Typee A Peep at Polynesian Life

ISBN-10: 0810120526
ISBN-13: 9780810120525
Edition: 2003
List price: $17.95
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Description: Almost from the time of its publication in 1846, Melville's first book, based on his own travels in the South Seas, has been recognized as a classic in the literature of travel and adventure. Although initially rejected as too fantastic to be true,  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Publication date: 11/26/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 288
Size: 6.00" wide x 8.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Almost from the time of its publication in 1846, Melville's first book, based on his own travels in the South Seas, has been recognized as a classic in the literature of travel and adventure. Although initially rejected as too fantastic to be true, Typee was immensely popular and regarded in Melville's lifetime as his best work. It established his reputation as the literary discoverer of the South Seas and inspired the likes of Jack London and Robert Louis Stevenson. Two common sailors jump ship and are held in benign captivity by Polynesian natives. Through the narrator's eyes we see a literate (if romanticized) portrait of the people and their culture presented in vivid, even scientific, detail. Melville's racy style and irreverence toward Christian missionaries caused a scandal, and critics denounced the narrator's suggestion that the native life might be superior to that of modern civilization. An adventure story above all, albeit one with a philosophical bent, Typee is a combination of elements that even early in Melville's career hinted at the towering ambition he would fulfill with Moby-Dick.

Melville was born into a seemingly secure, prosperous world, a descendant of prominent Dutch and English families long established in New York State. That security vanished when first, the family business failed, and then, two years later, in young Melville's thirteenth year, his father died. Without enough money to gain the formal education that professions required, Melville was thrown on his own resources and in 1841 sailed off on a whaling ship bound for the South Seas. His experiences at sea during the next four years were to form in part the basis of his best fiction. Melville's first two books, Typee (1846) and Omoo (1847), were partly romance and partly autobiographical travel books set in the South Seas. Both were popular successes, particularly Typee, which included a stay among cannibals and a romance with a South Sea maiden. During the next several years, Melville published three more romances that drew upon his experiences at sea: Redburn (1849) and White-Jacket (1850), both fairly realistic accounts of the sailor's life and depicting the loss of innocence of central characters; and Mardi (1849), which, like the other two books, began as a romance of adventure but turned into an allegorical critique of contemporary American civilization. Moby Dick (1851) also began as an adventure story, based on Melville's experiences aboard the whaling ship. However, in the writing of it inspired in part by conversations with his friend and neighbor Hawthorne and partly by his own irrepressible imagination and reading of Shakespeare and other Renaissance dramatists Melville turned the book into something so strange that, when it appeared in print, many of his readers and critics were dumbfounded, even outraged. Their misgivings were in no way resolved by the publication in 1852 of his next novel, Pierre; or, the Ambiguities Pierre; or, the Ambiguities, a deeply personal, desperately pessimistic work that tells of the moral ruination of an innocent young man. By the mid-1850s, Melville's literary reputation was all but destroyed, and he was obliged to live the rest of his life taking whatever jobs he could find and borrowing money from relatives, who fortunately were always in a position to help him. He continued to write, however, and published some marvelous short fiction pieces Benito Cereno" (1855) and "Bartleby, the Scrivener" (1853) are the best. He also published several volumes of poetry, the most important of which was Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), poems of occasionally great power that were written in response to the moral challenge of the Civil War. His posthumously published work, Billy Budd (1924), on which he worked up until the time of his death, is Melville's last significant literary work, a brilliant short novel that movingly describes a young sailor's imprisonment and death. Melville's reputation, however, rests most solidly on his great epic romance, Moby Dick. It is a difficult as well as a brilliant book, and many critics have offered interpretations of its complicated ambiguous symbolism. Darrel Abel briefly summed up Moby Dick as "the story of an attempt to search the unsearchable ways of God," although the book has historical, political, and moral implications as well.

Preface
The Sea
Longings for Shore
A Land-sick Ship
Destination of the Voyagers
The Marquesas
Adventure of a Missionary's Wife among the Savages
Characteristic Anecdote of the Queen of Nukuheva
Passage from the Cruising Ground to the Marquesas
Sleepy times aboard Ship
South Sea Scenery
Land ho!
The French Squadron discovered at Anchor in the Bay of Nukuheva
Strange Pilot
Escort of Canoes
A Flotilla of Cocoa-nuts
Swimming Visitors
The Dolly boarded by them
State of affairs that ensue
Some Account of the late operations of the French at the Marquesas
Prudent Conduct of the Admiral
Sensation produced by the Arrival of the Strangers
The first Horse seen by the Islanders
Reflections
Miserable Subterfuge of the French
Digression concerning Tahiti
Seizure of the Island by the Admiral
Spirited Conduct of an English Lady
State of Affairs aboard the Ship
Contents of her Larder
Length of South Seamen's Voyages
Account of a Flying Whaleman
Determination to Leave the Vessel
The Bay of Nukuheva
The Typees
Invasion of their Valley by Porter
Reflections
Glen of Tior
Interview between the old King and the French Admiral
Thoughts previous to attempting an Escape
Toby, a Fellow Sailor, agrees to share the Adventure
Last Night aboard the Ship
A Specimen of Nautical Oratory
Criticisms of the Sailors
The Starboard Watch are given a Holiday
The Escape to the Mountains
The other side of the Mountain
Disappointment
Inventory of Articles brought from the Ship
Division of the Stock of Bread
Appearance of the Interior of the Island
A Discovery
A Ravine and Waterfalls
A sleepless Night
Further Discoveries
My Illness
A Marquesan Landscape
The Important Question, Typee or Happar?
A Wild-Goose Chace
My Sufferings
Disheartening Situation
A Night in a Ravine
Morning Meal
Happy Idea of Toby
Journey towards the Valley
Perilous Passage of the Ravine
Descent into the Valley
The Head of the Valley
Cautious Advance
A Path
Fruit
Discovery of Two of the Natives
Their singular Conduct
Approach towards the inhabited parts of the Vale
Sensation produced by our Appearance
Reception at the House of one of the Natives
Midnight Reflections
Morning Visitors
A Warrior in Costume
A Savage AEsculapius
Practice of the Healing Art
Body Servant
A Dwelling-house of the Valley described
Portraits of its Inmates
Officiousness of Kory-Kory
His Devotion
A Bath in the Stream
Want of Refinement of the Typee Damsels
Stroll with Mehevi
A Typee Highway
The Taboo Groves
The Hoolah-Hoolah Ground
The Ti
Time-worn Savages
Hospitality of Mehevi
Midnight Misgivings
Adventure in the Dark
Distinguished Honors paid to the Visitors
Strange Procession and Return to the House of Marheyo
Attempt to procure Relief from Nukuheva
Perilous Adventure of Toby in the Happar Mountain
Eloquence of Kory-Kory
A great Event happens in the Valley
The Island Telegraph
Something befalls Toby
Fayaway displays a tender Heart
Melancholy Reflections
Mysterious Conduct of the Islanders
Devotion of Kory-Kory
A rural Couch
A Luxury
Kory-Kory strikes a Light a la Typee
Kindness of Marheyo and the rest of the Islanders
A full Description of the Bread-fruit Tree
Different Modes of preparing the Fruit
Melancholy condition
Occurrence at the Ti
Anecdote of Marheyo
Shaving the Head of a Warrior
Improvement in Health and Spirits
Felicity of the Typees
Their enjoyments compared with those of more enlightened Communities
Comparative Wickedness of civilized and unenlightened People
A Skirmish in the Mountain with the Warriors of Happar
Swimming in company with the Girls of the Valley
A Canoe
Effects of the Taboo
A pleasure Excursion on the Pond
Beautiful freak of Fayaway
Mantua-making
A Stranger arrives in the Valley
His mysterious conduct
Native Oratory
The Interview
Its Results
Departure of the Stranger
Reflections after Marnoo's Departure
Battle of the Pop-guns
Strange conceit of Marheyo
Process of making Tappa
History of a day as usually spent in the Typee Valley
Dances of the Marquesan Girls
The Spring of Arva Wai
Remarkable Monumental Remains
Some ideas with regard to the History of the Pi-Pis found in the Valley
Preparations for a Grand Festival in the Valley
Strange doings in the Taboo Groves
Monument of Calabashes
Gala costume of the Typee damsels
Departure for the Festival
The Feast of Calabashes
Ideas suggested by the Feast of Calabashes
Inaccuracy of certain published Accounts of the Islands
A Reason
Neglected State of Heathenism in the Valley
Effigy of a dead Warrior
A singular Superstition
The Priest Kolory and the God Moa Artua
Amazing Religious Observance
A dilapidated Shrine
Kory-Kory and the Idol
An Inference
General Information gathered at the Festival
Personal Beauty of the Typees
Their Superiority over the Inhabitants of the other Islands
Diversity of Complexion
A Vegetable Cosmetic and Ointment
Testimony of Voyagers to the uncommon Beauty of the Marquesans
Few Evidences of Intercourse with Civilized Beings
Dilapidated Musket
Primitive Simplicity of Government
Regal Dignity of Mehevi
King Mehevi
Allusion to his Hawiian Majesty
Conduct of Marheyo and Mehevi in certain delicate matters
Peculiar system of Marriage
Number of Population
Uniformity
Embalming
Places of Sepulture
Funeral obsequies at Nukuheva
Number of Inhabitants in Typee
Location of the Dwellings
Happiness enjoyed in the Valley
A Warning
Some ideas with regard to the Civilization of the Islands
Reference to the Present state of the Hawiians
Story of a Missionary's Wife
Fashionable Equipages at Oahu
Reflections
The Social Condition and General Character of the Typees
Fishing Parties
Mode of distributing the Fish
Midnight Banquet
Timekeeping Tapers
Unceremonious style of eating the Fish
Natural History of the Valley
Golden Lizards
Tameness of the Birds
Mosquitos
Flies
Dogs
A solitary Cat
The Climate
The Cocoa-nut Tree
Singular modes of climbing it
An agile young Chief
Fearlessness of the Children
Too-Too and the Cocoa-nut Tree
The Birds of the Valley
A Professor of the Fine Arts
His Persecutions
Something about Tattooing and Tabooing
Two Anecdotes in illustration of the latter
A few thoughts on the Typee Dialect
Strange custom of the Islanders
Their Chanting, and the peculiarity of their Voice
Rapture of the King at first hearing a Song
A new Dignity conferred on the Author
Musical Instruments in the Valley
Admiration of the Savages at beholding a Pugilistic Performance
Swimming Infant
Beautiful Tresses of the Girls
Ointment for the Hair
Apprehensions of Evil
Frightful Discovery
Some remarks on Cannibalism
Second Battle with the Happars
Savage Spectacle
Mysterious Feast
Subsequent Disclosures
The Stranger again arrives in the Valley
Singular Interview with him
Attempt to Escape
Failure
Melancholy Situation
Sympathy of Marheyo
The Escape
Provisional cession to Lord George Paulet of the Sandwich Islands
Sequel: The Story of Toby

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