Books Acquired Recently: Melville

Melville, Herman. Moby-Dick: A Norton Critical Edition. 1851. Ed. Hershel Parker and Harrison Hayford. 2nd ed. New York: Norton, 2002.

I am thinking about teaching Moby-Dick in a literary criticism course in the spring, so I requested an exam copy of the Norton edition because it includes some critical essays on the novel. The first Norton rep I ever had (in Illinois) was super-stingy with exam copies, thus it always fills me with glee when my current rep here in Utah always happily fulfills my requests. This is the fifth different printing of the novel that I have acquired. If I teach it I’ll use either this edition or the Penguin edition. The Penguin edition is much more aesthetically pleasing with its classic black cover (see Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine for more on the beauty of Penguin paperbacks), but my students might find the Norton more useful.

—. Pierre, or the Ambiguities. 1852. Ed. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 1995.

I’ve been looking for a copy of Pierre for a while in various used bookstores (i.e., it’s been on my radar for a while, but it hasn’t been an urgent need) because its portrayal of sexuality sounds intriguing. This evening I was at the Central Book Exchange in Salt Lake City looking for something else that they didn’t have, but they did have an almost new copy of Melville’s novel. There is some underlining (In ink! The previous owner was clearly a philistine.) in the first chapter, but otherwise it is in excellent condition.

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