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Pierre Or the Ambiguities Synopsis

'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

Book Information

ISBN: 9780140434842
Publication date: 30th May 1996
Author: Herman Melville, William C. Spengemann, William C. Spengemann
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 416 pages
Categories: Classic fiction (pre c 1945), Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

About Herman Melville, William C. Spengemann, William C. Spengemann

Herman Melville (1819-91) became in his late twenties a highly successful author of exotic novels based on his experiences as a sailor - writing in quick succession Typee, Omoo, Redburn and White-Jacket. However, his masterpiece Moby-Dick was met with incomprehension and the other later works which are now the basis of his reputation, such as Bartleby, the Scrivener and The Confidence-Man, were failures. Melville stopped writing fiction and the rest of his long life was spent first as a lecturer and then, for nineteen years, as a customs official in New York City. He was also the author of the ...

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