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summary
Although Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson differed dramatically in terms of their lives and writing careers, they shared not only a distaste for writing “for the street” (mass readership) but a preference for the intimate writer–reader relationship created by private publication, especially in the form of manuscripts. In Writing for the Street, Writing in the Garret: Melville, Dickinson, and Private Publication, Michael Kearns shows that this distaste and preference were influenced by American copyright law, by a growing tendency in America to treat not only publications but their authors as commodities, and by the romantic stereotype of the artist (usually suffering in a garret) living only for her or his own work. For both Melville and Dickinson, private publication could generate the prestige accorded to authors while preserving ownership of both works and self. That they desired such prestige Kearns demonstrates by a close reading of biographical details, publication histories, and specific comments on authorship and fame. This information also reveals that Melville and Dickinson regarded their manuscripts as physical extensions of themselves while creating personae to protect the privacy of those selves. Much modern discourse about both writers has accepted as biographical fact certain elements of those personae, especially that they were misunderstood artists metaphorically confined to garrets.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-5
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-9
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. 1. Marketing by Mug
  2. pp. 1-27
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  1. 2. “The Endless Riband of Foolscap” and Publishing by Manuscript
  2. pp. 28-63
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  1. 3. “Firmament” or “Fin”: Copyright, Authority, and Ownership
  2. pp. 64-83
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  1. 4. “The brain is just the weight of God”: Hand, Mind, and Manuscript
  2. pp. 84-119
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  1. 5. Not “Convenient to Carry in the Hand”: Commercializing Melville and Dickinson in the Twentieth Century
  2. pp. 120-146
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 147-154
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 155-164
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 165-171
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  1. Back Cover
  2. pp. 185-185
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814271025
Related ISBN
9780814211403
MARC Record
OCLC
868220295
Pages
171
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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