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Melville and Repose : The Rhetoric of Humor in the American Renaissance - John Bryant

Melville and Repose

The Rhetoric of Humor in the American Renaissance

Hardcover Published: 28th October 1993
ISBN: 9780195077827
Number Of Pages: 330

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John Bryant's book is a strong and significant argument for the centrality of the comic and repose in Melville's novels. The purpose of Melville and Repose is dual: to ground the uses of romantic humor in Melville in sensitive readings of contemporaneous European and American writings, and to offer a definitive account of the comic as the shaping force of Melville's narrative voice throughout the major phase of his literary career. Bryant argues that Melville fused a "rhetoric of geniality" and "picturesque sensibility" adopted from the British with a "rhetoric of deceit" borrowed from the American tall tale in order to create his own amiably cosmopolitan "rhetoric of aesthetic repose." Thorough research into American culture and recent Melville manuscript findings, an engaging style, and full, scholarly readings combine to make this historicist study a welcome addition to the libraries of Americanists and Melville scholars and enthusiasts.

"Bryant offers unique and ground-breaking readings of Melville's work....Thorough research into American culture and recent Melville manuscript findings, an engaging style, and full, scholarly readings combine to make this historicist study a welcome addition to the libraries of Americanists and Melville scholars and enthusiasts."--American Renaissance Literary Report "Written in a lively and engaging style but incorporating an impressive degree of scholarly research, not only into the corpus of Melville scholarship but also the history and culture of the Renaissance, Melville and Repose is a major contribution to thought about the nature of America's first literary flowering."--American Studies "Thoughtful inquirers into pre-Civil War American humor will need to read this book, which also bears on the 1840-1890 period not mentioned."--To Wit "This is overall a rich and engaging analysis."--American Literature "...the book informs, provokes, and satisfies, and not just because it reveals much about Melville and about American comic literature. It also provides a model of critical practive...that moves easily through the most minute of concrete detail but never loses sight of larger critical and theoretical concerns. It sustains the kind of intellectual balance that Melville himself sought in an elegant, but tense, repose that reflects the deep thought of laughter."--Nineteenth Century Literature "Bryant offers unique and ground-breaking readings of Melville's work....Thorough research into American culture and recent Melville manuscript findings, an engaging style, and full, scholarly readings combine to make this historicist study a welcome addition to the libraries of Americanists and Melville scholars and enthusiasts."--American Renaissance Literary Report "Written in a lively and engaging style but incorporating an impressive degree of scholarly research, not only into the corpus of Melville scholarship but also the history and culture of the Renaissance, Melville and Repose is a major contribution to thought about the nature of America's first literary flowering."--American Studies "Thoughtful inquirers into pre-Civil War American humor will need to read this book, which also bears on the 1840-1890 period not mentioned."--To Wit "This is overall a rich and engaging analysis."--American Literature "...the book informs, provokes, and satisfies, and not just because it reveals much about Melville and about American comic literature. It also provides a model of critical practice...that moves easily through the most minute of concrete detail but never loses sight of larger critical and theoretical concerns. It sustains the kind of intellectual balance that Melville himself sought in an elegant, but tense, repose that reflects the deep thought of laughter."--Nineteenth Century Literature

Abbreviations for Frequently Cited Sourcesp. xvii
A Great Intellect in Reposep. 3
Humor and Beingp. 6
Melville's Aesthetics of Reposep. 8
Melville's Rhetoric: Voicing the Voicelessp. 19
Melville and the Reader: "Lord when shall we be done changing?,"p. 27
America's Comic Debate
America's Reposep. 33
Britain's Amiable Traditionp. 34
Amiability on Native Groundp. 41
The Example of Irvingp. 52
Irving's Comic Debatep. 53
Salmagundi and Some Versions of the Bachelorp. 55
A Rip in the Canvas: Irving's Picturesquep. 63
Irving's Goldsmith and the Rhetoric of Genialityp. 66
Playing Along: America and the Rhetoric of Deceitp. 70
The Deep Thought of Laughterp. 70
A Veracious History of Lyingp. 72
The Lie of our Land: Forms of Comic Lyingp. 82
E. A. Poe and T. B. Thorpe: Two Models of Deceitp. 88
Poe's Humorp. 88
Thorpe's Big Bearp. 100
The Genial Misanthrope: Melville and The Cosmopolitan Idealp. 109
Melville's Cosmopolitep. 110
Europe's Cosmopolite: "At Home in Every Place,"p. 112
America's Con Man Cosmopolite: "Nowhere a Stranger,"p. 116
Herman Melville: "Diogenes Masquerading as a Cosmopolitan,"p. 127
Rhetoric And Repose
Typee
The Anxieties of Humorp. 131
Reliability and the Amiable Rebelp. 134
Tommo's Picturesquep. 139
Tommo's Amiable Edenp. 140
Typee in Manuscriptp. 146
Drama and Restraintp. 146
Finding Voice: Transcription, Transformation, and Translationp. 152
Forging Ideology: Melville and "Little Henry,"p. 157
Tommo's Rhetoric of Deceitp. 161
Tattoo, Taboo, and Cannibalism: Forms of Conversionp. 162
Tommo Prometheusp. 165
Baffled Scientist and Con Man Revivalistp. 174
Rover and Cosmopolitep. 178
Moby Dick
Ishmael: Sounding the Repose of Ifp. 186
Ishmael's Initiation: Narcissist and Cosmopolitep. 187
Knowledge and Voicep. 192
Finding Voice: Ishmael's Genial Desperationp. 199
Pondering Reposep. 204
Ahab: Personifying the Impersonalp. 209
"What Cozening, Hidden Lord and Master,"p. 212
Displaced Foolsp. 219
On the Margin of the Maelstromp. 228
Melvill's Comedy of Doubtp. 230
Melville's Reader: Partner, Victim, Participantp. 231
Allegory and Breakdownp. 234
The Confidence-Man
Comic Debates: The Uses of Cosmopolitep. 244
Pitch: The False Misanthropistp. 245
Charlie Noble: The False Genialistp. 250
Charlemont: The Genial Misanthropep. 261
Coda: Something Furtherp. 265
Notesp. 269
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195077827
ISBN-10: 0195077822
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 330
Published: 28th October 1993
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.0  x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.6