Saturday, March 14, 2015

Encantadas concluded in Putnam's, too soon for the NY Times

Image Credit: yachtpals
This item is interesting for the recognition of a larger, somehow thwarted project. According to the anonymous Times critic, Melville's "Encantadas" ultimately failed to deliver on the promise of a substantial book implied in its splendid opening.
We have reached the conclusion of the “Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles,”—a result which disappoints us. It commenced in the March number, with a display of preparation suited for a lengthened work,—and here, in May, it is suddenly brought to a close.” 
--New York Times, May 1854, Friday, May 5, 1854; found at Fulton History.
Melville in fact did contemplate and partially write a longer book on Tortoise Hunting. Harper & Brothers advanced him $300 for it, so Melville's literary career was not really destroyed by the supposed disasters of Moby-Dick (1851) and Pierre (1852).

The Encantadas in Putnam's Magazine
Online text is available at Power Encantadas

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