Posted by: Frederick Cornwell Sanders | 2013/10/17

“October 18, 1851” by Rick Sanders

Title page of the first edition of Moby-Dick, ...

Title page of the first edition of Moby-Dick, 1851. Source: Beinecke Library, Yale University *URL: http://beinecke.library.yale.edu/dl_crosscollex/photoneg/oneITEM.asp?pid=39002036007103&iid=3600710&srchtype= (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Etching of Joseph O. Eaton's portrait...

English: Etching of Joseph O. Eaton’s portrait of Herman Melville (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is 1851. Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick is first published as The Whale by Richard Bentley of London. From Wikipedia we read:

In Moby-Dick, Melville employs stylized language, symbolism, and metaphor to explore numerous complex themes. Through the journey of the main characters, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God are all examined, as the main characters speculate upon their personal beliefs and their places in the universe. The narrator’s reflections, along with his descriptions of a sailor’s life aboard a whaling ship, are woven into the narrative along with Shakespearean literary devices, such as stage directions, extended soliloquies, and asides. The book portrays destructive obsession and monomania, as well as the assumption of anthropomorphism.

Moby-Dick has been classified as American Romanticism. It was first published by Richard Bentley in London on October 18, 1851, in an expurgated three-volume edition titled The Whale, and weeks later as a single volume, by New York City publisher Harper and Brothers as Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on November 14, 1851. The book initially received mixed reviews, but is now considered part of the Western canon,[3] and at the center of the canon of American novels.

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