Pierre; Or, The Ambiguities

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Harper & Brothers, 1852 - Ambiguity - 495 pages
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Review: Pierre: or, The Ambiguities

User Review  - Chris - Goodreads

Zany, ironic, filled with Melville making literary in jokes. Drags a bit in the middle after a creepily funny first few chapters. Read full review

Contents

I
1
II
26
III
56
IV
89
V
116
VI
147
VII
173
VIII
194
XIV
277
XV
294
XVI
312
XVII
333
XVIII
350
XIX
360
XX
374
XXI
384

IX
224
X
233
XI
249
XII
256
XIII
273
XXII
402
XXIII
418
XXIV
439
XXV
450
XXVI
475

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Page 466 - Say what some poets will, Nature is not so much her own ever-sweet interpreter, as the mere supplier of that cunning alphabet, whereby selecting and combining as he pleases, each man reads his own peculiar lesson according to his own peculiar mind and mood. Thus a high-aspiring, but most
Page 393 - Deep, deep, and still deep and deeper must we go, if we would find out the heart of a man ; descending into which is as descending a spiral stair in a shaft, without any end, and where that endlessness is only concealed by the spiralness of the stair, and the blackness of the shaft.
Page 388 - pains we mine into the pyramid; by horrible gropings we come to the central room ; with joy we espy the sarcophagus; but we lift the lid—and no body is there!—appallingly vacant as vast is the soul of a man!
Page 415 - Who shall tell all the thoughts and feelings of Pierre in that desolate and shivering room, when at last the idea obtruded, that the wiser and the profounder he should grow, the more and the more he lessened the chances for bread; that could he now hurl his deep book out of the window, and fall
Page 335 - the drawing-room into the general levee of letters ; he never permits himself to astonish; is never betrayed into any thing coarse or new ; as assured that whatever astonishes is vulgar, and whatever is new must be crude. Yes, it is the glory of this admirable young author, that vulgarity and vigor —two inseparable
Page 77 - to wed this heavenly fleece ? Methinks one husbandly embrace would break her airy zone, and she exhale upward to that heaven whence she hath hither come, condensed to mortal sight. It can not be; I am of heavy earth, and she of airy light. By heaven, but marriage is an impious thing!
Page 71 - burst of impatience against the sublime Italian, Dante, arising from that poet being the one who, in a former time, had first opened to his shuddering eyes the infinite cliffs and gulfs of human mystery and misery;—though still more in the way of experimental vision, than of sensational presentiment or experience
Page 270 - lower, lower; now all is done, and all is ashes! Henceforth, cast-out Pierre hath no paternity, and no past; and since the Future is one blank to all; therefore, twice-disinherited Pierre stands untrammeledly his ever-present self!—free to do his own self-will and present fancy to whatever end!
Page 463 - censures, equally unsought for, and equally loathed ere given. So, beforehand he felt the pyramidical scorn of the genuine loftiness for the whole infinite company of infinitesimal critics. His was the scorn which thinks it not worth the while to be scornful. Those he most scorned, never knew it. In that lonely little closet of his, Pierre
Page 488 - For ye two, my most undiluted prayer is now, that from your here unseen and frozen chairs ye may never stir alive;— the fool of Truth, the fool of Virtue, the fool of Fate, now quits ye forever

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