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Clarel: Volume Twelve, Scholarly Edition
by Herman Melville
edited by Harrison Hayford, G. Thomas Tanselle and Hershel Parker
Northwestern University Press, 1991
Cloth: 978-0-8101-0906-3 | Paper: 978-0-8101-0907-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-2007-5
Library of Congress Classification PS2380.F68 vol. 12
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.3

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY | TOC | REQUEST ACCESSIBLE FILE
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Melville's long poem Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876) was the last full-length book he published. Until the mid-twentieth century even the most partisan of Melville's advocates hesitated to endure a four-part poem of 150 cantos of almost 18,000 lines, about a naï ve American named Clarel, on pilgrimage through the Palestinian ruins with a provocative cluster of companions.

But modern critics have found Clarel a much better poem than was ever realized. Robert Penn Warren called it a precursor of The Waste Land. It abounds with revelations of Melville's inner life. Most strikingly, it is argued that the character Vine is a portrait of Melville's friend Hawthorne. Based on the only edition published during Melville's lifetime, this scholarly edition adopts thirty-nine corrections from a copy marked by Melville and incorporates 154 emendations by the present editors, an also includes a section of related documents and extensive discussions.

This scholarly edition is an Approved Text of the Center for Editions of American Authors (Modern Language Association of America).

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