            (6 subfolders; 38 items)


5: Folder 6                Copies of Melville Texts                                       (4 subfolders; 4 items)


5: Folder 7                Melville Family: General                                        (21 subfolders; 31 items)


5: Folder 8                Melville Biography                                                 (11 subfolders; 17 items)


5: Folder 9                Melville’s Books and Papers                               (5 items)


5: Folder 10  Melville’s Literary Work                                        (12 subfolders; 29 items)


5: Folder 11  Leyda’s Research                                                  (14 subfolders; 20 items)


5: Folder 12  Books: Reviews, Sales                                         (5 subfolders; 7 items)


5: Folder 13  Melville Log Material not found in “Melville Log” folder      (1 item)



BOX 6: The Melville Log (9 folders)


6: Folder 1                Original file folder labeled “For the Log”


6: Folder 2                Organization of The Melville Log                                   (7 subfolders; 14 items)


6: Folder 3                Printing Process                                                    (10 subfolders; 15 items)


6: Folder 4                Melville in the South Pacific                                            (6 subfolders; 8 items)


6: Folder 5                Plates for The Melville Log                                              (4 items)


6: Folder 6                Articles on Melville                                                 (15 items)


6: Folder 7                Melville Society Newsletters                                           (21 items)


6: Folder 8                Copies of Herman Melville Correspondence  (16 subfolders; 31 items)


6: Folder 9                Various unrelated items found in The Melville Log folder (6 items)



BOX 7: Emily Dickinson, Russian Composers, including Sergei Rachmaninoff,

Sergei Eisenstein, Jay Leyda (4 folders)


7: Folder 1                Emily Dickinson                                                     (7 subfolders; 10 items)


7: Folder 2                Russian Film and Music                                       (3 subfolders; 23 items)


7: Folder 3                Personal and Business Papers                         (4 subfolders; 19 items)


7: Folder 4                Miscellaneous                                                         (8 subfolders; 151 items)
BOX 8: Odd size items: mostly research notes (4 folders)


8: Folder 1                Research and personal notes on 3x5 paper


8: Folder 2                Oversize Research notes on Melville Family


8: Folder 3                Notes and Library slips bundled in rubber bands


8: Folder 4                3x5 Accordion folder filled with notes



BOX 9: Offprints (22 folders)


9: Folder 1

[American Historical Association], Publishing the Papers of Great Men            1954   (1 item)


9: Folder 2

[Amherst Chamber of Commerce], Amherst, Massachusetts                                            (1 item)


9: Folder 3

Antiquarian Bookman                                                                                           1952   (2 items)


9: Folder 4

Bond, “Melville and Two Years Before the Mast”                                         1953   (1 item)


9: Folder 5

Boyce, “Modern Literary Manuscripts in the Morgan Library”                              1952   (1 item)


9: Folder 6

Butterfield, “George Lippard and his Secret Brotherhood”                                   1955   (1 item)


9: Folder 7

Cahoon, Herman Melville: A Checklist of Books and Manuscripts                      1951   (1 item)


9: Folder 8

[Corporation of Yaddo], Yaddo                                                                          1951   (1 item)


9: Folder 9

Dickinson Genealogy: on Mother’s Side                                                                                 (1 item)


9: Folder 10

Hillway, “Billy Budd: Melville’s Human Sacrifice”                                         1952   (1 item)


9: Folder 11

Johnson, “Emily Dickinson: Creating the Poems”                                       1953   (1 item)


9: Folder 12

Johnson, “Establishing a Text: The Emily Dickinson Papers”                 1952-1953     (1 item)


9: Folder 13

Leyda, “Another Friendly Critic for Melville”                                                  1954   (9 items)


9: Folder 14

Leyda, “The Engine Melville”                                                                             1953   (1 item)



9: Folder 15

Paltsits, Family Correspondence of Herman Melville, 1830-1904             1909   (1 item)


9: Folder 16

Todd, Witchcraft in New England                                                                                  1906   (1 item)


9: Folder 17

Wadsworth, Politics in Religion                                                                         1854   (1 item)


9: Folder 18

Wadsworth, Development and Discipline                                                                   1857   (1 item)


9: Folder 19

Wadsworth, A Mother’s Sorrow                                                                         1864   (1 item)


9: Folder 20

Wadsworth, Self-Knowledge                                                                              1860   (1 item)


9: Folder 21

Wadsworth, God’s Culture. A Thanksgiving Sermon                                              1860   (1 item)


9: Folder 22

Ward, “Emily Dickinson and T. W. Higginson”                                                          1953   (1 item)




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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.