Wednesday, May 18, 2011


MELVILLE AND BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE is a book I “completed” and then laid aside in May 2010.

I am picking it up in May 2011 after spending a year on the first print volume of THE NEW MELVILLE LOG (now far along, with Robert Sandberg’s help) and on THE POWELL PAPERS (the book with the index that took 2 months instead of 3 weeks), now slated for publication in mid-July 2011. Now that I look at the pile of print-outs I made in May, 2010 (the first time I had printed any of the book), some chapters, such as “The Footsteps Theory of Biography,” look about ready for publication. Others need work. I wanted a paired Hetero Sex Symbol and Homo Sex Symbol set of chapters but did not have the “Historical Note” of the 1988 NN MOBY-DICK “Historical Note” in my computer. In the intervening months I have bought ReadIris and may use it to copy pages from that “Historical Note” on the part British homosexuals played in the Melville Revival then see if I can update those pages by looking on the Internet (Google Books should help now) and checking newspaper and magazine databases (of course, unavailable in 1988). I might make this a demonstration chapter, showing what can be found now on the Internet. To some extent other chapters, notably the one on why Melville took Hawthorne along with him to the Holy Land, have already benefited by new research in the databases available to me for free online, from NEGHS, and from the University of Delaware. Several chapters are already “demonstration chapters” on how to use evidence. The order and titles and contents of chapters will change in the next weeks, but this is what I am starting with on 18 May 2011.


00 Foreword
01 The Footsteps Theory of Biography
02 What I Brought to the Melville Edition
03 Entangled by Pierre: The Summons to the Archives
04 Creating The New Melville Log
05 Puzzlements and Desiderata
06 Little Jack Horners and Archivophobics
07 Scholars and Recidivist Critics
08 Facts which do not Speak for Themselves
09 The Repudiation of Facts
10 Presentism in Biography
11 The Courtship of Elizabeth Shaw
12 Melville and Hawthorne's Last Meeting in the Berkshires
13 Why Melville Took Hawthorne to the Holy Land
14 The Modern Boccaccio: Melville as Heterosexual Sex Symbol
15 Melville as Homosexual Sex Symbol
17 Intellectuals without Information through 1997
18 Intellectuals without Information After 2000
19 Melville's Short Run of Good Luck
20 A Sacrifice for the Public Good
21 Damned by Dollars

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