John Marr and other sailors, with some sea-pieces

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Kent State University Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 235 pages
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Late in his life, Herman Melville published a volume of poetry called John Marr and Other Sailors. He produced the collection at his expense, and therefore only about 25 copies were printed. Existing copies can be found in libraries, but scholars have, for the most part, not seen them. John Marr and Other Sailors is a complete facsimile reprint of the original edition as Melville published it that also offers additional materials that allow readers to study the book as Melville conceived it. Robillard provides excerpts from the author's manuscript, printer's copy with corrections, the galley proofs with Melville's instructions about the structure of the book, and the page proofs, thereby offering a complete record of one of his books from manuscript to print. Many scholars have been dismissive of Melville's poetry and his writing during the last years of his life. But Melville was a hard-working, professional writer during his later years, writing new poems and changing and correcting older poems. As evident in this edition, he was distilling the hard-earned knowledge of many years and the poetic skills he had been perfecting. For this reason, John Marr is as important as any of his prose fictions. Melville scholars and textual editors will appreciate this addition to the study of this great American literary figure and his work.

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Review: John Marr And Other Sailors, With Some Sea Pieces

User Review  - Kit - Goodreads

I really liked the prose preface to "John Marr" & that's about it. Read full review


John Mark 11
Tom Deadlight
Jack Roy 59

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About the author (2006)

Herman Melville was born in 1819 in New York City. After his father's death he left school for a series of clerical jobs before going to sea as a young man of nineteen. At twenty-one he shipped aboard the whaler "Acushnet" and began a series of adventures in the South Seas that would last for three years and form the basis for his first two novels, "Typee" and "Omoo." Although these two novels sold well and gained for Melville a measure of fame, nineteenth-century readers were puzzled by the experiments with form that he began with his third novel, "Mardi, " and continued brilliantly in his masterpiece, "Moby-Dick." During his later years spent working as a customs inspector on the New York docks, Melville published only poems, compiled in a collection entitled "Battle-Pieces, " and died in 1891 with "Billy Budd, Sailor, " now considered a classic, still unpublished.

DOUGLAS ROBILLARD JR. is Professor of English at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff. He specializes in modern literature but as a generalist he has diverse teaching and research interests.

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