Friday, June 23, 2017

Short notice of Clarel in the New York Observer

New York Observer - June 29, 1876
CLAREL: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land. By Herman Melville. In Four Parts. 1, Journalism. 2, The Wilderness; 3, Mar Saba; 4, Bethlehem. G. P. Putnam's Sons.
This is a dreary pilgrimage of two volumes of miserable poetry (if such it can be called) which few readers will be able to complete. --New York Observer, June 29, 1876
So Melville was right when he described Clarel as "eminently adapted for unpopularity," in his letter to James Billson dated October 10, 1884. The first book is titled "Jerusalem," not "Journalism."

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