Tag: Herman Melville

February 5, 2021  |  No Comments

Though it was published almost 40 years ago and describes a fictional civil war in South Africa, J.M. Coetzee’s short masterpiece Life and Times of Michael K might have been written about the ragged and riven USA in 2021. It’s not escapist reading, but then we go to high literature less to escape reality than … Read More

August 6, 2013  |  No Comments

As a writer, I know this: Herman Melville’s novella Bartleby the Scrivener is either the most depressing thing ever written or the most inspiring. Though Melville was only 34 when he published it and lived on for 38 more years, it reads like his suicide note. On the other hand, the love that’s now lavished … Read More

May 15, 2013  |  No Comments

Go here for a New York Times profile of Austin Ratner. That is my younger son in the picture. Only my older is mentioned in the article.

December 26, 2012  |  No Comments

Ah, the holidays. The end of the year. When you celebrate by a cozy fire with the shiver of time in your fillings. When you cozy up to those you love best and those who therefore make you crazy. In other words, time to drink.

Melville House Books’s “Definitive Drinker’s Dictionary,” Intoxerated, a fun compendium of … Read More

November 13, 2012  |  No Comments

Darrel Abel was born in Lost Nation, Iowa in 1911. He taught American literature at Purdue for many years, and at some point, working from the obscurity of Lisbon Falls, Maine, he produced a rather lovely little paper called “Robert Frost’s ‘Second-Highest Heaven’,” which he published in 1980. The paper’s title refers to a piece … Read More