The Portrait Gallery: Herman Melville

Each week, Christine Larsen creates a new portrait of an author for us. Have any favorites you’d love to see immortalized? Let us know, or see if you can find them in the archives.

Herman Melville was born two-hundred years ago today. Happy birthday Herman!

Have you ever noticed how great Melville was at naming? Moby Dick, or course. But Tyee? Omoo? White Jacket? Bartleby, the Scrivener?

Hey fans of meta-post-modernism! Did you know that Melville published The Confidence-Man on the day it was set? And what about that opening of Moby Dick? "EXTRACTS. (Supplied by a Sub-Sub-Librarian)"? Better than a David Foster Wallace footnote.

Happy second century, Melville. An American original, a financial failure during his life, and now, amazingly respected, and two-hundred years old.