Pierre: or, The Ambiguities
'Ambiguities indeed! One long brain-muddling, soul-bewildering ambiguity (to borrow Mr. Melville's style), like Melchisedeck, without beginning or end-a labyrinth without a clue - an Irish bog without so much as a Jack o'the'lantern to guide the wanderer's footsteps - the dream of a distempered stomach, disordered by a hasty supper on half-cooked pork chops." So judged the New York Herald when Pierre was first published in 1852, with most contemporary reviewers joining in the general condemnation: 'a dead failure,' 'this crazy rigmarole,' and "a literary mare's nest." Latter-day critics have recognized in the story of Melville's idealistic young hero a corrosive satire of the sentimental-Gothic novel, and a revolutionary foray into modernist literary techniques.
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
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The Journey and the Pamphlet
First Night of Their Arrival in the City
Young America in Literature
Pierre as a Juvenile Author Reconsidered
The Church of the Apostles
Pierre Immaturely Attempts a Mature Work Tidings from the Meadows Plinlimmon
Isabel and the First Part of the Story of Isabel
Intermediate between Pierres Two Interviews with Isabel at the Farmhouse
The Second Interview and the Second Part of the Story of Isabel Their Immediate Impulsive Effect upon Pierre
More Light and the Gloom of That Light More Gloom and the Light of That Gloom
The Unprecedented Final Resolution of Pierre
He Crosses the Rubicon
Isabel Mrs Glendinning the Portrait and Lucy
They Depart the Meadows
The FlowerCurtain Lifted from before a Tropical Author with Some Remarks on the Transcendental FleshBrush Philosophy
A Letter for Pierre Isabel Arrival of Lucys Easel and Trunks at the Apostles
Lucy at the Apostles
Lucy Isabel and Pierre Pierre at His Book Enceladus
A Walk a Foreign Portrait a Sail And the End
Other editions - View all
angel Apostles aunt beautiful beneath brother called Captain Kidd chamber Charlotte Temple conceit Confidence-Man cousin Ralph cried Pierre dark Delly door earth Enceladus entirely Ephesian matron eternally eyes face Falsgrave Fate father feel felt gazed gentleman girl glance Glen grand old Pierre Greek mythology grief guitar hand hath heard heart heaven heavenly Herman Melville hour human infinite Isabel knew lady letter light little Pierre look Lucy Tartan Lucy's manorial Melville Melville's Memnon Millthorpe mind Moby-Dick mood morning mother mystery mystical never night Omoo once painting Pantheism Pierre Glendinning Pierre's Plinlimmon Plotinus portrait possible present round Saddle Meadows secret seemed silent sister sort soul speak stand stood story strange suddenly sweet tell thee thing thou art thou hast thought truth turned Ulver White-Jacket wholly wonderful words write young youth