Billy Budd and Other Tales

Billy Budd and Other Tales

eBook - 2009
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Featured in this volume are "Billy Budd", Melville's posthumously published novella, the story of the rivalry between a handsome sailor and his demonic captain; the tale of the apathetic "Bartleby, the Scrivener; " the riveting "Benito Cereno", the story of a slave ship mutiny written at the time of the Amistad case and "The Town-Ho's Story", a chapter from Melville's masterpiece, "Moby Dick".
Publisher: New York : Signet Classics, 2009.
ISBN: 9781101052464
Branch Call Number: eBook OverDrive
Alternative Title: Billy Budd


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there is also a chapter of his magnum opus, Moby Dick. a chapter, this chapter, might well be the best way to introduce oneself to this difficult piece of writing that diverges from the traditional way of writing narrative. the THE TOWN-HO is one with which I am quite unfamiliar, so I cannot reveal whether or not the story is the obvious one, from the name of the tale. 'Riveting' has been said of BENITO CERENO, and i could not agree more. BARTLEBY THE SCRIVENER has parallels to THE SECRET SHARER, by Joseph Conrad. Hey!, someone should write a paper to that effect! Melville was close buddies with Nathaniel Hawthorne, another difficult writer from that era. Not sure if Herman was aware of Poe's existence, though the reverse is likely to be true (Poe spent a good amount of his time as a critic , and an editor). Mentioning those three makes me realize how blessed this country was with virtuoso talent. I hasten to not neglect BILLY BUDD, the most obvious and easily understood of Melville's works contained in this edition. It chronicles a near-sado-masochistic relationship between a member of a ship's crew, and his captain. Some have found a hidden homosexual context for this; but i say that: though that 'community' contains S-M people that does not mean all S-M people, or characters, are per se, gay, or are in a work of art , as stand-ins for gay people. I focus instead on the incredible perseverance (not stubborness nor generosity) of Billy Budd, and of his courage. The early years of this country taught us about the need to have courage, and to stand tall for the eternal verities. This tale, as well as BENITO CERENO (though not as dramatically) teach us this lesson. See also LORD JIM, by Conrad, on this theme. thanks, mom xxxx


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