- 25,00 kr
First published in 1947, this acknowledged classic of American literary criticism explores the influences—especially Shakespearean ones—on Melville’s writing of Moby-Dick. One of the first Melvilleans to advance what has since become known as the “theory of the two Moby-Dicks,” Olson argues that there were two versions of Moby-Dick, and that Melville’s reading King Lear for the first time in between the first and second versions of the book had a profound impact on his conception of the saga: “the first book did not contain Ahab,” writes Olson, and “it may not, except incidentally, have contained Moby-Dick.” If literary critics and reviewers at the time responded with varying degrees of skepticism to the “theory of the two Moby-Dicks,” it was the experimental style and organization of the book that generated the most controversy. Passionate in his poetry, Olson was no less passionate in his reading of Melville. Impatient with what he regarded as traditional forms of literary criticism, Olson engaged his own creativity to write a book as robust, original, and compelling as Melville’s masterpiece.
“Not only important, but apocalyptic.”—New York Herald Tribune
“One of the most stimulating essays ever written on Moby-Dick, and for that matter on any piece of literature, and the forces behind it.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Olson has been a tireless student of Melville and every Melville lover owes him a debt for his Scotland Yard pertinacity in getting on the trail of Melville’s dispersed library.”—Lewis Mumford, New York Times
“Records, often brilliantly, one way of taking the most extraordinary of American books.”—W. E. Bezanson, New England Quarterly
“The most important contribution to Melville criticism since Raymond Weaver’s pioneering contribution in 1921.”—George Mayberry, New Republic