The Trying-Out of Moby-Dick

The Trying-Out of Moby-Dick

The Trying-Out of Moby-Dick

The Trying-Out of Moby-Dick

Excerpt

Practically all the footnotes in this volume are informational in intent, not referential. Since there was no acceptable scholarly edition of Moby-Dick available at the time that this book was written, and since the first American edition, from which I quote, is to be found in the major libraries only, referential footnotes for all quotations from Moby-Dick would have been of no real help. But since all chapter numbers have been indicated in the text -- at that point where the chapter is the main theme -- it is a comparatively simple matter to find the quotation from any unabridged edition of Moby-Dick, most of the chapters being extremely short. Furthermore, there is in preparation at the present moment an edition of Moby-Dick as part of the Collected Works of Herman Melville, and that volume will contain elaborate footnotes in which the original sources will be cited in extenso so that the scholar need not possess copies of Scoresby, Beale, Bennett, etc., to have the precise paginal information and citation. Reference notes for general quotations are not necessary since the quotations are either familiar (as those from Eliot and James) or the source of them is of secondary importance -- their meaning being what matters. The chapter on "The Cetological Center" considers succinctly the necessary bibliographical details concerning Melville's chief sources.

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