Friday, June 29, 2012

17 days and counting on the Index

This morning I wondered how many weeks I have been slaving on the index. Four? five?

Six would be the number of weeks it took me to do the Powell index last year, where I gave identifications and birth and death dates for now-obscure mid-19th century folks.

I checked. Only since June 12. Oh. Well, back to indexing, Index in Word on the right of the screen, pdf of the proofs on the left, keyboard on the marble slab, mouse underneath on a slide out piece of plywood, arms pretzeling to hit the find button and hit the number and comma keys. There is nothing in the world I had rather be doing today than working on the index for MELVILLE BIOGRAPHY: AN INSIDE NARRATIVE.





In 2005 when I received a pdf as I was about to start indexing I said to myself, might as well see if it is searchable.

Oh oh oh, it worked for Gansevoort, will it work for Glendinning? Oh, it is fully searchable. Out with 3x5 cards and yellow and red markers. God's great gift to indexers has arrived.

The press was skeptical. That's not how we make an index! Well, it is now, it is now. But it still ain't easy.

60 Years Ago


60 years ago today I was driven by a man who is long dead to a cavernous depot, now long demolished, in a town, Howe, Oklahoma, which no longer exists, where I bought a one-way ticket on a railroad that no longer exists, the Rock Island, to go to Oklahoma City, where I would spend the night with a man long dead before going on to take a job that no longer exists, that of railroad telegrapher.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sadly, this post on gay teen suicide is never out of date.


Friday, January 13, 2012. Reposted 19 June 2012

Another gay teen suicide. Alan Helms, Take Note

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2012/01/suicide-claims-another-lgbt-youth-trevor-project-intern-eric-borges/


This is my comment on the story, one of many comments. Anyone reading this and wanting to know more can go to my name and "Live Oak, with Moss" on Google. A great disappointment of my career is that professional gay teachers of criticism and theory did not embrace the joyous, liberating poetic sequence as Whitman wrote it.

Hershel Parker
Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012


This is heartbreaking. Let me tell you my story. In the 1990s I had a kind of “institutional power” as an editor of THE NORTON ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE. I could put texts into classrooms. I realized that Walt Whitman’s “Live Oak, with Moss” was an unknown sequence for which a complete manuscript survived. It told a story of homosexual love, fulfillment of that love, then loss of that love and a final regrouping and going on. It was almost a gay manifesto, and almost unknown, never before anthologized. I learned in the next years of young gay students who felt comforted and encouraged by the poem. It became a standard anthology piece. Now, what is the problem? I was attacked not by rabid homophobes who did not want Whitman to be outed as gay but by professional queer theory people who would not read what Whitman wrote. Instead, they derived a text the poems as they appeared in CALAMUS, where he had deliberately separated the sequence and put them, slightly altered, in places where you could not see the open love story. And because one little revision for CALAMUS mentioned the disapproval of the world these critics and theorists used their fabricated version of the sequence to drum into readers the idea that the sequence was about homosexual repression. Why would gays want students to see something negative instead of what Whitman wrote, which was joyous and life affirming, even after the loss of the first lover? You can look on Google for texts and discussions. My point here is that every gay person has an obligation to seize on whatever great literature is legitimately life-affirming and let young people cherish it and be nourished by it. Don’t let the professional controllers deny what is simple and brave and life-affirming.

1 comments:

Thanks for this wonderful post. I have visited both the Whitman Homestead in Huntington, NY and Camden, NJ and both have almost nothing about Whitman's homosexual affairs on 'display'. When I broached the subject with the directors of both museums, I was met with hostility and rudeness. So much for Scholarly debates.

Not sure if you know Arnie Kantrowitz [spelling?]--He was a Professor at the College of Staten Island (CUNY) for many years, and openly gay. He and other activists/scholars organized a protest against the Homestead in Long Island decrying the invisibleness of Whitman's homosexual affairs at the museum celebration during the Centenary of Whitman's Birth.

A few of my professors in the past have also met my theories about homosexuality and American letters with hostility and dismissiveness, in particular, when discussing Melville's Billy Budd. Cheers!
Nick

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The N-YHS Takes Note of the Albany Journal Article


--The Albany Journal article I found while looking on fultonhistory.com for something else. See the article here on the Rough Draft of the Introduction to the New Melville Log. As Mr. Stritmatter found, the N-YHS had mistakenly labeled the tooth Melville had owned a 20th century fake.


Dear Mr. Parker,
I was forwarded your e-mail about the scrimshaw whale's tooth at the New-York Historical Society once owned by Herman Melville (1949.19). Your message arrived shortly after an inquiry from Roger Stritmatter voicing the same concerns. I apologize for the confusion surrounding the whale's tooth and wanted to explain why we changed our assessment of the tooth, and have since revised it again.

In 2010, we consulted a scrimshaw expert about several whale's teeth in our collection which we suspected were not authentic. These were almost entirely collected by one individual and donated in 1943. The expert examined old photographs of the objects, many of them group photos that included more than one whale's tooth. A photo of the Melville tooth was among those he examined, although it was not targeted for study. The expert was unconvinced by the inscription and was certain (from the photo) that it was a forgery. We added his notes to the file and changed our database record without looking further into the history of the object.

Your inquiry and the one from Mr. Stritmatter -- both citing the the Albany Journal article -- prompted me to dig deeper. Not only does the S.S. Stafford article provide compelling evidence for the authenticity of the tooth, but the provenance of the piece also pulls the whole history together. S.S. Stafford was Samuel Spencer Stafford (1825-1895) of Albany and New York City. His granddaughter, Louise Stafford Gilder (1890-1982), donated the whale's tooth to the Historical Society in 1949. As I think you were already aware, Edwin Stafford Doolittle, who never married, was the nephew of S.S. Stafford.

I have corrected our database record and added some additional information, although it will not be reflected on our website for awhile due to an upgrade in the works. 

Thank you very much for getting in touch and setting this all in motion. I have also shared this information with Mr. Stritmatter.

Sincerely, 
* * * * *

Curator of Decorative Arts
The New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024

Parker and Sendak in Lilac Time at the Little Red Cottage near Lenox


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cousin Capt. Frederick Slimp

This is not good. I could not copy from a pdf and edit it in Picasa. Instead, I printed it from the pdf then uploaded the printout, so this is fuzzy. Frederick is sharp in the book.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Gillian Bagwell, the biographer of Nell Gwyn: A Slimp

I just noticed that Gillian Bagwell is a cousin, descended from Barbara Slimp Shoun. A cousin and a biographer.

Happy Birthday, Maurice Sendak

No one answering the telephone any more. The Krakenman would have been 84.

Cousin Clyde Shoun the Baseball Player



The Barbara Shoun of the story had been Barbara Schlemp (or Slimp, as it became in Tennessee).

SABR Baseball Biography Project

Clyde Shoun

This article was written by Bill Nowlin.
Left-hander Clyde Shoun played for the Braves near the end of a long 14-year career in the majors that saw him make all but the last 16 of his 454 appearances in the National League. Typically used in relief, he started just 85 contests and posted a 73-59 lifetime record with a career 3.91 ERA. Shoun threw 34 complete games, three of them shutouts -- and one of those was a no-hitter, just missing a perfect game by the smallest of margins (one base on balls). Above all else, he was a gamer, rebounding several times when it appeared his career was washed out.
At first glance, Shoun’s birth and death data look as if they must be wrong. He’s listed as being born on March 20, 1912, in Mountain City, Tennessee, but is listed as dying on the same day -- and in Mountain Home, Tennessee. And yet he is buried at Sunset Cemetery in Mountain City. This is indeed all correct. Shoun did indeed die on his birthday, at age 56 on March 20, 1968. He actually passed away in Johnson City, but it was at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center named Mountain Home. The hospital maintains its own ZIP code and mailing address, and it is indeed Mountain Home, TN 37684.
Shoun’s family originated in the Alsace-Lorraine region of the Volunteer State, but the oldest ancestor today’s family has traced actually arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by ship in the late 1600s. These forbearers settled in Loudoun County, Virginia, but moved to the east Tennessee county now known as Johnson County when Leonard Shoun was given a land grant. Leonard and his wife, Barbara, arrived in 1792, Barbara pregnant at age 17 and Leonard toting an ax, a pick, and a bundle of clothing. He was 19. They had a large homestead at Shoun’s Cross Roads where they farmed -- and raised 17 children. When he died, Leonard was said to be one of the most well-to-do men in the county, maybe the wealthiest.
It was good farmland and the Shouns worked the land, with the help of “several slaves” that he owned. Leonard also owned a country store and an iron forge at Shoun’s. A Shoun family history written by Carl Neal reports that Leonard’s store hauled goods in from Baltimore, and that the pig (or raw) iron came from Lynchburg. Despite being illiterate, he devised a system of symbols to keep his mercantile accounts. He apparently once charged a customer for a cheese when the man had purchased a grindstone, and a bitter argument ensued until the parties realized it was simply that Leonard had neglected to draw a hole in the center of the circular symbol he used to denote the commodities.
Clyde Shoun’s father, Leonard’s grandson, was a farmer and a logger, working both the fields and the forest on the land. Clyde himself, his niece Dane Brooks remembers, was always known as Hardrock: “They worked hard. It was a different time. Uncle Hardrock was the fifth child of nine living children. There were four that died as infants. There would have been 13. Twelve siblings of Hardrock’s, had they all lived. Everybody called him Hardrock. That’s all anyone around here ever said. No one ever called him Clyde.”
Some interest in sports ran in the family. Clyde’s brother Miles played professional basketball for the Firestone Rubber Company team before World War II and the emergence of the NBA. Hardrock, of course, played baseball. “The story is that he could throw a ball so hard that they just called him Hardrock,” said his niece. “Before he went there [to the major leagues], he played with some of the local teams here. They were ball players; that’s what they did.”
Shoun was a southpaw, standing 6’ 1” and with a playing weight of 188 pounds. He first turns up playing semipro ball in South Carolina’s Textile Baseball Leagues at Chester, S.C., in 1934, and was signed by Bill Pierre of the Birmingham ball club. Working in the Southern Association during his first year in the pros (1935), he performed very well, with a record of 12-8 and a 3.83 earned run average in 169 innings of work -- excellent numbers considering that Birmingham finished seventh in the eight-team Southern Association. He led his team in victories, and the pennant-contending Chicago Cubs purchased Shoun’s contract for the stretch drive (a contemporary column in the Chicago Tribune said he was nicknamed “Duster”).
In his August 7, 1935 debut he threw the last two innings of a game the Cubs lost 6-0 to the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates; Shoun allowed one hit and struck out two. He got his first start on August 19, facing the Phillies in Philadelphia. He gave up a run in the bottom of the first, but then pitched scoreless ball through the next six innings. Philly’s Joe Bowman had a no-hitter through six, but began to falter in the seventh. Ken O’Dea batted for Shoun in the top of the eighth and doubled. Billy Herman drove in two, the Cubs took (and held) the lead, and Shoun got the win. Overall, he worked 13 innings during the remainder of the season, and finished with a 1-0 record and a 2.84 ERA. The Cubs won the pennant, and Shoun was eligible to play in the World Series. He did not see action, however, in the six-game showdown with the Detroit Tigers -- which the Cubs lost.
In 1936, Shoun began the year with the NL champs, but was released back to Birmingham in mid-May. He had appeared in four games and thrown just 4 1/3 innings for Chicago, giving up three hits, six walks, and six earned runs. In the Southern Association he got back on track, and was able to get in 17 complete games and over 200 innings of work for manager Riggs Stephenson, post a 15-11 record, and establish an earned run average of 3.44. Birmingham made it to the Dixie Series finals but was eliminated by Tulsa, which scored five runs off Shoun in the first two innings of the deciding game.
For the next 11-plus years, though, Hardrock remained in major league ball. The 1937 season saw him post a 7-7 record and a dismal 5.61 ERA (worst on the staff) for second-place Chicago.
Then came 1938, and things weren’t looking that good when Cubs manager Charley Grimm left Shoun in to be pounded for 11 runs on 15 hits in five innings during a March 21, 1938, spring training game against the Pirates. It was a sign of what was to come. Just before the season opened, the Cubs made a play for former 30-game winner Dizzy Dean of the Cardinals, sending Shoun to St. Louis, along with Curt Davis, Tuck Stainback and -- oh, yes -- $185,000, one of the largest cash sums in a baseball transaction at the time.
The Cubs won the pennant; the Cardinals finished sixth. St. Louis, however, got the best of the deal. A sore-armed Dean went 7-1 that year in limited duty, but his career was essentially over after that. Shoun, meanwhile, became a dependable workhorse for the Cards. His record in 1938 was balanced again, at 6-6, but with a considerably improved 4.14 ERA. He started in just 12 of his 40 games, increasingly being used in relief. And in ’39, he was used almost exclusively out of the bullpen, appearing in a league-leading 53 games and earning a league-leading nine saves. He was 3-1, 3.76, and the 53 outings set a new major league record for pitchers, and helped the Cardinals to a strong second-place standing in the NL just 4.5 games behind the pennant-winning Reds.
It was apparently at some point in this second year with the Cards that Shoun made an impression on a future sports broadcaster, Art Rust, Jr. A young boy at the time, Rust approached him for an autograph at the Polo Grounds and was called a “black bastard.” In 1976, Rust wrote about this and a couple of other incidents, “These humiliations really shook up this 11-year-old.”
Hardrock got a lot of work in 1940, leading the league in appearances again with a record 54, but also earning 19 starts and throwing 13 complete games for third-place St. Louis. He won 13 games and lost 11, with a 3.92 ERA, not bad considering the inconsistency of his use as a starter on some days and a reliever on others. August was the most interesting month. On the 13th, he threw a seven-hitter, holding his former Cubs to one run, while he drove in two at the plate. On August 26, he committed a balk without even touching the baseball. The Cardinals were hoping to pull off a hidden ball trick at second base, with the shortstop holding the ball. Shoun took the mound -- and was immediately called for a balk for taking his position without the ball in his possession.
For reasons unclear to us today, Shoun was unsigned as late as February 1941. He lost three weeks to a sprained ankle that year, and was never fully effective, though he still made it into 26 games. His record was 3-5, with only 70 innings pitched, compared with 197 1/3 in 1940. His earned run average had shot up, too, to 5.66. His off-year came at a most inopportune time, as the Cardinals seemed finally poised to win a pennant and held first much of the season before finishing just 2.5 games behind the champion Dodgers.
He faced only seven batters for St. Louis in 1942 before being sold to Cincinnati. There, once again, he rebounded in a major way, putting up a sterling 2.23 ERA over 36 games and 72 2/3 innings despite an uninspiring record of 1-3.
The next year -- 1943 -- was most unusual. Shoun started only five games, but won 14 while losing just five. This gave him the league lead in winning percentage among pitchers with 15 or more decisions (.737). Hardrock appeared in 45 games and his ERA was a good 3.06. He also helped himself at the plate by batting .310, his second straight year over .300. The only drawback was that his old teammates in St. Louis went to the World Series in this and three of the next four years through 1946, while Shoun and Cincinnati were never really in contention.
With World War II well under way, Shoun was accepted for service into the Navy after passing his physical in March 1944, but he was not called for duty until after the season -- which was a good one. He was 13-10, with an ERA of 3.02 in 202 2/3 innings of work, starting 21 games in his most active season ever. In addition, he entered a very exclusive club by throwing a no-hitter against the Boston Braves on May 15 in Cincinnati. He faced just one more than the minimum, a perfect game spoiled only by a third-inning walk to Boston pitcher Jim Tobin (who himself had pitched a no-hitter just 18 days earlier). Shoun struck out only one batter in a 1-0 game won by third baseman Chuck Aleno’s home run in the fifth inning; Tobin scattered just five hits himself. Aleno saw no action in the field, not an assist and not a putout, while first baseman McCormick made eight putouts. The win pulled the Reds into second place, but Cincinnati eventually finished third.
On January 9, 1945, Hardrock was sworn into the Navy at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Not surprisingly, Shoun quickly wound up at the Great Lakes Naval Station playing for the training center baseball team under coach Bob Feller. He was sent to the Pacific, to join Bill Dickey’s Navy ballteam in Hawaii. This squad of servicemen athletes featured the likes of Yankee star Joe Gordon at short, future A’s standout Ferris Fain at first, and Cards 20-game winner Johnny Beazley on the mound. But despite his inclusion on such a team, which routinely routed other military clubs, Shoun would initially have a tough time regaining his old form after the war.
Back with the Reds after his discharge, Hardrock had a difficult year in 1946. His record was just 1-6, with an ERA of 4.10. He had only five starts and threw just 79 innings. He saw almost no action in the early weeks of 1947, and was sold to the Boston Braves in a cash deal on June 7. He was 5-3, 4.40 with third-place Boston, his best game an 8-0 shutout against his old Cincinnati mates on September 10. When Hardrock arrived in Boston, he was reunited with manager Billy Southworth, for whom he had played in 1940 until he was sold to Cincinnati during the 1942 season. Shoun was certainly not the only Braves player in this boat; so many of Southworth’s former St. Louis players joined the Braves during this period, they came to be known as the “Cape Cod Cardinals.”
In the pennant-winning year of 1948, wearing number 26, Shoun ran up a 5-1 record primarily in relief (he started just three games) with an ERA of 4.01. His first start came on June 18, and he pitched a complete game against the Reds, winning 5-4. He later beat the Red again in late September, and also notched four saves for the NL champs. Though eligible for the 1948 World Series, he was not called upon in the six-game loss to Cleveland.
On May 11, 1949, it was back to Chicago for Shoun, this time to the White Sox in a cash deal. It was the first time he’d pitched in the American League, and his stay there wouldn’t last long -- just 23 1/3 innings over 16 contests. Shoun compiled a lackluster 5.79 ERA for the Pale Hose, but his final big league game on July 19, 1949 proved memorable. He entered as a left-hand specialist to face Ted Williams in the top of the ninth in a 3-3 game. Two men were on base and nobody out, but Hardrock got Ted to hit a high pop fly to short leftfield. The Red Sox got lucky, though, as Steve Souchock tried to one-hand the ball and missed it entirely. The bases were now loaded with Vern Stephens due up, so Shoun was taken out for a righty, Max Surkont. He promptly gave up a game-winning two-run single.
A week later, when the White Sox left Chicago to travel to Boston, Hardrock was left behind. According to a news story, Sox GM Frank Lane said that Shoun would “remain in Chicago pending disposition of his contract.” A few days later, it was announced that he had signed with the Indianapolis Indians as a free agent. The AP dispatch assigned him a third nickname: the predictable “Lefty.”
Overall Shoun was 1-1 in major league play in 1949, with a 5.55 ERA, and finished out the year in Indianapolis with an identical 1-1 record (though with a more respectable 3.15 earned run average.) And while his big-league days were gone, he had one more comeback in him. In 1950 and 1951, he pitched for Oakland in the competitive Pacific Coast League, getting a major amount of work the first year (233 innings, 16-10, 4.56 ERA.) Playing for the Oaks under Charlie Dressen, he helped the team to a first-place finish in the PCL. In 1951, though, he just didn’t have it. He started the season 2-4 with a 5.49 ERA, and decided to call it a day. By late May, he’d returned home to Mountain City.
Shoun had a first wife, Anna Mary (her surname was Mary), and they had two daughters -- Anna Mary and Linda. Shoun worked the family farm, largely raising tobacco, and owned and operated a commercial dog kennel. The Shouns later divorced and Hardrock married a woman named Pearl.
Niece Dane Brooks recalls her father, Leonard, taking her to a few local exhibition ball games and seeing Uncle Hardrock pitch. Clyde Shoun also served as a city councilman in Johnson City, but he died early of liver problems, after eight months of illness, at the age of 56.
Note
This biography originally appeared in the book Spahn, Sain, and Teddy Ballgame: Boston's (almost) Perfect Baseball Summer of 1948, edited by Bill Nowlin and published by Rounder Books in 2008.
Sources
Interview with Dane Brooks by Bill Nowlin, December 11, 2006.
The Art Rust quotation comes from the New York Times, May 9, 1976.
Thanks to Matt Hill.

Clyde Shoun

Clyde Mitchell Shoun
Born: 3 / 20 / 1912 at Mountain City, TN (US)
Died: 3 / 20 / 1968 at Mountain Home, TN (US)


Unpunishable Academic Fraud-



Member Avatar

Kerri P. on LieStoppers

Jun 10 2012, 06:30 AM
http://www.wral.com/news/education/story/11189301/
UNC asks professor to repay $12K for course


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina wants a professor at the center of an academic fraud probe to repay thousands of dollars for teaching a course inappropriately.

UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Holden Thorp told trustees Friday that Julius Nyang'oro was asked to repay $12,000 for teaching a 2011 summer course as an independent study rather than a lecture.

Nyang'oro resigned in August as chairman of the school's African and Afro-American Studies program, which was at the center of an investigation into academic fraud involving Tar Heel football players.

A university report found 54 department classes had little or no indication of instruction and at least 10 cases of unauthorized grade changes for students who didn't do all the work.

The State Bureau of Investigation is determining whether any criminal violations occurred.

Payback's RESPONSE TO KERRI'S POSTING:
This is surely the only case of "academic fraud" in the history of American education. Davidson could never have perpetrated "academic fraud" with her 1994 New Melville issue of AMERICAN LITERATURE ("We already have full-scale biographies of Melville"--this when no biographer had yet published on the basis of the great 1983 trove of family documents). Brodhead could never have perpetrated "academic fraud" in the New York TIMES on 23 June 2002 when he declared that only Hershel Parker alone in his "black hole" had ever imagined there was something Melville wrote called POEMS and tried to publish in 1860. There surely could be no "academic fraud" in writing a book called THE SCHOOL OF HAWTHORNE without taking a roll call to see who occupied the seats in the classroom. Oh no! "Academic fraud" has to be restricted to something momentous like deciding to teach a class out of the classroom as independent study. It could not consist of going into a classroom time after time while mouthing New Critical and Politically Correct idiocies.
:bump: :bump: :bump: :bump: :bump: :bump: :bump: :bump: :bump: :bump:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Brenda Wineapple's Appalling Sloppiness Revisited


            In the few pages on Melville in her Hawthorne: A Life (2003) Brenda Wineapple stuffed together an astonishing number of errors, sentence by sentence. The “Pittsfield farm owned by Melville’s cousin” (222) was not owned by Robert Melvill, ever, and in any case had already been sold to the Morewoods, although they did not take possession for many months. “August 5, a day soon to be promoted as an American Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (without the scandal)” was not in fact soon promoted that way, not through the 1850s and 1860s or still later, and certainly not celebrated mainly as the day Melville and Hawthorne met. The promotion of the day as significant in American literary history was a phenomenon of the 1930s or later, as I say elsewhere. She published after I had revealed in my second volume that on the climb Hawthorne was excited, not phlegmatic, uncharacteristically hamming it up, looking wildly about for his Great Carbuncle, not mildly. This is so important a correction that every biographer should use it, but she does not. She has James Fields slipping in his patent leather shoes, but no one says that. Presumably his patent leather shoes had regular soles. She says, “Herman Melville is the daredevil who sprints from rock to jutting rock” (222). Duyckinck in a letter to his wife says that Melville, “the boldest of all,” seated himself “astride a projecting bow sprit of rock” (Log, 384). Fields in the February 1871 Atlantic (251) says Melville bestrode a peaked rock, which ran out like a bowsprit, but not that he ran or leaped. Who says he sprinted (or leapt) from rock to jutting rock? He may have done so, but who says so? In reference to the Monument Mountain–Icy Glen party, Wineapple says, “Of the group, Melville captured Sophia’s fancy” (222). What group? The only ones Sophia Hawthorne saw that day were Dudley Field (and Mrs. Field?), who called for Hawthorne in a comfortable “chariott and two”—two horses. Now, she saw some others later, including Melville. But Sophia never was exposed to “the group” who had made such a day of August 5, 1850. Characteristically, Wineapple failed to visualize the scenes. Then she calls Redburn “autobiographical” without qualification (223). She calls Melville “the bushy-bearded young man” (223) when there is no source for his being bushy-bearded on August 5, 1850. Even if he had a beard then, would it necessarily have been bushy? This is Wineapple: “Melville was the coxswain, not a dry-docked Custom House inspector, come back to tell all, striding off the gangplank into a garret where he could dip his pen into the inkpot and be, of all things, a writer” (223). Here we have Wineapple in her romantic fiction mode, with a lapse into Prufrock (“come back to tell you all”). Melville had not been a coxswain, as far as we know, had he? So he claims to Bentley to have been a harpooneer! Melville may have stridden (strode?) off a gangplank or walked slowly off one or he may have left the United States by a rope ladder for all we know. He never wrote in a garret (can you imagine the problem of lighting one?). This is cheap fiction.
            Wineapple says that when Duyckinck went home to New York City “he carried the first installment of Melville’s review of Mosses from an Old Manse” (224). No, he carried the whole review. (I comment elsewhere about her saying “it’s not clear when Melville began the review.” Any critic and certainly any biographer has an obligation not to publish without acknowledging the best recent research.) Wineapple has Melville (or his Virginian) reading Hawthorne “while lying on the new-mown clover near the barn” (224). Melville puts himself inside the barn, “the hill-side breeze blowing over me through the wide barn door”—another of her pervasive failures to visualize. Think about going through document after document without visualizing the contexts in which they were created! Think about writing a biography for Knopf in which you do not visualize the characters in scene after scene! There are other errors in this passage, delivered in lurid, irrational prose such as this: “Melville pictured Hawthorne as a mate bobbling like him on the troubled seas of publishing, recognition, and posterity” (225). The speculation that Melville “likely” burned Hawthorne’s letters “at Hawthorne’s behest” is absurd (228). All these errors and vulgarities, and more, are in a twenty-first-century biography. Others of Wineapple’s errors, including the worst, perhaps the grossest, most ignorant error made about Melville in any biography, her desecration of Melville’s reference to the Lamb of God, I merely mention here but have more to say later: when Melville says that after writing a wicked book, Moby-Dick, he feels as spotless as the lamb, she prints the wrong article (“a” lamb), as if Melville had in mind a spiffy-clean Berkshire County South Down or Romney Marsh ruminant (243).