Bible Leaves! Bible Leaves! Hellenism and Hebraism in Melville's Moby-Dick

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Bible Leaves! Bible Leaves! Hellenism and Hebraism in Melville's Moby-Dick

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dc.contributor.author New, Elisa
dc.date.accessioned 2011-02-15T20:55:15Z
dc.date.issued 1998
dc.identifier.citation New, Elisa. 1998. Bible leaves! Bible leaves! Hellenism and hebraism in Melville's Moby-Dick. Poetics Today 19(2): 281-303. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 0333-5372 en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1527-5507 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:4726201
dc.description.abstract "'Bible Leaves! Bible Leaves!': Hebraism and Hellenism in Melville's Moby-Dick" argues that Herman Melville is Hellenism's severest American critic, and his greatest book, a sustained defense of the Hebraic "letter." Using a range of devices to link his monomaniac, Ahab, with the Greek and Christian subordination of history to reason, Melville exposes the damage to historical knowledge, as well as the characterological and institutional damages, that too singleminded a pursuit of the "spirit" may wreak: In Melville's version, Unitarian ministers and revivalist preachers as well as his own later, allegorizing critics join with Ahab in violent depredations on historical truth. On the other hand, Ishmael, as the essay goes on to argue, is Melville's Hebraist par excellence. Melville draws on Carlyle, on John Kitto's classically historicist Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature, and on the Book of Ecclesiastes to fashion Ishmael as a hero of Hebraic restraint and a champion of Hebraic prolixity. Moby-Dick, the great whale, is also Moby-Dick, the redoubtable text, which, in surviving Ahab's assault, sustains the viability of the letter and of history beyond the reach of reason. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship English and American Literature and Language en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Duke University Press en_US
dc.relation.isversionof http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1773443 en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.title Bible Leaves! Bible Leaves! Hellenism and Hebraism in Melville's Moby-Dick en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal Poetics Today en_US
dash.depositing.author New, Elisa
dc.date.available 2011-02-15T20:55:15Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [6463]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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