By Clare L. Spark
In addressing the distinction between what she calls the radical and conservative Enlightenment -- the conservative masquerading as progressive its attempt to reconcile scientific truth and social order -- Spark makes her way through Melville's often confusing and contradictory texts and examines the disputes within Melville scholarship, which often center on the mesmerizing figure of Ahab as either a democratic hero or a totalitarian dictator, corresponding to the rival epistemologies of modern society.
The manner in which Spark deals with these subjects may startle specialists in Melville and literary scholarship; at the same time this book is accessible to the general reader, to one who may have no prior knowledge of Melville, his life and works, or even an acquaintance with literary criticism.
- Kent, OH
- Criticism--United States--History--20th Century
- Politics and Literature--United States--History--20th Century
- Melville, Herman, 1819-1891--Criticism and Interpretation--History--20th Century
- United States--Intellectual Life--20th Century
- Ahab, Captain (Fictitious Character)
- American Fiction--19th Century--History and Criticism