This monograph offers a new interpretation of Melville's work (focusing on "Moby-Dick", "Pierre" and "Benito Cereno") in the light of scholarship on globalization from critics in 'new' American studies. In "Melville, Mapping and Globalization", Robert Tally argues that Melville does not belong in the tradition of the American Renaissance, but rather creates a baroque literary cartography, artistically engaging with spaces beyond the national model. At a time of intense national consolidation and cultural centralization, Melville discovered the postnational forces of an emerging world system, a system that has become our own in the era of globalization. Drawing on the work of a range of literary and social critics (including Deleuze, Foucault, Jameson, and Moretti), Tally argues that Melville's distinct literary form enabled his critique of the dominant national narrative of his own time and proleptically undermined the national literary tradition of American Studies a century later. Melville's hypercanonical status in the United States makes his work all the more crucial for understanding the role of literature in a post-American epoch.
Offering bold new interpretations and theoretical juxtapositions, Tally presents a postnational Melville, well suited to establishing new approaches to American and world literature in the twenty-first century.
Robert T. Tally Jr. is Assistant Professor of English at Texas State University, USA, where he teaches American and world literature.
Acknowledgements; Preface: "When Leviathan's the text"; 1. Out of Bounds: Melville's American Baroque; 2. Spaces of American Literature: Geography and Narrative Form; 3. "An everlasting terra incognita": Globalization and World Literature; 4. Anti-Ishmael; 5. Marine Nomadology: Melville's Antinomy of Pure Reason 6. "Spaces that before were blank": The Utopia of the Periphery; 7. A Prosy Stroll: Overview and the Urban Itinerary; 8. The Ambiguities of Place: Local Narrative and the Global City; 9. "Leviathan is not the biggest fish": The Cartography of the Kraken; Bibliography; Index.