Melville, Herman

  Poetry & Prose    Books / People

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer and poet. Among his best-known works are Moby-Dick (1851), Typee (1846) and Billy Budd (that was published posthumously, in 1924). It is of interest to note that his reputation was not high at the time of his death and only some thirty years later did Moby-Dick start to be seen as one of the great American novels.

|  1st August, 1819, New York City.
|  28th September, 1891, New York City.

Melville was not financially successful as a writer. His travelogues based on voyages to the South Seas and stories based on his time in the merchant marine and navy led to some initial success, but his popularity declined thereafter and by 1876, all of his books were out of print.

Herman Melville's signature
“To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell’s heart, I stab at thee; For hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”
–Herman Melville.

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

–Herman Melville.


Herman Melville, H. (1846). Typee. New York: Wiley and Putnam.

Herman Melville, H. (1847). Omoo. London: John Murray.

Herman Melville, H. (1849). Mardi. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Herman Melville, H. (1849). Redburn. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Herman Melville, H. (1850). White-Jacket. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Herman Melville, H. (1851). Moby-Dick. London: Richard Bentley.

Herman Melville, H. (1852). Pierre. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Herman Melville, H. (1855). Israel Potter. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Herman Melville, H. (1857). The Confidence-Man. New York: Dix, Edwards & Co.

Herman Melville, H. (1924). Billy Budd. London: Constable & Co.

Influences [1] // Critics note that Melville successfully imitates three Biblical strains: the apocalyptic, the prophetic and the sermonic narrative tone of writing. Melville sustains the apocalyptic tone of anxiety and foreboding for a whole chapter of Mardi (1849). The prophetic strain is expressed by Melville in various parts of the hugely influential 1851 Moby-Dick and, the tradition of the Psalms is imitated at length by Melville in The Confidence-Man (1857) — see, The King James Bible.
Influences [2] // Literary historians have said that in 1849, Melville acquired an edition of Shakespeare’s works which led to a deeper study of Shakespeare that greatly influenced the style of Moby-Dick. The critic F. O. Matthiessen found that the language of Shakespeare far surpasses other influences for this key of Melville’s works or fiction. Indeed, it is said that on almost every page, debts to Shakespeare can be discovered — see all Shakespeare’s sonnets.





I was dead, deader than dead because, I was still alive.
Ways of Escape ~  
“I was dead, deader than dead because, I was still alive.”
The Prophet is a book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the Lebanese-American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. The Prophet has been translated into over 100 different languages, making it one of the most translated books in history. Moreover, it has never been out of print.
The Prophet ~
“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”
The Essential Rumi, by Rumi ~ e.g. ~ “Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.”
The Essential Rumi ~  “Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Simone de Beauvoir (1908–1986) was a French writer, philosopher and political activist. She is known for her 1949 treatise The Second Sex, a detailed analysis of women's oppression and a foundational tract of contemporary feminism.
The Second Sex
Delta of Venus
Delta of Venus
A Room of one's own
A Room of One’s Own
War and Peace is the 1869 novel by Russian author Leo Tolstoy. It is regarded as a classic of world literature. (The novel chronicles the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families.) Tolstoy said War and Peace is "not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle." Tolstoy regarded Anna Karenina as his first true novel.
War and Peace
Brave New World (1932) is a dystopian novel by English author Aldous Huxley. Set in a futuristic World State, whose citizens are environmentally engineered into an intelligence-based social hierarchy, the novel anticipates huge scientific advancements in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation and classical conditioning that are combined to make a dystopian society which is challenged by only a single individual: the story's protagonist (one Bernard Marx). In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World at number five on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th c.
Brave New World
Beloved is a 1987 novel by the late American writer Toni Morrison. The novel won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988 and, in a survey of writers and literary critics compiled by The New York Times, it was ranked the best work of American fiction from 1981 to 2006. The work, set after the American Civil War of 1861 to 1865, was inspired by the life of Margaret Garner, an African American who escaped slavery by crossing the Ohio River to Ohio, a free state. Garner was subsequently captured and decided to kill her infant daughter rather than have her taken into slavery.
The Grapes of Wrath


The English language
“Elizabethan era” / “Love letters”
French in English / Latin in English
Anthology / Chronology / Terminology
Phrases & idioms (with their etymologies)
Literary criticism: analysing poetry & prose
Glossary of works, writers and literary devices:
📙 Books       📕 Poets       📗 Thinkers       📘 Writers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: