Thursday, December 19, 2013
Gift idea! (even if it's for yourself)
|Released this year: Melville Biography,|
An Inside Narrative
For the Melvillian on your list is this unclassifiable tome by Hershel Parker: Melville Biography, An Inside Narrative.
"Unclassifiable" because it is part autobiography, part rebuttal of his critics, part explication of his approach to biography, part continuation of his monumental Melville biography.
More than that I hesitate to say—because I've only just started reading it, and because my ignorance in these matters is vast. For a real review, see this one by Carl Rollyson, himself an accomplished biographer. (You may need a Wall St. Journal account to load the review. I was able to view it once; no longer. If you have access to back issues, it's in the 3/29/2013 WSJ.) A slightly condensed version of Rollyson's review is here, about halfway down the page.
I can tell you that it is interesting reading. (Be sure to read the Notes in the back, too.)