What is new, as we shall now observe, is the suggestion that Darkness at Noon and Koestler's autobiographies resonate with Ahabian dictatorship and with the example of a Melvillean
narrator inclined toward exegetical self-revival.
In sections on world-making, love stories, arts, and communities, they consider such topics as Gospel cetology, phenomenology beyond the phantom limb: Melvillean
figuration and chronic pain, a final appearance with Elihu Vedder: Melville's visions, Bartleby's screen, and desertscapes: geological politics in Clarell.
Hart Ely's evocative Melvillean
term, (144) attempting both to
Some of these responses are more understandable than others, but what such diversity suggests is that Avatar may be functioning like a sort of Melvillean
white whale, a blank surface on which each viewer inscribes his or her own interpretation, and which acts like a mirror that reflects back on individuals, telling us something about ourselves in what we each see in the movie.
The protagonist of the mythic journey undertaken by the title hero of the Melvillean
tale is an actualization of the figure of "the Mysterious Stranger" who disrupts the shallow world order of a narrator who is "characteristically conservative, sentimental, and limited in perception:" (...) the Mysterious Stranger [is] a construct that, in variation, emerges in the shape of Bartleby in Bartleby, the Scrivener and Benito Cereno in Benito Cereno (Cahir 58).
I then argue that in Go Down, Moses Faulkner stages Isaac's encounters with the sublime in distinctly Melvillean
terms in order to assess the ethical and ecological uses and limits of the sublime.
In other words, emulation is divine in Young's view because it is a way whereby a genius's fire, by a "noble contagion," brings out to light the genius in another, which lay dormant in what looks like Melvillean
deep shafts of the mine of the soul or the mind.
Queequeg) and "a withered vine a thousand years
In a Melvillean
mode, however, even the confession of the fear of revealing the personal conceals what/how that buried significance most fundamentally signifies.
The New Orleans Sketches includes a Whitmanesque (and Andersonian) (10) range of ethnically and racially marked first-person and third-person narrators living in the city, as well as one Conradian (and Melvillean
) tale of colonialists-at-sea gone murderous, "Yo Ho and Two Bottles of Rum." (11) Characters in New Orleans Sketches are marked by Faulkner as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, destitute, working class, middle class, wealthy, white, black, Italian, British, Welsh, and French.
Building on this important moment, Freedom might in the end be best read as a Melvillean
allegory of liberal despair.
The two novels have met with considerable praise; the London Times declared Robinson no less than "the world's best writer of prose." If that weren't enough, the enthusiastic reviewer went on to say, "I'm not saying that you're actually dead if you haven't read Marilynne Robinson, but I honestly couldn't say you're fully alive." Few reviewers would quibble with that assessment: Robinson's writing has been touted as "luminous," "lyrical," even "Melvillean
." "Robinson has few rivals at the sentence level," wrote one admiring critic.