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Philosophy

Philosophy Faculty Publications

2017

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Beasts, Sovereigns, Pirates: Melville's "Enchanted Isles" Beyond The Picturesque, Gary Shapiro Jan 2017

Beasts, Sovereigns, Pirates: Melville's "Enchanted Isles" Beyond The Picturesque, Gary Shapiro

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Herman Melville's "The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles," included in his signature set of shorter narratives The Piazza Tales, remains relatively unvisited by readers and critics. So too was the archipelago generally known as the Galapagos, before becoming a chic destination for natural history excursions and eco-tourism. These ten "sketches" relate a narrator's experiences on the Pacific islands, adding a number of travelers' stories, some extrapolated (more or less accurately) from known records, some creatively transformed. One informative, comprehensive handbook suggests that Melville's description of this volcanic archipelago as Encantadas or "enchanted" in the sense of bewitched-uncanny, weird ...