mardi 4 octobre 2011

Herman Melville, PIERRE; OR THE AMBIGUITIES, dans PIERRE, ISRAEL POTTER, THE CONFIDENCE-MAN, TALES & BILLY BUDD, New York, Library of America, 1984, 1478 pages.

For even at that early time in his authorial life, Pierre, however vain of his fame, was not at all proud of his paper. Not only did he make alumettes of his sonnets when published, but was very careless about his discarded manuscripts; they were to be found all around the house; gave a great deal of trouble to the housemaids in sweeping; went for kindlings to the fires; and were forever flitting out of the windows, and under the door-sills, into the faces of people passing the manorial mansion. In this reckless, indifferent way of his, Pierre himself was a sort of publisher. It is true his more familiar admirers often earnestly remonstrated with him, against this irreverence to the primitive vestments of his immortal productions; saying, that whatever had once felt the nib of his mighty pen, was thenceforth sacred as the lips which had but once saluted the great toe of the Pope.
(p. 307)

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