Pierre, Or the Ambiguities: Kraken Edition, The

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Nov 16, 1995 - Fiction - 449 pages
4 Reviews
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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - GaryPatella - LibraryThing

Melville decided to write a parody on the literature of his day. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite work. Pierre, the protagonist, makes very ludicrous decisions and arrives at extremely ridiculous ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - libraryhermit - LibraryThing

Prose style like no other author (that I have heard of yet Of course, there are a host of nineteenth-century American authors whom I have not read yet, so I am certain that there would be some of them ... Read full review

Contents

BOO K
Introduction
i
BOOK V
v
The Presentiment and the verification
62
Intermediate between Pierres Two Interviews
183
BOOK IV
236
BOOK X
257
B OOK X The Unprecedented Final
263
BOO K X
292
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1995)

Herman Melville (1819-1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet who received wide acclaim for his earliest novels, such as Typee and Redburn, but fell into relative obscurity by the end of his life. Today, Melville is hailed as one of the definitive masters of world literature for novels including Moby Dick and Billy Budd, as well as for enduringly popular short stories such as Bartleby, the Scrivener and The Bell-Tower.

Hershel Parker is a co-editor of The Norton Anthology of American Literature, and of the Norton Critical Edition of Melville s The Confidence-Man and Moby Dick. He is co-editor of the multi-volume The Writings of Herman Melville (Northwestern-Newberry).

Maurice Sendak was born on June 10, 1928 in Brooklyn, New York. While in high school, he worked part time as an illustrator for All-American Comics adapting the Mutt and Jeff newspaper comic strip to a comic book format. His first professional illustrations were for a physics textbook, Atomics for the Millions, published in 1947. He later worked as a window-display director for F.A.O. Schwartz while attending night school at the Art Students League. In 1950, he illustrated his first children's book The Wonderful Farm by Marcel Aymé. He wrote his first children's book Kenny's Window in 1956 and went on to become a prolific author-illustrator. His works include Chicken Soup with Rice; In the Night Kitchen; Outside Over There; Higglety Pigglety Pop; The Sign on Rosie's Door; We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy; Brundibar; Bumble Ardy; and My Brother's Book. He received numerous awards including the Caldecott medal for Where The Wild Things Are in 1964, the Hans Christian Andersen International Medal in 1970, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, and the National Medal of Arts in 1996. Characters from two of his books were the basis of an animated television special, Really Rosie, which first aired in 1975. He was also the set designer and lyricist for a subsequent off-Broadway musical of the same title. He was the lyricist, as well as the set and costume designer, for the original production of an opera based on Where The Wild Things Are in 1980. In addition, he has designed sets and costumes for performances of operas by Mozart, Prokofiev, and other classical composers. He died due to complications from a recent stroke on May 8, 2012 at the age of 83.

Bibliographic information