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Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its jagged edgesHerman Melville, Billy BuddReading Billy Budd left me thinking of David Foster Wallace and his unfinished novel The Pale King Both are unfinished literary works that despite their roughness and yes incompleteness seem to suggest or hint that if given time space temperament, etc., Melville and Wallace could have produced works equalling their respective magna opera Both are full of a confident stillness that hint at a genius between the words and a soul and art floating just under the text Is Billy Budd a greater work than Moby Dick Pshaw Of course not, because perfection But it shows that that damn book about an enigmatic, amelanist whale was not a fluke Billy Budd s simplicity and shortness is deceptive the water here isn t wide, but it is deep with strong currents At the end of reading this I was left with a dreamy visual of a giant wave which looks destined to break in a tremendous fashion against the ship I am sitting in At the very last moment, however, the swell rolls under my lonely craft While the ship survives, there is that one full stop second that heavy moment as the wave passes UNDER the portside where your bodymindandsoul recognizes the strength of the ocean and the power of that one beautiful wave that barely missed destroying you. Billy Budd adds to the evidence in Moby Dick that Melville was a master of the English language and a master of all things nautical It s a great, short tale of good, evil and the sometimes harrowing injustice of circumstance It was fascinating to see in Melville s last work, the dramatic difference in his earlier writing and the style of Billy Budd For example, comparing two completely random sentences, first from Typee In the course of a few days Toby had recovered from the effects of his adventure with the Happar warriors the wound on his head rapidly healing under the vegetable treatment of the good Tinor.And from Billy Budd Nevertheless, to anybody who can hold the Present at its worth without being inappreciative of the Past, it may be forgiven, if to such an one the solitary old hulk at Portsmouth, Nelson s Victory, seems to float there, not alone as the decaying monument of a fame incorruptible, but also as a poetic reproach, softened by its picturesqueness, to the Monitors and yet mightier hulls of the European ironclads.The language in Billy Budd is remarkably dense and lush It makes for a difficult read, but also makes the effort that much rewarding A DigressionThe other reviews of Billy Budd by high school kids and adults who read Billy Budd in high school are indicative of the overall quality of education in the US This isn t to come across as condescending, if I had read it in High School, my review would have probably been equally dismal since I was in no way prepared to appreciate a book that wasn t as exciting as a Bond movie or that used sentences complex than Lord of the Flies Billy Budd definitely shouldn t be required reading in high school, at least not until high school provides a competent enough education for students to appreciate a great work, even if they don t like it But again, I digress.The story of Billy Budd isn t the most moving that I ve ever read, but the characters are good and it s interesting moral dilemma I think the criticism that it is too blatantly a metaphor for Christ come from people who either don t understand Billy Budd or don t understand the basics of the life of Christ Budd is probably a metaphorical character and maybe even for Christ, but it s naive to give up on the book and characterize him as simply a mechanical metaphor for Christ There are enough differences, enough other issues raised and enough nuances to make Billy Budd stand on its own as a solid book and a precautionary tale of the harsh realities of justice and circumstance. Herman Melville s place in the literary canon is secure today, mainly on the strength of his novel Moby Dick but ironically, that work was largely panned by critics and regular readers alike when it was published, and in the last decades of his life he died in 1891 the author turned away from trying to publish fiction to write poetry instead But he didn t give up writing fiction privately and this novella, begun late in 1888, is the testament to the fictional achievement of his later years It was discovered and pieced together among his disorganized papers in 1919 by his first biographer, Raymond M Weaver, who had been given access by the author s widow, and was published a few years later The current Wikipedia article makes the claim that it was unfinished at Melville s death but there s no internal or external evidence to that effect, to my knowledge As it stands, the text reads like a complete and coherent whole I read it in college for my American Literature class, and appreciated it from the get go.Like much of Melville s work, this is set on the sea, and benefits from his experience as a sailor on sail powered ships Unlike his other maritime novels, though, this is set in a British milieu and in the generation before the author s birth the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars This is a setting much explored in subsequent fiction Though Melville wasn t the first writer to do so he had several 19th century predecessors, especially if we consider age of sail naval fiction broadly and Melville s own earlier novel White Jacket or, the World on a Man of War, though dealing with the American navy, was part of that 19th century tradition , I think it s arguable that he was a significant influence on both the authors of Mutiny on the Bounty and C S Forester.If you like later works of this type, by the above mentioned authors or others such as Patrick O Brian, and you aren t put off by 19th century diction, this read might appeal to you as well Much shorter than Moby Dick, it lacks the latter s info dumps and wordy philosophical digressions, and the tighter narrative benefits from this The three main characters are very well developed, the plot is well organized and absorbing, and the tone and approach serious Nautical terminology isn t so thick that a modern day landlubber like myself can t understand it well enough to follow the basic narrative Without giving out any spoilers, though, readers should be warned that this isn t a feel good story That wasn t the author s intention.The ambiguity of Melville s message s here have been, IMO, greatly exaggerated by interpreters who like ambiguity It s definitely an exploration of the possible conflict between genuine justice and the letter of the law, and through the last two chapters especially of the ways that people knowingly or unknowingly distort reality by seeing it through their own lenses or using it to serve their own agendas Unlike some critics, I don t see any clear Christ symbolism in the protagonist I think that s something that s read into the text than deduced from it A victim of a Calvinist religious upbringing that repelled him, Melville s attitude towards Christianity, at least when he wrote his earlier works, wasn t particularly positive Critics tend to treat Moby Dick as Melville s masterpiece but I personally rated this tale higher, and stand on that I can t say it s his masterpiece, because I haven t read any of his other novels but I definitely want to, someday Although Goodreads is concerned with books than film, it s also worthwhile to note that the 1962 movie adaptation starring Terence Stamp, Peter Ustinov and Robert Ryan is a top notch production very faithful to the original, and highly recommended. Jealousy s a green eyed monster, folks. SparkNotes Billy Budd, Sailor From A General Summary To Chapter Summaries To Explanations Of Famous Quotes, The SparkNotes Billy Budd, Sailor Study Guide Has Everything You Need To Ace Quizzes, Tests, And EssaysBilly Budd, Sailor Herman Melville Livres Retrouvez Billy Budd, Sailor Et Des Millions De Livres En Stock SurAchetez Neuf Ou D OccasionBilly Budd, Sailor Herman Melville Livres Passer Au Contenu Principal Billy Budd, Marin Wikipdia Billy Budd Restera Une Uvre Traitant De L Tre Et Du Faire, De Parallles Avec Le Christianisme, De La Futilit De La Bont Incapable De S Exprimer, De L Individualisme Face La Socit, Le Tout Empreint D Une Homosexualit Latente Aussi Bien Le Commandant Du Navire Que Le Matre D Armes Sont, Chacun Leur Manire, Profondment Amoureux Du Matelot Billy Budd Wikipedia Billy Budd, Sailor Is The Final Novel By American Writer Herman Melville, First Published Posthumously In London Inas Edited By Raymond M Weaver, A Professor At Columbia University Other Versions Were Later Published Melville Had Begun Writing The Original Work In November , But Left It Unfinished At His Death InAcclaimed ByPDF Billy Budd, Sailor By Herman Melville Book Free Download Or Read Online Billy Budd, Sailor Pdf EPUB Book The First Edition Of This Novel Was Published In , And Was Written By Herman Melville The Book Was Published In Multiple Languages Including English Language, Consists Ofpages And Is Available In Paperback Format The Main Characters Of This Classics, Fiction Story Are , Billy Budd, Sailor EPub Herman Melville Achat EbookHerman Melville S Final Masterpiece, Found Unpublished On His Desk At His Death Billy Budd, Sailor Would Emerge, After Its Publication In , As One Of Melville S Best Loved Books And One Of His Most Open, With Its Discussion Of Homosexualty Billy Buddinterprtations D Un Roman Selon Billy Budd, Gabier De Misaine Fut Sa Dernire Nouvelle, Acheve L Anne De Sa Mortmais Qui Ne Fut Publie Que Lorsqu Il Fut Redcouvert Par La Critique EnExercice Propos Par Ned Herrmann Lors Des Congrs, Avant La Projection Du Film De Peter Ustinov Sur Billy Budd Billy Budd, another in Melville s oeuvre of nautical tales of gay passion, is shorter than his masterpiece and not as rewarding The problem is that it s kindof boring and not much happens.It was Melville s last work, and he never really finished it he just left a ton of scribbles and sketches and conflicting drafts kicking around and maybe that s why it feels like a bit of a mess because it literally was, before various people tried to stitch it together.Your basic story is that there s this super pretty guy, Billy Budd, and this other dude on the ship, Claggart, is deeply closeted and therefore confused and eventually enraged by his unstoppable attraction to him So of course he view spoiler accuses him of plotting mutiny, and then Budd punches him in the face and kills him, and then the also possibly closeted captain has Budd martyred hide spoiler Melville s Billy Budd, Sailor represents an unfinished work but one that was in its 3rd draft at the point when the author died in 1891 which was subsequently tended to by his widow before being published to great acclaim 30 years later in 1924 and then in a 2nd revised format in 1948 In reading the book a 3rd time, I continue to find Melville s novella a most captivating tale and one conveying considerable psychological depth With each draft, there was a broadening of the 3 principal characters, 1st Billy Budd, then the master of arms John Claggart and finally the ship s captain, Edward Fairfax Vere With Herman Melville, so much of the detail within his novels is reflective of his experiences at sea on whaling ships, for as Melville put itI ascribe all the honor glory of my life to whaling for a whale ship was my Yale College my Harvard. It was said that at this time, men often ran away to the sea as women took themselves to a nunnery, in an attempt to expiate past sins or alter their fate by somehow transforming themselves And so much of the author s nautical education involved a study of how men at sea interacted with one another, observing the complexity of personalities on long whaling ship voyages particularly in view of the rigid hierarchy of roles in the case of Billy Budd, set on board a British man of war in 1797 At the novel s outset, Billy has just been transferred to the Bellipotent, biding an audible farewell to the Rights of Man, that being the name of his former merchant ship, quickly providing a framework though which Billy is measured as a newcomer forced to adapt.However, Billy Budd is no ordinary sailor but rather an exceedingly innocent lad who his shipmates quickly come to love, excepting the one named Claggart who is both transfixed by Billy s seeming purity of spirit and his stature among his fellow seaman Is Billy to be seen as a Christ figure or a gay icon of some sort, with reviewers following both camps I sense that Billy is far complex than a character who can be quickly shoehorned into a single type My focus has remained that Billy, a foundling, somehow appears childlike untainted, seemingly so natural so as to confound those he encounters, displaying a quality that both amazes captivates those who observe him on board the man of war But the ability to attract attention due to his good looks sense of youthful uprightness causes the master of arms to work at undermining Budd, with Claggart s conniving belligerence not unlike that of Shakespeare s Othello Claggart is described as a man of constitutional sobriety, an ingratiating deference to superiors, a peculiar ferreting genius capped by a certain austere patriotism with it all, an abject fear of Billy s ability to charm, merged with a supremely antagonist suspicion of the man who some on board called Baby For, Billy came on boardlike a Catholic priest striking peace in an Irish shindy disturbance Not that he preached to his fellow sailors or did anything in particular but a virtue went out of him, sugaring the sour ones They took to him like hornets to treacle all but the buffer of the gang, the big shaggy chap with the fire red whiskers, who perhaps out of envy of the newcomer thinking that such a sweet pleasant fellow could hardly have the spirit of a gamecock, bestirred himself to get into a row with Billy, insultingly giving him a dig in the ribs Quick as lightening Billy let fly his arms gave Red Whiskers a terrible drubbing And, will you believe it, the fellow now really loves Billy But with Billy Budd s ability to mesmerize his fellow seamen, while ably performing his duties as foretopman on the ship, he did have an Achilles heel as it were, manifesting an occasional nervous stutter that made it difficult for Billy to speak when he most needed to, a state that led to the primary confrontation of Melville s brief novel At this point, I am forced to issue a Spoiler Advisory Another character on board is Dansker , an older sailor who warns Billy of Claggart s potential to harm him but Billy is so na ve without guile that he seems unable to comprehend why he could possibly be the source of anyone s discomfort, let alone malice In spite of Billy s abiding innocence, Claggart does lay a trap that ultimately leads to the demise of both with Captain Vere presiding over a drumcourt that condemns Billy for striking a superior officer, shortchanged of a vocal defense of himself by his temporary speechlessness Captain Vere is forced to follow military code, though he had despised Claggart had grown to revere Billy He was old enough to have been Billy s father In spite of the austerity of military duty, he let himself melt back into what remains primeval in our formalized humanity may in the end have caught Billy to his heart, even as Abraham may have caught young Isaac on the brink of resolutely offering him up in obedience But there is no telling the sacrament, seldom if ever revealed to the world That the condemned one suffered less than he who had mainly effected the condemnation was apparent The night before Billy Budd is to die, he is visited by a minister of Christ receiving his stipend from Mars , a man who doesn t know quite how to comfort the young sailor but before departing, kisses Billy s cheek It is said that Budd was incapable of conceiving what death really is wholly without irrational fear of it Billy listened to the man but less out of reverence than from a certain natural politeness And this sailor way of taking clerical discourse was not unlike the way in which the primer of Christianity, full of transcendent miracles, was received long ago on a tropic isle by a superior savage a Tahitian say, of Captain Cook s time Out of natural courtesy he received but did not appropriate it It was a gift placed in the palm of an outstretched hand on which the fingers do not close And at the moment of his undoing without a hint of irony, Billy Budd shouts God bless Captain VereYes, Melville creates a sacrificial lamb and if memory serves me, in the excellent black white film version with Terrence Stamps as Billy, Robert Ryan as Claggart Peter Ustinov as Captain Vere, there is a kind of epilogue suggesting that justice will live as long as the human heart and law will live as long as the human mind There is also an excellent operatic depiction of Melville s tale by Benjamin Britten And so ends a tragedy of wonderfully rendered force that is somehow uplifting, at least for me And for Billy s fellow sailors on the Bellipotent it was said that the spar from which the foretopman was suspended became sacred, like a chip from the cross on which Christ died The novel ends with a poem composed by one of Billy s mates, an epitaph entitled Billy in the Darbies, with that word employed to describe the chains or handcuffs in which Billy spent his final night It is a most fitting conclusion to this powerful story, one with many biblical references and very memorable characters My University of Chicago Press version of Billy Budd, Sailor 1962 featured a comprehensive post mortem of the original Melville manuscript, housed at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, done by Harrison Hayford Northwestern Merton Sealts Harvard with many references to the Melville s genetic text vs the reading text There is terminology within the work that is at times oblique but the novel remains a classic work in spite of some occasionally distracting minor flaws I feel comfortable with my 5 rating. It s an story from English Lit and honestly I remember very little I didn t even remember I read it, so you see how it stuck with me. The tragic story of Billy Budd is a captivating and interesting read Melville is a master of physical and psychological description and an expert at ships at sea and this makes for a great story I am all too familiar with rumor mongering and how poisonous and destructive it can be and this posthumously published novella serves as a sort of naval parable about it A must read after Moby Dick. I had hoped that during the time that has lapsed between having had to read this and Moby Dick or, The Whale as an undergraduate and now I would have warmed up a bit to Melville, who along with Dickens holds the dubious distinction as being my least favorite canonical authors No dice I found this just as difficult to read and even difficult to sustain any kind of interest in, and was most grateful for the relative brevity of Billy Budd, especially as Melville s writing style can charitably be described as impenetrable, if not at times actually unreadable The thing is, I really, really WANT to like Melville I love reading interpretations of Melville s writing, as they are of the type that fracture and fragment under postmodern analysis, bursting with utterly fascinating queer resonances Certainly the all but slavering characterization of the titular character throughout the novella is one of the glories of homoerotic 19th century literatureHe was young and despite his all but fully developed frame, in aspect looked even younger than he really was, owing to a lingering adolescent expression in the as yet smooth face all but feminine in purity of natural complexion but where, thanks to his seagoing, the lily was quite suppressed and the rose had some ado visibly to flush through the tan Of course, Billy s corporeal beauty is rather problematically utilized by Melville as a symbol for purity, innocence, and moral as much as physical beauty, something that ultimately creates a rather blank and even unsympathetic cipher of a character Not that, Claggart, his shadowy nemesis, is accorded any particularly interiority either that would help rationalize the hatred he develops that will eventually destroy Billy But Melville s silence in regards to the character of Claggart is also one of the most evocative qualities of the novella, creating an opening that has often been interpreted as sexual in nature that Claggart is motivated by an attraction that is almost inevitably one sided, that his fateful claim against Billy is rooted in a self hatred caused by this attraction, etc One way or the other, what interests me about Billy Budd is that Melville s elusively was appropriated by director Claire Denis for her lyrical and very loose adaptation Beau Travail France, 1999 In Denis s capable hands the bare bones of Melville s story is transformed into a beautiful meditation on postcolonialism, homoeroticism, the human specifically male body, marginality, movement, race relations, etc, etc, etc that in its own way is just as elusive and endlessly evocative as Melville s text Only rendered, if you excuse my very biased opinion, with a masterfulness and density that Melville s text barely hints at. Billy Budd, Sailor


About the Author: Herman Melville

There is than one author with this nameHerman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby Dick largely considered a failure


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