Another find at genealogybank.com which has a good run of the Picayune, with plenty of "New York Correspondence" from "R" and others. Mardi is a great book that will get some respect, one of these days. And we love "R" anyhow for saying "I know not his equal in English literature" after
New Orleans Daily Picayune, August 17, 1849
New York Correspondence.
[SPECIAL CORRESPONDENCE OF THE PICAYUNE.]
NEW YORK, August 7, 1849.
… I am glad to see the announcement of a new work in press by the Harpers, of the brilliant but erratic Herman Melville. It is entitled “Redburn, or the Sailor-Boy—Confessions and Reminiscences of a Gentleman’s Son.” Melville is at home on the deck of a vessel, and can tell as good a forecastle story as any tar that ever handled a marlin-spike. He made a blunder in “Mardi,” by winding up his jovial and flashing pictures of the sea in the barbarous involation of a transcendental allegory, in which all truth was intended to be shadowed forth on poetry, philosophy, politics, religion, love, literature, good eating, and what not; but he broke down dead before he got half through the work, and every reader I know of who has tried to finish it, has shared the same fate. But let Melville “fling away ambition” and content himself with spinning a regular yarn, I declare, I know not his equal in English literature. His “Typee” set half the young men in New York and Boston mad after the peerless vision of his Eve-like Fayaway, and if it had not been for the fear of being eaten alive, they would have gone off in a body to the spicy Eden groves of Nukaheva. “Rudburn,” [sic] I think, will beat “Typee,” as reality is often better than romance.