The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

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.) 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks! And it's an inside history of Melville biography from Weaver on (not including J. E. A. Smith's effort). And, really, it is, especially in the notes, a book about theory and practice of biography. It's all I knew and then some. Rollyson said it's angry. Well, yes, but the New Yorker blog said it was "written with a rare combination of humor and passion." That's just what I would have said, but then all old men think they are funny. Call it a Christmas fruitcake topped with thick white brandied icing. Thanks again! and Amazon could get it out by Christmas Eve.