ECU Libraries Catalog

A Political Companion to Herman Melville / edited by Jason Frank.

Other author/creatorFrank, Jason A., editor.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Lexington, Kentucky : University Press of Kentucky, [2013]
Description444 pages ; 24 cm.
Series Political companions to great American authors
Political companions to great American authors. ^A1063020
Contents Introduction: American tragedy: the political thought of Herman Melville / Jason Frank -- Who eats whom? Melville's anthropolitics at the dawn of Pacific imperialism / Kennan Ferguson -- "The end was in the beginning": Melville, Ellison, and the Democratic death of progress in Typee and Omoo / Sophia Mihic -- Chasing the whale: Moby-Dick as political theory / George Shulman -- Ahab, American / Susan McWilliams -- "Mighty lordships in the heart of the republic": the anti-rent subtext to Pierre / Roger W. Hecht -- Melville and the cadaverous triumphs of transcendentalism / Shannon L. Mariotti -- Language and labor, silence and stasis: Bartleby among the philosophers / Kevin Attell -- Melville's "permanent riotacracy" / Michael Jonik -- What Babo saw: Benito Cereno and "the world we live in" / Lawrie Balfour -- "Follow your leader": Benito Cereno and the case of two ships / Tracy B. Strong -- The metaphysics of Indian-hating revisited / Thomas Dumm -- Melville's war poetry and the human form / Roger Berkowitz -- The lyre of Orpheus: aesthetics and authority in Billy Budd / Jason Frank -- Melville's law / Jennifer L. Culbert.
Abstract Herman Melville is widely considered to be one of America's greatest authors, and countless literary theorists and critics have studied his life and work. However, political theorists have tended to avoid Melville, turning rather to such contemporaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau to understand the political thought of the American Renaissance. While Melville was not an activist in the traditional sense and his philosophy is notoriously difficult to categorize, his work is nevertheless deeply political in its own right. As editor Jason Frank notes in his introduction to A Political Companion to Herman Melville, Melville's writing "strikes a note of dissonance in the pre-established harmonies of the American political tradition." This unique volume explores Melville's politics by surveying the full range of his work -- from Typee (1846) to the posthumously published Billy Budd (1924). The contributors give historical context to Melville's writings and place him in conversation with political and theoretical debates, examining his relationship to transcendentalism and contemporary continental philosophy and addressing his work's relevance to topics such as nineteenth-century imperialism, twentieth-century legal theory, the anti-rent wars of the 1840s, and the civil rights movement. From these analyses emerges a new and challenging portrait of Melville as a political thinker of the first order, one that will establish his importance not only for nineteenth-century American political thought but also for political theory more broadly.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references (pages 415-421) and index.
LCCN 2013033109
ISBN9780813143873 (hardcover ; acid-free paper)
ISBN081314387X (hardcover ; acid-free paper)
ISBN9781306118163 (MyiLibrary)
ISBN1306118166 (MyiLibrary)

Available Items

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Joyner General Stacks PS2388 .P6 P65 2013 Item has been checked out - Due: 09/01/2020 Want This?

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