Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/7031
Title: Melville's "Pierre": Don Quixote with a Vengeance
Authors: Buonomo, Leonardo
Keywords: Melville’s PierreHero as reader and authorDon Quixote – literary heritage
Issue Date: 1994
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Leonardo Buonomo, “Melville's "Pierre": Don Quixote with a Vengeance", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, I (1994), pp. 41-53
Series/Report no.: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali
I (1994)
Abstract: 
The reference to Cervantes’s masterpiece is meant to evoke one of the most powerful incarnations of the hero as reader and author in Western literature. The protagonist of Herman Melville’s "Pierre or The Ambiguities" (1852) is a sort of a cousin of Don Quixote. It is worth devoting some attention to the particular climate in which this novel was conceived, published and received. Not only did the book prove to be very unpopular, but it was rebuffed with unusual violence and animosity by almost all contemporary reviewers. It is undeniable that some of the themes Melville chose to address in "Pierre", such as his unmasking of the dark face of family relationships or his observations on the value of Christianity, are daring and may appear to be deliberately provoking and shocking rather than calculated for popularity. What made the book particularly unappealing to the majority of readers was its anti-moral; it represented to them something new and astonishing, that is to say crude and vulgar.
Type: Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/7031
ISSN: 1123-2684
Appears in Collections:1994 / 1 Prospero. Rivista di culture anglo-germaniche

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