Monday, July 18, 2016


Clarel: A Poem and a Pilgrimage in the Holy Land by Herman Melville.


This was a wonderful find in the stacks at Powell's City of Books. It appears that Powell's is using it's print-on-demand technology to publish some books that would otherwise be unavailable to the general reading public at a decent price.

The only problem I'm having is that I can't figure out if some of the "typos" are due to (a) Melville for poetic effect (for instance, truncating words to force them in to the rhyme scheme); (b) the original printer; (c) the 1960s Hendricks House edition from which the online "public domain" versions seem to be based; or (d) OCR problems in preparing this print-on-demand version. My guess is that it is mostly a mixture of "a" and "d." I can entertain much more patience for the former than the latter.

These "typos" are complicated by Melville's use of enough archaic terms and phrases to really keep me on my toes. I'm still enjoying the read, I just wish I needed to do less "unnecessary" work and could focus more intently on the text, with less interruption.

All in all, though, I'm having fun swimming about in the lines of this book-length poem.

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