Saturday, February 25, 2023

Balckwell's Books podcast on MARDI, "Melville's most imaginative novel"

Link below to Balckwell's Books podcast on Substack with splendid treatment of MARDI as a loosely structured book of conversations. As well and truly said around 15 minutes in, Melville "just wants to talk about a lot of different things."

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Whiskered, powdered and dandyfied Gansevoort

Gansevoort Melville
The New York Public Library Digital Collections

Before and after the 1844 presidential election, some political opponents of Gansevoort Melville (Herman's older lawyer-brother) called him a Broadway exquisite or dandy, mocking his supposedly over-the-top devotion to fashionable clothing and personal appearance. Gansevoort's success as a popular democratic orator eventually won him a respectable diplomatic post in London. Down in Hinds County, Mississippi, editor George W. Harper, age 21, could not resist the chance to depict the newly appointed Secretary of Legation as "a whiskered, powdered and dandyfied stump speaker."

08 Aug 1845, Fri Hinds County Gazette (Raymond, Mississippi)

"REWARDED.-- Gansevoort Melville, of New York--a whiskered, powdered and dandyfied stump speaker for Mr. Polk, in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York, last summer--is going out to London, as secretary of legation, with Mr. McLain." -- Raymond Gazette, August 8, 1845.

A dandified hair-dresser in his salon arranging a woman's wi Wellcome V0019828 

Related posts:

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Teenege Nervous Breakdown - The Nighthawks

Patient and attentive readers will find a long-lost poem "To Insensibility" by the eccentric and romantic deaf poet Sophia Hyatt, rescued on Melvilliana at the end of this 2021 post

Full disclosure: I never got to see Little Feat live but I heard the Nighthawks do "Teenage Nervous Breakdown" many times at various Atlanta venues, and once at Desperado's in Georgetown.