Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of Melville's the Confidence-Man

Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of Melville's the Confidence-Man

Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of Melville's the Confidence-Man

Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of Melville's the Confidence-Man

Synopsis

This valuable new addition to Melville studies offers a ground-breaking interpretation of Melville's last published novel, one of the most complex texts in American literature and a work that has long been noted for the divergent critical views it has elicited. Reading the novel as a generic hybrid of narrative satire and apolyptic vision, Cook situates the novel in its implicit theological, historical, and biographical contexts: he examines the novel's relation to Melville's heterodox ideas of the deity, to the increasingly commercialized cultural milieu of antebellum America, and to Melville's own life and literary career. Uncovering a wealth of new data on the novel's satirical applications, including its covert use of Melville's friends and family for character models, Cook offers a compelling reading of The Confidence-Man - one that is sure to influence our future conception of its creator.
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