Herman Melville

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

– Herman Melville


born in New York City, New York, The United States August 01, 1819
died: September 28, 1891
gender: male
genre: Literature & Fiction, Poetry, Short Stories
influences: Thomas Browne, Nathaniel Hawthorne, John Milton, Edgar Allan Poe, Will…more

Herman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers and 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 favour with the reading public — was re-discovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.



7 thoughts on “Herman Melville

  1. August 1, 1819: American writer Herman Melville created one of our most enduring literary duos—mad Captain Ahab and his one desire, the white whale, Moby Dick. Melville spent his early years at sea, enjoyed a flare of literary success, fell out of favour and spent nearly two decades as a customs inspector. He was born 194 years ago today.
    – Goodreads

  2. I’ve never read Moby Dick. Love the quote, tho.

  3. Melville could never be accused of imitating. And please call me Ishmael.

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