Call Me Ishmael

Call Me Ishmael

Call Me Ishmael

Call Me Ishmael

Excerpt

Melville prepared the way for Moby-Dick by ridiculing, in 1850, the idea that the literary genius in America would be, like Shakespeare, "a writer of dramas." This was his proposition:

great geniuses are parts of the times, they themselves are the times, and possess a corresponding colouring.

Melville raised his times up when he got them into Moby-Dick and they held firm in his schema:

e.g. his crew , a "people," Clootz and Tom Paine's people, all races and colors functioning together, a forecastle reality of Americans not yet a dream accomplished by the society . . .

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