By permission of Houghton Library, Harvard University: 61Z-4
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The Society’s most stunning post-conference excursion was to Jordan, where travelers visited the Greco-Roman ruins at Um Qais and Jerash, walked through the silent city of Petra mentioned in “Bartleby,” and finished with a glimpse of the Red Sea befor returning to the West Bank. Jerash is one of the largest and best-preserved of the ancient Roman cities, and while Melvilleans were marveling at the stately columns, the huge hippodrome, the many mosaics and baths, and a sublime amphitheater, a local band suddenly appeared and began playing music as distinctive as the site. Produced by Dennis Berthold.
After the 2009 conference, “Melville and the Mediterranean,” around 40 attendees took the optional bus tour of Israel and Jordan. Sites visited included Jaffa, Haifa, Galilee, and Bethlehem, and in Jordan the ancient Roman city of Jerash and the stone city of Petra. This video shows the tour group on the Sea of Galilee with its view of the Golan Heights. Produced by Dennis Berthold with music by Mozart.
As part of the Melville Society’s 2009 international conference “Melville and the Mediterranean,” some members visited the Greek Orthodox monastery at Mar Saba on June 22. Melville stayed here for a night in January 1857 (NN Journal 84), a brief respite in his trek through the Judaean desert that inspired a long section of Clarel, Book 3, Cantos 9-32. Only men were allowed into the monastery while the women remained outside in the meager shade of a tree. The Saba monks allowed photographs in only a few places; fortunately, one was the spacious patio that holds the famous date palm and overlooks the Vale of Kedron. Inspired by the view, Tim Marr read Melville’s panegyric to Saba from Canto 9, lines 33-69. Produced by Dennis Berthold, with music by Matthew Berthold.
Greg Lennes From Boston Globe: "Berkshire hills have provided inspiration to Hawthorne, Melville, Rowling."
Greg Lennes Melville in the News: The New York Times cited Melville when Kim Jong-un, the North Korea leader, called President Trump a ‘Dotard.’ Melville used it in a poem, The Maldive Shark." “Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull, Pale ravener of horrible meat.” In the poem the pilot fish leads the dull shark to food. It is the "eyes and brains to the dotard" that is the shark. In turn the pilot fish seeks protection from the shark in times of trouble.
The Maldive Shark
About the Shark, phlegmatical one,
Pale sot of the Maldive sea,
The sleek little pilot-fish, azure and slim,
How alert in attendance be.
From his saw-pit of mouth, from his charnel of maw
They have nothing of harm to dread,
But liquidly glide on his ghastly flnak
Or before his Gorgonian head;
Or lurk in the port of serrated teeth
In white triple tiers of glittering gates,
And there find a haven when peril's abroad,
An asylum in jaws of the Fates!
They are friends; and friendly they guide him to prey,
Yet never partake of the treat-
Eyes and brains to the dotard lethargic and dull,
Pale ravener of horrible meat.
Eileen Valentino Flaxman Chapter 86 – The Tail
“Woe to that sailor, whiskers and all”
when the fluke of a whale upon him does fall
and the oars and the crew around him do fly
and he’s floatin’ on his back starin’ up at the sky
Yea, a grudging respect is all he can feel
for a wallop that lands with the weight of steel
And the planks of the boat around him do sprawl
“very much as a juggler tosses his balls”
A mere man can offer little resistance
Tis something to admire – but from a distance
From my collection: a poem for every chapter in Moby-Dick . https://evflax.wixsite.com/ishmaelsapprentice.
Colin Dewey "FAYAWAY: Melville, Fantasy, and Fame." FREE! Saturday at 1pm. Final "Blue Room" lecture of the season. Presented by Colin Dewey, sponsored by Cal Maritime Dept. of Culture and Communication and the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
The National Park Service and California State University Maritime Academy are partnering to present a series of free lectures for the public in 2017.
The Blue Room Lectures will be presented by professors from Cal Maritime and will take place in the Maritime Museum at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park (900 Beach Street, San Francisco, in the Blue Room.) A Q & A period will follow each talk.
Saturday, September 23, 2017, 1:00 PM: “The Schooner Fayaway and Herman Melville’s Persistent Connections with San Francisco Bay,” by Colin Dewey, Assistant Professor of English at Cal Maritime.
Melville Society Archive Walter E. Bezanson Fellowship
The Melville Society, under the auspices of the Melville Society Cultural Project in New Bedford, offers an annual fellowship to help a scholar undertake research on Herman Melville at the Society’s Archive in the Research Library of the Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Click here for more information and application details.
New York Public Library Short-term Research Fellowships
Graduate students or other affiliated academics whose work would benefit from visiting the Manuscripts and Archives Division to view collections such as the Gansevoort-Lansing collection, and Duyckinck family papers are encouraged to apply.
Click here for more information and application details.