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F R O M T H E M A S T - H E A D unknowingly, perform. A good deal of teaching Melville, I have found, is contriving ways to help my students cope with the enormous, destabilizing growth suddenly required of them when they confront Melville’stext. I anticipate that my students, the best and the least motivated, will have breakdowns in their readings, moments in which they feel compelled to hurl their copy of Moby-Dick against the white wall at the foot of their dormitory bed. I anticipate this, and try to invent ways to get students past the frustration, and the exhaustion they rightly have over their frustration. In one exercise, I have them put their finger on the exact spot in the text in which they have had some kind of breakdown. And then I have them write about it: how their breakdown passage makes them feel, what it means, and why the passage doesn’t seem to mean a thing. With some degree of frequency, I am happy to report, this simple “write-out-your-frustration’’ exercise works, so that the writing process enables the student to articulate their anger, doubt, frustration about reading but in the process come closer to what the breakdown passage actual does mean, or might. Very like a whale, those breakdowns. What I have found so heartening and enlivening in the articles and notes collected in this Special Issue of Leviathan by guest editor Martin Bickman are the similar and many more ingenious techniques for dealing with the problem of reading Melville. I plan to steal them. I have also found that my fellow teachers -whether they are incorporating art works, E-mail, or the internet into their classes, whether they are teaching collegians at a state university, private institute of technology, or in China, or whether they focus on the poetry, one tale or another, or that most famous of phobic texts, Moby-Dick - these teachers are “aging me”; they make me grow. -John Bryant C O R R E C T I O N S In Leviathan 2.1 (March ZOOO), D. C. Riechel’s review of Karen Spranzel’s Der Grundgedanke Schopenhauevs bei Melville , which is correctly attributed on the title page and cover, was inadvertently attributed to David Leverenz on the table of contents page. We regret the error. ~ A J O U R N A L O F M E L V I L L ES T U D I E S 3 ...


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