Herman Melville-The Confidence Man

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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 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

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 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

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 (ten months ago) link

Redburn!

the dreaded dependent claus (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 26 April 2023 12:18 (ten months ago) link


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