mardi 8 mars 2011

William Charvat, THE PROFESSION OF AUTHORSHIP IN AMERICA, 1800-1870, Columbus, Ohio State University Press, 1968, 327 pages.

But in Pierre the narrator is an intrusive nuisance. And he is most intrusive in the sections on authorship where he pretends to be exhibiting his hero's unspoken reflections on the creative life. In his artificial attempt to connect the story of Pierre's disillusionment as moral man with the story of his writing career, he commits the final perversity of rendering him disilusioned about the art of fiction. For the young author's despairing conviction that his finished book is a stacked deck ("he was but packing one set the more"), he was inviting the reader to share what was apparently his own loss of faith in fiction itself. If, as Charles Feidelson has argued, Melville wrote himself out of his belief in his craft, Pierre's suicide can be taken as a symbol of Melville's professional self-destruction.
(p. 253)

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