Pretending to have finished reading “the confidence man” got me my place on an American Lit BA in the mid 90s
― Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 16 August 2019 23:55 (four years ago) link
It also got me rejected from a UEA interview in 1997. “Ugh, The Confidence Man, minor Melville” the interviewer actually said to me.
― Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 16 August 2019 23:56 (four years ago) link
― TS: “8:05” vs. “905” (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 16 August 2019 23:58 (four years ago) link
It upset me at the time, but what a jerky/hilarious thing to a bookish 17 year old
― Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 17 August 2019 00:07 (four years ago) link
* thing to say to a bookish etc
― Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 17 August 2019 00:08 (four years ago) link
Right. Originally I was going to type “lol/ouch!”
― TS: “8:05” vs. “905” (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 17 August 2019 00:09 (four years ago) link
I think the interviewer accurately assessed my fraudulence. I literally got on a train to each university interview with copies of crying of lot 49, white noise, confidence man and palimpsest stuffed in my backpack, thinking “fuck, i’ll cram what I can until the train stops”. I do remember bringing up Civilwarland (which, unlike the rest, I’d actually read) and the interviewer being, like, “George who?”
― Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 17 August 2019 00:28 (four years ago) link
Anyway. I’ve been reading Moby Dick with my partner and we both feel like Melville is 1000x better read aloud than read on the page. It’s just so smooth. I can’t remember if the confidence man is similar though.
― Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 17 August 2019 00:31 (four years ago) link
Last week's New Yorker published a solid Melville essay.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 17 August 2019 01:23 (four years ago) link
It prompted me to check Typee out of the library. I wasn't fond of Thte Confidence Man, but I must recommend Redburn if you love explicitly homoerotic/homosocial 19th century fiction. I may even tackle Pierre cuz Norton published a critical edition in 2017.
― TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 17 August 2019 01:24 (four years ago) link
bbbbbbut Confidence Man is great!
― And according to some websites, there were “sexcapades.” (James Morrison), Saturday, 17 August 2019 02:43 (four years ago) link
That New Yorker essay was good. I’m not that far of a drive away from Melville’s Arrowhead estate, it made me resolve that this is the year I trek out there.
Pierre is a truly wild read, completely off the deep end but very fun imo.
― “Hakuna Matata,” a nihilist philosophy (One Eye Open), Saturday, 17 August 2019 02:53 (four years ago) link
― xyzzzz__, Friday, 18 September 2020 11:24 (three years ago) link
So much of this shit this year, meanwhile I’m over here likehttps://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EakXQXgNwdQ/Ux8HD5if51I/AAAAAAAAFFM/ATbxydB9AMY/s1600/heahers8.jpg
― scampo italiano (gyac), Friday, 18 September 2020 11:30 (three years ago) link
My sis got me the LOA edition of Melville's poems. I know about a dozen of the Battle-Pieces but Clarel tempts me, especially after reading Andrew Delblanco's superb bio in February.
― Patriotic Goiter (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 29 December 2020 16:48 (two years ago) link
Haven't read the thread because I'm only on Chapter 8, but this book is getting very good:
At the sofa's further end sits a plump and pleasant person, whose aspect seems to hint that, if she have any weak point, it must be anything rather than her excellent heart. From her twilight dress, neither dawn nor dark, apparently she is a widow just breaking the chrysalis of her mourning.
Been thinking about changing my display name to "the man with the weed" but ppl would just think it was a drug reference.
― Unfairport Convention (PBKR), Thursday, 2 February 2023 12:11 (seven months ago) link
I finished this book and absolutely loved it. It took me a little while to get into the rhythm of it, but it got better and better. Early on I kept trying to figure out which one was the Confidence Man until later I realized they were all Confidence Men in a country full of them. It really reminded me of Dostoevsky's Demons - the collision of characters inhabiting various philosophical/ideological positions. It also seems to attempt to illuminate a uniquely American character in the same way that Demons attempts to illustrate the Russian character.
Also, the book is so freakin' funny and ironic. The chapters with Frank and Charlie both egging each other on to drink is so good. All the little parodies of contemporary American authors. There is such a distance between the author and the characters - addressing the reader directly, commenting on the characters, etc. The way characters appear and dissolve, the stories embedded in stories is almost post-modern in ways.
I've read Moby-Dick (25 years ago) and Bartleby. What should I read next, Pierre or Billy Budd?
― This machine bores fascism (PBKR), Wednesday, 26 April 2023 12:16 (five months ago) link
― the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 April 2023 12:18 (five months ago) link