Herman Melville, an Artist without a Biography


  • Mychailo Kalinichenko Rivne State University of the Humanities, Ukraine




biography, text, discourse, North American Romanticism, mass-market literature, highbrow literature, H. Melville


The article actualizes the necessity to specify methodological, historical and literary priorities, which may ensure the production of a biography of the creative work of Herman Melville, the author of the widely famous novel Moby-Dick. The urgency of the search for a principally new scholarly paradigm is conditioned by the crisis state of numerous North American biographies of the artist, which are primarily aimed at the exploration of documental materials. As the result of this scholarly devotion to obsolete positivistic, empirical models of thought, the existing variations of Melville's biography (including the authoritative two-volume biographical work of professor H. Parker) leave unanswered the issues of creative character: the connections of the writer with the social and cultural reality of the United States of the first half of the nineteenth century remain unreciprocated; the problem of Melville's artistic evolution also awaits proper solutions. The author of the article realizes a textual comprehension of the writer's creativity and personal life. Biographical circumstances of the process of his artistic maturation are reviewed in terms of their connections with the discursive practices of Melville's age.

Author Biography

Mychailo Kalinichenko, Rivne State University of the Humanities

Department of theory and practice of English and applied linguistics

Rivne State University of the Humanities

Stepana Bandery street, 12, 33000, Rive, Ukraine


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How to Cite

Kalinichenko, M. “Herman Melville, an Artist Without a Biography”. Pitannâ lìteraturoznavstva, no. 89, Nov. 2014, pp. 17-28, doi:10.31861/pytlit2014.89.017.



Poetics and Methodology