Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Piazza Tales by Herman Melville

Ecantadas parodies Biblical cadence, travel articles, naturalistic reportage, Dante, and Spenser; in a mix that is comic and bizarre, Melville’s Inferno. Other highlights of this underrated collection are the dark Faustian bargain/Frankenstein/Tower of Babel styled, science and hubris, parable of the “Bell Tower”, grotesque comedy and allegory of the exploitation of fear for commerce in “Lightning Rod Man”, brutal farce of “Benito Cereno”, and that masterpiece of narrative genius and absurd comic horror “Bartleby”

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