Guess who’s 194 years young today?

melville bday

Many happy returns, Mr. Melville. In honor of your birthday, I hereby promise to finish Moby Dick. Eventually.

Melville spoke as part of the Mercantile’s 1858 lecture series.  We paid him $50 (expenses NOT included), in exchange for which he gave a two hour talk entitled “Statues of Rome.” While The Enquirer‘s reviewer was definitely not a fan — He described Melville’s writing career as “having proceeded in the form of an inverted climax”, and described his latest at the time, The Confidence-Man as “one of the dullest and most dismally monotonous books” he’d ever read —  even he had to admit that Melville’s talk here was the best of the season so far.

For more information about Melville’s talk, see Dale Patrick Brown’s excellent Brilliance & Balderdash.  

Happy birthday, big guy.

-Norm De Plume

Published in: on August 1, 2013 at 11:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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