In Melville's Intervisionary Network, John Haydock attempts to reveal what he claims to be the significant but insufficiently recognized influence of the fiction of Honoré de Balzac on Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Although mainly focused on Melville's writings and literary career, Haydock includes a discussion of Balzac and Hawthorne that posits the French writer's secret presence in the constellation of Hawthorne's literary influences at the height of his career. In addition, the author argues that Melville and Hawthorne's intense friendship in the Berkshires in 1850–51 involved a decisive (although undocumented) discussion of the fiction and ideas of Balzac that fed each writer's burst of creativity during this period and during certain productive literary periods thereafter, with Hawthorne acting as a tutelary genius to Melville's incipient knowledge of Balzac. Haydock's ambitious goal is to place the literary work of the great French realist at the center of some of...
Melville's Intervisionary Network: Balzac, Hawthorne, and Realism in the American Renaissance, by John Haydock
Jonathan A. Cook is the author of Satirical Apocalypse: An Anatomy of “The Confidence Man” (1996), Inscrutable Malice: Theodicy, Eschatology, and the Biblical Sources of “Moby-Dick” (2012), and coeditor, with Brian Yothers, of the essay collection Visionary of the Word: Melville and Religion (2017).
Jonathan A. Cook; Melville's Intervisionary Network: Balzac, Hawthorne, and Realism in the American Renaissance, by John Haydock. Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 3 December 2019; 45 (2): 198–204. doi: https://doi.org/10.5325/nathhawtrevi.45.2.0198
Download citation file: