Friday, August 7, 2009

Herman Melville

American author Herman Melville was born on August 1, 1819. He became a literary success while still in his twenties, even publishing a best-seller. Then his popularity declined to the point that he was virtually a forgotten man. He died in near-obscurity in 1891.

During the twentieth century his works gained recognition and great acclaim, Moby Dick considered one of the world's great works. Billy Budd was not published until 1924.

I particularly enjoyed Omoo and Typee. Following is an excerpt from Melville that you probably haven't read.

Love was first begot by Mirth and Peace in Eden, when the world was young. The man oppressed with cares, he cannot love; the man of gloom finds not the god. So, as youth, for the most part, has no cares and knows no gloom, therefore, ever since time did begin, youth belongs to Love. Love may end in grief and age, and pain and need, and all other modes of human mournfulness; but Love begins in joy. Love's first sigh is never breathed till after Love hath laughed. Love laughs first, and then sighs after.

--from Pierre, 1852

Herman Melville 1819 - 1891 RIP


Secondary Roads said...

Love leaves us vulnerable. It takes down defenses.

JennyMac said...

Excellent tribute. An incredible author and talented beyond Moby Dick even though that is what most people only know him from.