Unformatted text preview: Because the reading public refused his fiction, Melville began writing poems. The first collection, Battle Pieces (1866), delineates Melville's view of war, particularly the American Civil War. With these poems, he supported abolitionism, yet wished no vengeance on the South for the economic system it inherited. The second work, Clarel (1876), an 18,000-line narrative poem, evolved from the author's travels in Jerusalem and describes a young student's search for faith. A third, John Marr and Other Sailors (1888), followed by Timoleon (1891), were privately published, primarily at the expense of his uncle, Peter Gansevoort. Virtually ignored by the literary world of his day, Melville made peace with the creative forces that tormented him by writing his final work, Billy Budd, which records the ultimate confrontation between evil and innocence. It took shape slowly from 1888 to 1891, for Melville had ceased scrabbling for a evil and innocence....
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- Fall '08
- Melville, American Civil War., Melville read, U.S. brigofwar Somers