Evanston/ Chicago: Northwestern University Press / Newberry Library, 1987. Hardcover. Black cloth boards with gilt lettering; red title block on spine; off-white dj with red and black lettering; viii, 847 pp; facsimiles. VG- (Ex-library with stamps and labels on spine, inside front and rear covers, ffep and block. Pages are otherwise clean and clear. Binding tight.). Item #187322
Included are two sea tales that encompass the essence of Melville's art: "Benito Cereno", an exhilarating account of mutiny and rescue aboard a disabled slave ship, which is a parable of man's struggle against the forces of evil, and "The Encantadas", ten allegorical sketches of the Galapagos Islands, which reveal nature to be both enchanting and horrifying. Two pieces explore themes of isolation and defeat found in Melville's great novels: "Bartelby, the Scrivener", a prophetically modern story of alienation and loss on nineteenth-century Wall Street, and "The Bell Tower", a Faustian tale about a Renaissance architect who brings about his own violent destruction. The other two works reveal Melville's mastery of very different writing styles: "The Lightning-Rod Man", a satire showcasing his talent for Dickensian comedy, and "The Piazza", the title story of the collection, which anticipates the author's later absorption with poetry. Contents: The piazza tales --; Uncollected pieces --; Reconstructed lectures --; Attributed pieces --; Editorial appendix.