Melville and Repose: The Rhetoric of Humor in the American Renaissance

Hardcover | October 28, 1993

byJohn Bryant

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John Bryant's book is a strong and significant argument for the centrality of the comic and repose in Melville's novels. The purpose of Melville and Repose is dual: to ground the uses of romantic humor in Melville in sensitive readings of contemporaneous European and American writings, and tooffer a definitive account of the comic as the shaping force of Melville's narrative voice throughout the major phase of his literary career. Bryant argues that Melville fused a "rhetoric of geniality" and "picturesque sensibility" adopted from the British with a "rhetoric of deceit" borrowed fromthe American tall tale in order to create his own amiably cosmopolitan "rhetoric of aesthetic repose." Thorough research into American culture and recent Melville manuscript findings, an engaging style, and full, scholarly readings combine to make this historicist study a welcome addition to thelibraries of Americanists and Melville scholars and enthusiasts.

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John Bryant's book is a strong and significant argument for the centrality of the comic and repose in Melville's novels. The purpose of Melville and Repose is dual: to ground the uses of romantic humor in Melville in sensitive readings of contemporaneous European and American writings, and tooffer a definitive account of the comic as t...

John Bryant is at Hofstra University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.57 × 6.38 × 1.1 inPublished:October 28, 1993Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195077822

ISBN - 13:9780195077827

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"...the book informs, provokes, and satisfies, and not just because it reveals much about Melville and about American comic literature. It also provides a model of critical practice...that moves easily through the most minute of concrete detail but never loses sight of larger critical andtheoretical concerns. It sustains the kind of intellectual balance that Melville himself sought in an elegant, but tense, repose that reflects the deep thought of laughter."--Nineteenth Century Literature