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Pierre, or, The ambiguities

Author: Herman Melville; Maurice Sendak
Publisher: [New York] : HarperCollins, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Book : Fiction : English : The Kraken ed, 1st ed.View all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This Kraken Edition of Pierre, or The Ambiguities is a reconstruction of the text that Melville delivered to Harper & Brothers early in January 1852, just as some of the most devastating reviews of Moby-Dick were appearing. The Harper brothers apparently decided that Pierre was even more outrageous than Moby-Dick and tried to avoid publishing it by offering Melville less than half the royalties they had paid for his
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Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Domestic fiction
Autobiographical fiction
Fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Herman Melville; Maurice Sendak
ISBN: 0061180092 9780061180095
OCLC Number: 33815745
Description: xlvi, 449 p. : col. ill. ; 20 cm.
Other Titles: Pierre
Ambiguities
Responsibility: Herman Melville.
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Abstract:

This Kraken Edition of Pierre, or The Ambiguities is a reconstruction of the text that Melville delivered to Harper & Brothers early in January 1852, just as some of the most devastating reviews of Moby-Dick were appearing. The Harper brothers apparently decided that Pierre was even more outrageous than Moby-Dick and tried to avoid publishing it by offering Melville less than half the royalties they had paid for his previous books. Accepting the humiliating contract, Melville took a self-destructive revenge. After Book XVI, he interpolated a new section on "Young America in Literature," in which he arbitrarily announced that his hero, Pierre, had been a juvenile author. Melville proceeded to add an intrusive "Pierre as author" sub-plot, disparaging American literary life and the world of publishing, which he left unassimilated into the book he had first completed.

Melville scholar Hershel Parker has long believed that the psychological stature of Moby-Dick would best be understood in the light of the original, shorter version of Pierre, in his opinion "surely the finest psychological novel anyone had yet written in English." Moby-Dick and the reconstructed Pierre are at last revealed as complexly interlinked companion studies of the moods of thought - the Typee and Omoo of depth psychology. Furthermore, all Melville lovers will be challenged by Maurice Sendak's extraordinary pictures, which constitute a brilliantly provocative interpretation of Melville's study of moral and mental ambiguities.

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