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22gigantes.com - Mardi: And a Voyage Thither Volumes 1 and 2 "Mardi is Melville's first pure fiction work (while featuring fictional narrators, his previous novels were heavily autobiographical). It details (much like Typee and Omoo) the travelings of an American sailor who abandons his whaling vessel to explore the South Pacific. Unlike the first two, however, Mardi is highly philosophical and said to be the first work to show Melville's true potential. The tale begins as a simple narrative, but quickly focuses upon discourse between the main characters and their interactions with the different symbolic countries they encounter. While not as cohesive or lengthy as Moby-Dick, it shares a similar writing style as well as many of the same themes. As a preface to Mardi, Melville wrote somewhat ironically that his first two books were nonfiction but disbelieved; by the same pattern he hoped the fiction book would be accepted as fact."
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Most helpful customer reviews 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. Melville will soon be recognized for THIS classic as well . . . By Victor Ochoa Mardi is another overlooked masterpiece by the great world writer Herman Melville who was, unfortunately, not only not recognized during his day, but was vilified by what experts are soon discovering are his three greatest books. These are Moby-Dick, Pierre, and this amazing, enchanting, sprawling yet inscrutably concise, Orwellian-in-allegory masterwork, Mardi! 61 of 61 people found the following review helpful. The World is Not Enough! A Voyage to the Nutty Middle Ground By H. Schneider Apologies and thanks to a previous reviewer (1999), from whom I borrowed the idea of the 'nutty middle ground' between Typee and The Whale. What a whale of a book! what a mess! what great fun!Typee and Omoo were , well, non-fictional accounts of young Melville's travels in the South Pacific. He wrote in the Mardi foreword, that nobody believed him, so he made up some fiction and was sure to be believed this time. Not likely.The book was a flop in the commercial sense, like all future Melville books would be. What an idiot the market can be.The 'story': the hero of the 2 previous adventure tales takes off from an island on a small whaling ship, to go home, and true to his personal tradition, runs away from it, with a fellow sailor in a whaling boat. (The fact that he actually steals the boat in the process, not to mention breaks his contract, seems irrelevant to the young man.)They meet a small and nearly deserted ship, take it over, find an odd couple on it, Samoa and Annatoo, have adventures with them sailing the ship, lose the ship and Annatoo, then the 3 men are again on the boat, they meet some natives in a prao, save a beautiful virgin from human sacrifice. She turns out to be a kind of goddess, so the hero has to promote himself to play in the same league, then they land on the island group called Mardi, and the story gets very long and tedious, but never quite stops being fun. Mardi is supposed to mean the 'world', by the way. See the allegoric meaning?The structure of the short chapters (nearly 200 of them) helps to maintain momentum. The chapters are half way to Moby Dick: some are plain story telling, some are ruminations on God and the World, some are observations of nature, some are the mystical phantasies of the South Seas mythology that M. created for the purpose of this book.And it is a collection of aphorisms, that would make the visit worth while on their own.The whale's brain enlightens the world.Death has a mouth as black as a wolf's.He looked infernally heartless.He who hates is a fool. Yet some dislikes are spontaneous.Some revelations show best in twilight.One of my AFs said that nothing prepares the reader of Typee and Omoo for the Melville of later years. I would add, that Mardi already breaks the barriers. Sometimes he comments on his own text in the text: e.g. ...which sentence reads like a pattering of hailstones.If you can, don't read it without access to Google, otherwise the constant allusions to the world of history and literature make you lose a lot of the contents (unless you are an encyclopedia yourself).P.S. and not to forget, greetings to the hermit goats that they spotted on the island of Massafuero. Wherever that is, if it is anywhere. 0 of 0 people found the following review helpful. Mardi: The Unknown Melville By Becky Jewell This book is unlike any you will ever read. It's Melville at his most exuberant, writing a seafaring tale that makes little sense, dithers around, then comes back at the end in a triumph.The main protagonist sets out on a vague adventure, not wanting or seeking to achieve anything in particular, yet after a long time, his goal becomes apparent. Like Moby Dick only more fantastical, the writing is concerned with the world and the environment, and the many oddities of the world. If you've ever read The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym by Edgar Allen Poe, this book is similar. It's a weird journey into unknown lands.It makes sense that this book is unheard of and that it sold poorly when it was first published. Even scholars today have trouble understanding it, but it's worth reading for because Melville seemed to be liberated when he wrote it. See all 9 customer reviews...
About the Author Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. He is best known for his novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, becoming a bestseller), and after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime. When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early twentieth century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.
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