From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Herman Melville (August 1 1819 – September 28 1891) was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His earliest novels were bestsellers, but his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville's fall from favor with the reading public — was rediscovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. Other movements found in Melville a worthy precursor. For instance, many Existentialists and Absurdists saw "Bartleby the Scrivener" as a prescient exploration and embodiment of their concerns.
- Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life (1846)
- Omoo: A Narrative of the South Seas (1847)
- Mardi: And a Voyage Thither (1849)
- Redburn: His First Voyage (1849)
- White-Jacket, or The World in a Man-of-War (1850)
- Moby-Dick, or The Whale (1851)
- Pierre: or, The Ambiguities (1852)
- Isle of the Cross (ca. 1853, since lost)
- Israel Potter: His Fifty Years of Exile (1856)
- The Confidence-Man: His Masquerade (1857)
- Billy Budd, Sailor (An Inside Narrative) [Published Posthumously] (1924)
- The Piazza Tales (1856)
- "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, December 1853)
- "Poor Man's Pudding and Rich Man's Crumbs" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, June 1854)
- "The Happy Failure" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, July 1854)
- "The Fiddler" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, September 1854)
- "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, April 1855)
- "Jimmy Rose" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, November 1855)
- "The 'Gees" (Harper's New Monthly Magazine, March 1856)
- "I and My Chimney" (Putnam's Monthly Magazine, March 1856)
- "The Apple-Tree Table" (Putnam's Monthly Magazine, May 1856)
- Unpublished in Melville's lifetime
- Battle Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866)
- Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land (1876)
- John Marr and Other Sailors (1888) Online edition
- Timoleon (1891) Online edition
- Weeds and Wildings, and a Rose or Two (1924)
Uncollected or unpublished poems
- "Epistle to Daniel Shepherd"
- "Inscription for the Slain at Fredericksburgh" [sic]
- "The Admiral of the White"
- "To Tom"
- "Suggested by the Ruins of a Mountain-temple in Arcadia"
- "The Continents"
- "The Dust-Layers"
- "A Rail Road Cutting near Alexandria in 1855"
- "A Reasonable Constitution"
- "A Ditty of Aristippus"
- "In a Nutshell"
The following essays were uncollected during Melville's lifetime:
- "Fragments from a Writing Desk, No. 1" (Democratic Press, and Lansingburgh Advertiser, May 4, 1839)
- "Fragments from a Writing Desk, No. 2" (Democratic Press, and Lansingburgh Advertiser, May 18, 1839)
- "Etchings of a Whaling Cruise" (New York Literary World, March 6, 1847)
- "Authentic Anecdotes of 'Old Zack'" (Yankee Doodle, II, excerpted September 4, published in full weekly from July 24 to September 11, 1847)
- "Mr Parkman's Tour" (New York Literary World, March 31, 1849)
- "Cooper's New Novel" (New York Literary World, April 28, 1849)
- "A Thought on Book-Binding" (New York Literary World, March 16, 1850)
- "Hawthorne and His Mosses" (New York Literary World, August 17 and August 24, 1850)
- Correspondence, Ed. Lynn Horth. Evanston, IL and Chicago: Northwestern University Press and The Newberry Library (1993). ISBN 0-8101-0995-6
- Journals, Ed. Howard C. Horsford with Lynn Horth. Evanston, IL and Chicago: Northwestern Univ. Pr. and The Newberry Library (1989). ISBN 0-8101-0823-2