As a young man, he spent time in the merchant marines, the U. Navy and on a whaling ship in the South Seas. In , he published his first novel, Typee , a romantic adventure based on his experiences in Polynesia. The book was a success and a sequel, Omoo , was published in Three more novels followed, with mixed critical and commercial results.
The True-Life Horror That Inspired Moby-Dick
Moby Dick () - IMDb
The book features gay marriage, hits out at slavery and imperialism and predicts the climate crisis — years after the birth of its author, Herman Melville, it has never been more important. T hursday marks the th birthday of Herman Melville — the author of the greatest unread novel in the English language. It is the Mount Everest of literature: huge and apparently insurmountable, its snowy peak as elusive as the tail of the great white whale himself. Perhaps it was because I saw it on a tiny black-and-white TV, but the whole story seemed impenetrable to me. I would have been even less keen had I known that the whale footage Huston did include had been specially shot off Madeira, where they were still being hunted. Forty years later, I saw my first whales in the wild , off Provincetown, a former whaling port on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
On This Day: Melville’s “Moby-Dick” Published in America
O n 5 August a party of writers and publishers climbed Monument Mountain in Massachusetts, during the American equivalent of a hike in the Lakes. Among the literati on this excursion were Nathaniel Hawthorne, 46, author of The Scarlet Letter No 16 in this series , a recently published bestseller although a term not yet in use , and the young novelist Herman Melville, who, after a very successful debut Typee , was struggling to complete an unwieldy coming-of-age tale about a South Seas whaler. Melville, who was just 31, had never met Hawthorne. But after a day in the open air, a quantity of champagne, and a sudden downpour, the younger man was enraptured with his new friend, who had "dropped germinous seeds into my soul". Rarely in Anglo-American literature has there been such a momentous meeting.
Born in , author Herman Melville grew up during the peak of American dominance of the whaling industry, roughly the period between and the start of the Civil War. Weaving contemporary accounts and his own experiences as a whaler, Melville created his American masterpiece. The young Melville was famously inspired by the story of George Pollard, the former captain of the whaler Essex. While on a two-year whaling expedition crisscrossing the Pacific, the Essex was rammed by a sperm whale. Quickly abandoning ship and thousands of miles from land, Pollard and his crew escaped in leaky lifeboats to begin a horrific ordeal resulting in sickness, starvation, and cannibalism.