The biggest update is that my new book, The Value of Herman Melville, is scheduled to be published by Cambridge University Press in August 2018. It’s up on Amazon already, so you can go there to see the cover (pretty cool, I think), and the extremely reasonable price (for once!): $17.99. Here’s the back-cover description: “In The Value of Herman Melville, Geoffrey Sanborn presents Melville to us neither as a somber purveyor of dark truths nor as an ironist who has outthought us in advance but as a quasi-maternal provider, a writer who wants more than anything else to supply us with the means of enriching our experiences. In twelve brief chapters, Sanborn examines the distinctive qualities of Melville’s style—its dynamism, its improvisatoriness, its intimacy with remembered or imagined events—and shows how those qualities, once they have become a part of our equipment for living, enable us to sink deeper roots into the world. Ranging across his career, but focusing in particular on Moby-Dick, “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” “Benito Cereno,” and Billy Budd, Sanborn shows us a Melville who is animating rather than overawing, who encourages us to bring more of ourselves to the present and to care more about the life that we share with others.”
Also, I’m hoping that Columbia University Press will decide to bring out my earlier book, Plagiarama! William Wells Brown and the Aesthetic of Attractions (2016) in paperback, but if it doesn’t, or until then, you can cut its hardcover price by 30% by going to http://cup.columbia.edu/book/plagiarama/9780231174428 and using the code CUP30.
In other news, I’ve started offering a mini-class on Melville to people who are visiting Arrowhead, the farmhouse in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he wrote Moby-Dick. I’m using Airbnb Experiences as the platform for booking the tour and discussion; you can check it out at https://www.airbnb.com/experiences/247981. I’ve also started a Twitter account (@geoff_sanborn). My essay “And Per Se And: Time and Tempo in The Masque of the Red Death” will appear later this year in A Question of Time: Essays on American Literature (Cambridge University Press), edited by Cindy Weinstein. Finally, I gave the senior assembly address at Amherst College in May 2018; there’s an audio recording of it at https://www.amherst.edu/news/specialevents/commencement/speeches_multimedia/commencement-2018/senior-assembly.