Pierre Or The Ambiguities

Paperback, 384 pages

English language

Published June 17, 2004 by Kessinger Publishing, LLC.

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4 stars (3 reviews)

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Review of 'Herman Melville - Pierre or, The Ambiguities' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

This was a weird one. It makes feints in many directions. I'm sure I didn't understand much of it, and I'm not convinced Melville had all of his seams stitched up when this thing went to press.

It reminded me some of [b:Candide|19380|Candide|Voltaire|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1345060082s/19380.jpg|2833018], but more cynical, less light-hearted. There is also a sort of tribute to [b:Hamlet|1420|Hamlet|William Shakespeare|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1351051208s/1420.jpg|1885548] running through it, but heavily salted with more hints of incest than even the most cynical Freudian would find in Shakespeare.

But more than any of that, I spent a lot of the book wondering what [a:Nietzsche|1938|Friedrich Nietzsche|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1455294131p2/1938.jpg] would have thought of it. Melville seems to be devising a sort of Nietzschean anti-hero. God is dead, but in the caves where His shadow is shown, would-be shadow-knights like Pierre emerge and play out quixotic tragedies.

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