In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

From the Mast-Head eviathan breaches again, this time in different waters. Our inaugural issue (March, 1999)provided a diversity of critical approaches, treating Lmatters both large and small. In general, the focus was on new views of major texts such as David Mitchell’s disability analysis of Moby-Dick and Robert S. Levine’s study of race in Pierre. In a scholarly vein, Steven OlsenSmiths recovery of the title of Melville’slecture on “Travel”reminds us of how fruitful continued research in Melville’s life can be and that much historical spadework remains to be done. Wyn Kelley’s study of artist William Kienbuschs devotion to and abstractions of Melville in his painting Ahab carries on an important field of Melville study that demonstrates the degree to which Melville and his work has influenced modernism and the fine arts. Her essay also gave color (literally) to our pages. On a smaller but no less significant scale, three notes byJonathan Cook,James Duban, andJohn Wenke gave a firm foundation for “Melville’sHand,” a recurring department in these pages focusing specifically on Melville’s creative process. With the reprint of Frederick and Joyce Kennedy’s essay on Samuel Savage’s connection to the Melville family,we initiated another department, “TheBest of Extracts,”which updates substantial historical and biographical materials published in past decades in the pages of our newsletter, Melville Society Extracts. (This department will appear on an annual basis.) In the second issue of our inaugural year, we offer a different but equally diverse assortment of essays and notes. Leading off is Frederick Kennedy and Joyce Kennedy’s absorbing tale of Dalhousie University English professor Archibald MacMechan’scrucial role in the Melville Revival. Ignored and virtually forgotten throughout the last three decades of his life, Melvillebegan slowly to reclaim a reputation just before his death in 1891.I use the indefinite article , a reputation, to stress the fact that the literary figure he was beginning to become in 1890, or was about to become posthumously in the revival of the 1920s,was quite different from the man hailed in the streets as Typee in the 1840s. “Our”Melville of the twentieth century is a modern figure -liberal, existential, experimental, cosmopolitan -and that reputation is a construct of turn-of-the-century academics and general readers such as MacMechan. If, as this century ends, we are to understand just exactly who or what the “revivedMelville”was, we need to know the interconnected lives of those who resurrected him. For most, MacMechan has always been an obscure Canadian professor,a Nova Scotian, for that matter, and thus remote even for Canadians; his was a name tucked in the nether-reaches of scholarship. As the Kennedys’ 2 L E V I A T H A N F R O M T H E M A S T - H E A D essay reveals, this Hopkins-educated intellectual rubbed shoulders with scholars in Boston and New York, and for decades infected students and colleagues with his love for “The Best Sea Story Ever Written.” Perhaps the hidden organizing principle for the October 1999 number of Leviathan is internationalism. To the Canadian MacMechan we add the Russian Mikhail Bakhtin, whose dialogic approach to texts continues to be one of the most fruitful literary theories to cross the Atlantic in recent decades. Thus, in this more theoretical vein, Steven Frye offers a Bakhtinian view of The Piazza Tales, showing how the dialogical collection of stories is an extension of the culture’s Romantic discourse. And from Russia, we move to Italy, or rather, Naples in the time of the rapacious tyrant King Ferdinand, known as Bomba. In his essay on Melville’s Neapolitan poems (“Bomba,” “Hostelry,” “Pausilippo”),Stanton Garner connects Melville’searliest rages against tyranny to his last, Silly Budd, to argue for Melville’s continued, not abated, antiauthoritarianism . Robert Milder’scontribution to “Melville’sHand takes us to the Holy Land to confront the question of whether Melvilleintended to use the word “dearth”or “death” in Clarel. Finally, Lyon Evans and David Leverenz provide lively reviews of two important collections of essays on Melville, Bryant and Milder’s Evermoving Dawn and Levine’s Cambridge Companion to...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1750-1849
Print ISSN
1525-6995
Pages
pp. 2-3
Launched on MUSE
2013-05-29
Open Access
No
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