Call Me Ishmael

ISBN-10: 0801857317
ISBN-13: 9780801857317
Edition: 1997
List price: $27.00 Buy it from $23.45
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Description: First published in 1947, this acknowledged classic of American literary criticism explores the influences -- especially Shakespearean ones -- on Melville's writing of Moby-Dick. One of the first Melvilleans to advance what has since become known as  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 10/30/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 164
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

First published in 1947, this acknowledged classic of American literary criticism explores the influences -- especially Shakespearean ones -- on Melville's writing of Moby-Dick. One of the first Melvilleans to advance what has since become known as the "theory of the two Moby-Dicks," Olson argues that there were two versions of Moby-Dick, and that Melville's reading King Lear for the first time in between the first and second versions of the book had a profound impact on his conception of the saga: "the first book did not contain Ahab," writes Olson, and "it may not, except incidentally, have contained Moby-Dick." If literary critics and reviewers at the time responded with varying degrees of skepticism to the "theory of the two Moby-Dicks," it was the experimental style and organization of the book that generated the most controversy.

The "elder statesman" of the Black Mountain school of poets, Charles Olson directly affected the work of fellow teachers Robert Duncan and Robert Creeley, as well as students including John Wieners, Jonathan Williams, Joel Oppenheimer, and Edward Dorn. In his Selected Writings (1967), Olson emphasizes "how to restore man to his "dynamic.' There is too much concern, he feels, with end and not enough with instant. It is not things that are important, but what happens between them. . . . He thinks of poetry as transfers of energy and he reminds us that dance is kinesis, not mimesis" (N.Y. Times). Human Universe and Other Essays is a collection of interesting pieces on subjects ranging from Homer to Yeats. Proprioception is one of Olson's seminal essays on verse and the poet's awareness. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Olson attended Wesleyan, Harvard, and Yale Universities. He taught at Harvard University and Clark and Black Mountain colleges. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and a grant from the Wenner-Gren Foundation to study Mayan hieroglyphs in the Yucatan. His involvement with early Indian societies stimulated his interest in mysticism and the drug culture.

Prologue
Fact
Call me Ishmael
What Lies Under
Usufruct
Source: Shakespeare
The Discovery of Moby-Dick
American Shiloh
Man, to Man
King Lear
A Moby-Dick Manuscript
Captain Ahab and His Fool
The Act
Dromenon
The Book of the Law of the Blood
Loss: Christ
A Last Fact
The Conclusion: Pacific Man
Afterword: On Olson and Melville

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