D. G. Myers recommends Perry Miller’s “The Raven and the Whale”

December 20th, 2008

Regular visitor Texas A&M professor D. G. Myers recently posted a thoughtful and appreciative review of Perry Miller’s 1956 book, The Raven and the Whale: Poe, Melville, and the New York Literary Scene. He compares it to Louis Menand’s Puliter Prize-winning 2002 book on James, Holmes, and Pierce, The Metaphysical Club, writing that, “The result is a human comedy, a collection of lively anecdote and a war-memorial to men who cared passionately about raising up from scratch what Miller calls “an independent, a completely native and unique, literature” in America.”

Myers also rightly notes that not all neglected books are ones that fade from the spotlight, like Yates’ Revolutionary Road. Some are, in his words, “books that are even more likely to be neglected, because they were not widely bought and read to begin with.” Such books have certainly become more and more my focus as this site matures.

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