melville herman

Five years later, when he was writing ‘Pierre’, he was insensible enough to his wife’s feelings to speak of the 'disenchanting glasses of the matrimonial days and nights.’ If he expected Lizzie to read his books, he must have been curiously indifferent to their effect on her, unless indeed he 'wished’ that effect. And the truth is that the masculine and feminine elements in Melville’s own nature were far too precariously balanced, far too unreconciled with one another, for marriage to be anything but excruciatingly problematic both for him and his wife. All the more so since he could not have had more than the dimmest, most flickering awareness of the reasons for his difficulty. He was conscious enough, no doubt, of the ardor and intensity of his feelings for members of his own sex, but the possibility that such emotions might have had a sexual undercurrent can only with the utmost rarity, and then fleetingly, have presented itself to his consciousness.

Herman Melville by Newton Arvin

Originally posted by mundollenodenada

  • Melville: Behind one of these doors is Scott Fitzgerald. Behind the other, a Bengal tiger. Choose wisely.
  • Atsushi: *Nervously opens the first door*
  • Atsushi: *Tiger leaps at him growling, Atsushi screams and slams it shut*
  • Atsushi: *Opens second door*
  • Atsushi: *Screams again and slams door upon seeing a second tiger*
  • Atsushi: They’re both tigers! I thought you said one door would lead to Fitzgerald?!
  • Melville: One of these tigers is named Scott Fitzgerald.

In anticipation of season 2, I made a powerpoint on the Guild.

Authors in order of appearance: Francis Scott Fitzgerald, L. M. Montgomery, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Mitchell, H. P. Lovecraft, John Steinbeck, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, and Louisa May Alcott.


guys I think I finally figured out my dream casting for Nathaniel Hawthorne & Herman Melville for the eventual movie that HAS to be made about them (and preferably based off The Whale)

Toby Stephens as Nathaniel Hawthorne (thank you @parkersrevenge for thinking of him, he’d be PERFECT)

Tom Hardy as Herman Melville (guys just picture him in 19th century clothing, he’d look sooo much like Melville!)

This is something I mentioned on twitter: my favorite idea lately for stories to work with is “humanity’s struggle to come to terms with the unknowable.” That’s as fine a point as I can put on it, I guess. It seems like an important and politically resonant idea, and a lot of my thinking lately revolves around how to articulate a position at odds with extremist claims of absolute knowledge, while still existing in a world of provisional material truth.

Here’s a list of media that I’ve really loved and that approaches this idea from different angles. Nothing comprehensive, just a list I’ve been adding to.

  • Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, 1851. This is a book I have spent too much time with, and its focus on the failure of human intellect and ideology to make sense of nature/the transcendent/god is important to me.
  • Solaris by Stanisław Lem, 1961. One of my favorite scifi novels; more about philosophy of science than about scientific ideas. Moody and intense satire. The Tarkovsky adaptation is beautiful but doesn’t quite engage with the same ideas.
  • Roadside Picnic by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, 1971. Bewildering pseudo-first-contact story that really interestingly ties into USSR politics (this point is made really well in HyperNormalisation). Also adapted by Tarkovsky, interestingly; haven’t seen it tho
  • Alien, 1979. One of a hundred examples of a story that works elegantly with little exposition of its fantastical elements, to be undercut by the more explicit approach of its sequels. Really cool to read as a chaoskampf story; alien representing the archetypal dragon/chaos monster. Beowulf should maybe be on this list but I don’t remember it too well
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1968. I mean obviously.
  • Shin Godzilla, 2016. Extremely smart use of an entrenched pop-culture genre as essentially political satire. I read a lot of people saying it didn’t make sense if you aren’t familiar with Japanese politics but I disagree!!
  • Arrival, 2016. The aliens are satisfyingly Weird to me but understanding them is treated as an achievable intellectual goal, so maybe it doesn’t belong on this list. anyway good movie
  • Dark Ecology by Timothy Morton, 2016. Ambitious and mystifying book that’s sort of about building a new way of relating to ecology and humanity, in the context of catastrophic climate change. A lot of time spent deconstructing mythologies of absolute truth that proceed from the invention of agriculture. Plato’s Revenge (2011) is a book that deals with some similar ideas but I did not like it so much
  • Orality and Literacy by Walter Ong, 1982. Broad & fascinating book on linguistics and the cultural shift represented by the invention of writing. The idea that literacy in particular concretizes our language and our models of the world is why it’s on this list.
Bisexual Icons

Evan Rachel Wood
David Bowie
Gillian Anderson
Ezra Miller
Lord Byron
Sir Alec Guinness
Freddie Mercury
Malcom X
Herman Melville
Marilyn Monroe
Sarah Paulson
Anna Paquin
Alan Cumming
Lady Gaga
Janis Joplin
Marlon Brando
Leonard Bernstein
Frida Kahlo
Frank Ocean
Nathaniel Hawthorn
James Dean
Billie Holiday
Oscar Wilde
Julius Caesar
Billie Joe Armstrong
Walt Whitman

These are just some of the people who have made their mark on the world and many of whom have had their bisexuality erased. Bisexuality is real and valid and it is time to recognize the positive influence we have had on the world.

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