Herman Melville (1819-1891)
A selective list of online literary criticism for the nineteenth-century American novelist and story writer Herman Melville, favoring signed articles and peer-reviewed sources
Introduction & Biography
"Herman Melville." A short biographical introduction to Melville, with text for some of his poems and a list of his works. Also "Walking Tour: Herman Melville’s Downtown New York City", on locations in Manhattan associated with Melville. Academy of American Poets.
"Herman Melville." A short biography of Melville, by Prof. John Clendenning, at PBS.
"A 'Poetry-Fueled War': During the Civil War, poetry didn't just respond to events, it shaped them." About scholar Faith Barrett's study of the civil war poetry of Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Melville's postwar collection, Battle-Pieces. From The Poetry Foundation.
"Moby Dick." On Melville's voyage from New Bedford, Nantucket, whaling and the whaleship Essex. From PBS.
"Arrowhead, the Home of Herman Melville," in the Berkshire mountains in Massachusetts
Kring, Walter D; and Jonathan S. Carey. "Two Discoveries Concerning Herman Melville" (Unitarian religion and possible spouse abuse). Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society 87 (1975) pp 137-41 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].
Larrabee, Harold A. "Herman Melville's Early Years in Albany." New York History 15, 2 (April 1934) pp 144-59 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].
Renker, Elizabeth. "Herman Melville, Wife Beating, and the Written Page." On the evidence (see Kring, above) that Melville physically beat his wife, Elizabeth Shaw Melville. American Literature 66, 1 (March 1994) [preview or purchase, jstor].
Lee, A Robert. "Herman Melville." A substantial introduction to Melville, from Literary Encyclopedia, 2003 [subscription service].
Armstrong, Philip. "'Leviathan is a Skein of Networks': Translations of Nature and Culture in Moby-Dick." ELH 71, 4 (Winter 2004) pp 1039-63 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].
Baum, Nina. "Melville's Quarrel with Fiction." Writes Baum, "I think it can be shown that none of Melville's longer works are wholly or even mainly fictive, except in that broadest sense in which everything formulated into words is a fiction." PMLA 34 (1979), rev. [free].
Bernard, Fred V. "The Question of Race in Moby-Dick." The Massachusetts Review 43, 3 (Autumn 2002) pp 384-404 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].
Foley, Barbara. "From Wall Street to Astor Place: Historicizing Melville's 'Bartleby.'" Orig. pub. in American Literature 72 (2000) pp 87-116 [free].
Goldner, Ellen J. "Other Ghosts: Gothicism and the Bonds of Reason in Melville, Chesnutt, and Morrison" (and Charles Chesnutt, Toni Morrison). MELUS 24, 1 (Spring 1999) pp 59-83 [preview or purchase at jstor].
Haydock, John. "Melville and Balzac: the man in cream-colors." Haydock hypothesizes that Melville's portrayal of the man in cream colors in The Confidence-Man was indebted to Balzac's similar character in "Jesus-Christ in Flanders." College Literature 35, 1 (Winter 2008) pp 58-81 [preview or purchase at jstor].
Hoeveler, Diane Long. "Beatrice Cenci in Hawthorne, Melville and her Atlantic-Rim Contexts." On the fascination with the "horrid" Beatrice Cenci story for American authors. Romanticism on the Net. 38-39 (May-August 2005) [free].
Lamb, Robert Paul. "Fast-fish and loose-fish: teaching Melville's Moby-Dick in the college classroom." College Literature 32, 1 (Winter 2005) 42-62 [preview or purchase, jstor].
Lock, Helen. "The Paradox of Slave Mutiny in Herman Melville, Charles Johnson, and Frederick Douglass." Lock suggests approaches to teaching Melville's "Benito Cereno," since its treatment of the slave rebellion is problematic for many students. College Literature (2003) [first half of article only, highbeam].
Olsen-Smith, Steven. "Herman Melville's Planned Work on Remorse." Nineteenth Century Literature 50, 4 (March 1996) pp 489-500 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].
Rosenberry, Edward H. "Moby-Dick: Epic Romance." College Literature 2, 3 (Fall 1975) pp 155-70 [preview or purchase, jstor].
Schultz, Elizabeth. "The Power of Blackness: Richard Wright Re-Writes Moby-Dick." On the influence of Melville's Moby-Dick on Richard Wright in his writing of Native Son. African American Review 33, 4 (Winter 1999) pp 639-54 [first page only, jstor].
Wallach, Rick. "Moby Bear: Thematic and Structural Concordances between William Faulkner's "The Bear" and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick." The Southern Literary Journal 30, 1 (Fall 1997) pp 43-54 [free at jstor, click "Preview" or "Read Online"].
The Melville Society. The web site provides information about its programs and events.
Bryant, John. "Typee: Fluid Text Edition." An edition approved by the MLA Committee on Scholarly Editions. Subscription required. U of Virginia.
1998-2013 by Jan Pridmore