The New Cambridge Companion to Herman Melville provides timely, critical essays on Melville's classic works. The essays have been specially commissioned for this volume and provide a complete overview of Melville's career. Melville's major novels are discussed, along with a range of his short fiction and poetry, including neglected works ripe for rediscovery. The volume includes essays on such new topics as Melville and oceanic studies, Melville and animal studies, and Melville and the planetary, along with a number of essays that focus on form and aesthetics. Written at a level both challenging and accessible, this New Companion brings together a team of leading international scholars to offer students of American literature the most comprehensive introduction available to Melville's art.
Herman Melville is hailed as one of the greats—if not the greatest—of American literature. Born in New York in 1819, he first achieved recognition for his daring stylistic innovations, but it was Moby-Dick that would win him global fame. In this new critical biography, Kevin J. Hayes surveys Melville’s major works and sheds new light on the writer’s unpredictable professional and personal life. Hayes opens the book with an exploration of the revival of interest in Melville’s work thirty years after his death, which coincided with the aftermath of World War I and the rise of modernism. He goes on to examine the composition and reception of Melville’s works, including his first two books, Typee and Omoo, and the novels, short fiction, and poetry he wrote during the forty years after the publication of Moby-Dick. Incorporating a wealth of new information about Melville’s life and the times in which he lived, the book is a concise and engaging introduction to the life of a celebrated but often misunderstood writer.