Abstract

Abstract:

Employing computer-assisted close-reading strategies, this essay explores the significance of Melville's markings in George Chapman's translations of the Iliad and Odyssey. Extending R. W. B. Lewis's insightful early work on Melville's hand in Chapman, the essay considers the marginalia within the context of a poet's deliberate and enthusiastic turn to verse. High-frequency terms such as "fate" reveal Melville's thematic and theological attentions to the relation between the pagan gods and humankind. Analysis suggests the importance of the markings to the study of Melville's life, and, in the context of Melville's emerging poetics, measures the meaning of his clear attention to Homer's similitudes. Sections of the essay argue that the Chapman markings help unfold both the genesis of the "The Maldive Shark" and the political aspect of Battle-Pieces. Aiming to locate areas where further computational scholarship is needed, the essay models ways a reader might extend the Chapman marginalia to significant markings in other volumes that Melville owned, especially his Shakespeare, Milton, and Schiller.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1750-1849
Print ISSN
1525-6995
Pages
pp. 17-36
Launched on MUSE
2018-06-23
Open Access
No
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