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moby-dick1.slides - Hermann Melville Moby-Dick Introduction...

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Hermann Melville, Moby-Dick Introduction to American Literature I November 2, 2011 Professor Iannini Rutgers University
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Quiz : (answer any 3) 1.What is the first sentence of Moby-Dick? (from the chapter called “Loomings”) 2.What is the name of the owner of the Spouter Inn? 3.What is the subject of the painting in the entrance to the Spouter Inn? 4.What is the name of Ishmael’s bedmate at the Spouter Inn? Describe him. 5.What is unusual about Father Mapple’s pulpit? What is the subject of his sermon? 6.How are the crew members of whaling ships paid? (i.e. what is a “lay”)
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Hermann Melville
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Allan Melvill
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Now, I do not say that Nathaniel of Salem is a greater than William of Avon, or as great. But the difference between the two men is by no means immeasurable. Not a very great deal more, and Nathaniel were verily William. This, too, I mean, that if Shakespeare has not been equalled, he is sure to be surpassed, and surpassed by an American born now or yet to be born. For it will never do for us who in most other things out-do as well as out-brag the world, it will not do for us to fold our hands and say, In the highest department advance there is none. Nor will it at all do to say, that the world is getting grey and grizzled now, and has lost that fresh charm which she wore of old, and by virtue of which the great poets of past times made themselves what we esteem them to be. Not so. The world is as young today, as when it was created; and this Vermont morning dew is as wet to my feet, as Eden's dew to Adam's. --Hermann Melville, “Hawthorne and his Mosses” (1850)
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LITERARY NATIONALISM
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Our age is retrospective. It builds the sepulchres of the fathers. It writes biographies, histories, and criticism. The foregoing generations beheld God and nature face to face; we, through their eyes. Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe? Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of tradition, and a religion by revelation to us, and not the history of theirs . . . The sun shines to-day also. There is more wool and flax in the fields. --Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature (1836) (Norton, 1110)
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KEEP TRACK OF THE TENSION BETWEEN THE NATIONALIST AMBITIONS OF THE NOVEL (IT’S DESIRE TO BE A “GREAT AMERICAN BOOK”) AND ITS GLOBAL ITINERARY AND CAST OF CHARACTERS
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“Call me Ishmael”
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Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the
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