Hunting Captain Ahab: Psychological Warfare and the Melville Revival
In this interdisciplinary study of the development of institutional censorship, Clare Spark explores the complexities of 20th-century American cultural politics through the protagonists of the Melville Revival. She investigates closely the history of theRevival and its key critics, who manipulated Melville's life and writings in the service of their own particular social and political agendas. Spark's assertions are based on her exploration of either newly opened or previously unexplored archival materials of leading Melville scholars -- Raymond Weaver, Charles Olson, Henry A. Murray, and Jay Leyda. In addressing the distinction between what she calls the radical and conservative Enlightenment -- the conservative masquerading as progressive its attempt to reconcile scientific truth and social order -- Spark makes her way through Melville's often confusing and contradictory texts and examines the disputes within Melville scholarship, which often center on the mesmerizing figure of Ahab as either a democratic hero or a totalitarian dictator, corresponding to the rival epistemologies of modern society.
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Hunting Captain Ahab: psychological warfare and the Melville revivalUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Based on Spark's 1993 dissertation, The Melville Revival, 1919-1953 (UCLA), this complex work threads together two areas of study. Spark incorporates a significant amount of research to establish both ... Read full review
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