Sunday, March 27, 2022

Project MUSE - Peddlers of the Rod: Melville's "The Lightning-Rod Man" and the Antebellum Periodical Market

Just added a cite of the 2010 article in Leviathan by Joshua Matthews

to the first part of my Substack essay, Borrowed Thunder.

... And Dillingham pointed us in the right direction by calling attention to the dialogic structure of Melville’s story, most essentially a conversation developed through a “great number of questions and answers.”

As recognized more recently by Joshua Matthews, the script for the salesman’s part in the dramatized conversation derives from a set of “safety instructions”:

“His performance, intended to produce anxiety in his potential customer, acts out the safety instructions he advises the narrator to take.”10

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