Thursday, June 5, 2014

Essays on Melville now online at Henry S Salt Archive
"The chief characteristic of Herman Melville’s writings is this attempted union of the practical with the ideal. Commencing with a basis of solid fact, he loves to build up a fantastic structure, which is finally lost in the cloudland of metaphysical speculation."
 --Henry Stephens Salt
The great Henry S Salt Archive has lately added the following essays:

Herman Melville (The Scottish Art Review, November 1889)

Marquesan Melville (The Gentleman's Magazine, March 1892)

Memoir of Herman Melville (1893 Typee, London edition published by John Murray)

As in his Marquesan Melville article, Salt's 1896 essay on James Thomson (aka Bysshe Vanolis) as The Poet of Pessimism quotes from one of Melville's letters to James Billson (22 January 1885):
† “As to pessimism,” wrote Herman Melville, with reference to Thomson’s poetry, “although neither pessimist nor optimist myself, nevertheless I relish it in the verse, if for nothing else than as a counterpoise to the exorbitant hopefulness, juvenile and shallow, that makes such a muster in these days.”
The Northwestern-Newberry edition of Melville's Correspondence reads "bluster" for Salt's transcription "muster." Melville's comments on pessimism are frequently quoted and re-quoted in Melville studies.

Checking further, the Internet Archive project has the 1892 Gentleman's Magazine volume with Salt's essay on Marquesan Melville.

The Scottish Art Review v.2 (1889) with Salt's essay on Herman Melville is at Hathi Trust Digital Library, which also has the

1893 London edition of Typee with Salt's Memoir of Herman Melville

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