ROBERT H. ZOELLNER, HERMAN MELVILLE
Title: MOBY DICK: MASSIVE 1952 HENDRICKS HOUSE EDITION OWNED BY MELVILLE EXPERT, PROFESSOR AND AUTHOR FILLED WITH COPIOUS NOTES DISSECTING ONE OF AMERICA'S LITERARY GREATS
Book Condition: Very Good
Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall
Publisher: FORT COLLINS COLORADO Hendricks House New York 1952
Seller ID: 0002199
On offer is a fascinating, significant handwritten relic of American literature being a 1952 "Hendricks House" edition of Moby Dick by Herman Melville, edited by Luther S. Mansfield and Howard P. Vincent that belonged to author and Colorado State University professor and Melville expert Robert H. Zoellner (1926 - 2001). This book, Zoellner's personal copy, he signs and dates the book 1962, is heavily annotated and underlined on nearly every single page with his handwritten notes minutely dissecting Moby Dick nearly word by word in many sections while he researched and wrote his opus "The Salt-Sea Mastodon, A Reading of Moby-Dick" which was published in 1973. Historians and researchers of American literature will find an absolutely unique opportunity to peer over the shoulder of a renowned professor who deconstructs and thoroughly analyses one of America's greatest literary treasures down to a near molecular level. So extensive are the writings in a number of passages the Professor has attached with tape note cards. He has also used the endpapers for his notes. Here are just a very few of his very candid, tart comments but rest assured the book contains vast analytical passages not just terse commentary!: "Talk about reading from your own prejudices." "BULL" "What Horse Shit" "Big useless deal. You said it, buddy-o! Second time around does not improve things." "I damn well doubt it." "Here we go again with very thin "if's" and "perhaps." "Right* As distinguished from moral evil alone." "So dammit, WHY does Melville call Daggoo this??? "So what the goddam Hell does all of this have to do with Dagoo?" "I see absolutely no connection." The largish book has 568 pages of text and an additional 265 pages of explanatory notes [and yes there are notes on the notes] is about 2¾" thick and overall VG. BIO NOTES: one online source provides: "Dr. Zoellner was either loved or hated by his students. He was old-school in his approach to literature but taught me the power in close reading and "explication de texte." All that mattered to Zoellner was what was on the page, between the covers, in the body of the work. And he was not doubt a chauvinist. In 1976 and beyond, many of the female students in my classes found him coarse, crude, offensive. I do not question nor doubt their feelings and perceptions of him. While he could certainly teach the likes of Rich, he was at his best with Melville, Hemingway and Robert Penn Warren. And Faulkner…..When he died there were not funeral services, no obituary, no notice except for a few phone calls from the office secretary to a handful of his colleagues. His last few years were painful, hunched over from physical condition, a painfully slow gait, isolated from others. Somewhat of a troubled soul….." In Zoellner's own words in the preface of his book The Salt-Sea Mastodon: "This book was written in sheer self-defense. I have always found Moby-Dick an utterly compelling novel, like nothing else in American literature. Other novels engage me, interest me, absorb me, divert me, move me. Only Moby-Dick frightens me. At the same time and paradoxically, no other book in any literature has given me so much pleasure. Reading Moby-dick is for me-the students term is entirely appropriate-a real "trip." The first paragraph of the inside slip cover to The Salt-Sea Mastodon states: "In The Salt-Sea Mastodon, Robert Zoellner relates Melville's Moby Dick to some of the most urgent problems of the last quarter of the twentieth century."
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