Wednesday, February 15, 2006


The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article about the digital recovery of Melville's Marginalia. Mr. HM is a hero to those of us here at the Tropic of Food, so this is very exciting. (via Backwards City Review).

In Melville: His World and Work (Knopf, 2005), Andrew Delbanco, humanities professor and director of American studies at Columbia University, observes that "detailed reconstruction of Melville's revisions of Moby-Dick is impossible since no manuscript or notes survive." But that assessment turns out to be an overly bleak one. No, Mr. Olsen-Smith doesn't have a long-lost draft of Moby-Dick up his sleeve. But he has recovered the next best thing — the notes Melville made in his copy of a critical source for Moby-Dick: Thomas Beale's 1839 book, The Natural History of the Sperm Whale.

Check it out!

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