Today, I picked up The Arizona Quarterly. It was Volume 37 from the Winter of 1981, Number 4. The ISBN is 004-1610. I chose this one for the first essay listed on the cover – one on Montaigne, Melville, and The Cannibals. It’s by one Gorman Beauchamp (what a name) and spells out what I now realize it is that keeps me coming back to Melville time and time again, even though I’m always slightly dissatisfied with his work.
“[…] being a work of intrinsic interest and inventiveness as fiction-autobiography-anthropology-travelogue […]”
Beauchamp identifies all my favorite subjects and genres, then attributes them to Melville. Ah, I see now.
This entire installment is dedicated to Melville – every essay. A poem by a Housman piqued my interest, briefly, but it wasn’t A.E., it was another Housman.
If I were to purchase this (roughly $5), I’d house it next to The Secret of Lost Things so the Melville cronies can bond… so it can be near something else that reminds me to tackle Melville with more zeal. After all, it is something to revisit once I have tackled Melville more thoroughly.
Until then, I’ve tucked it back on the shelf at Good Books in the Woods – with the rest of the A’s in the Literary Journal area in the back of the Gallery – to be revisited as long as it remains there while my child frolics in the rock garden out back.