Speaking Of Vacuums...Look At This


Benito Cereno, Melville

Literary Criticism--EL312

After reading one of many Melville's dry stories, it only confirmed what I already knew. Valerie asked this question on her blog:

Do I really want to be conscious of the fact that I'm reading from a certain perspective EVERY time I read something?

To answer that perfectly legitmate question, I what Valerie and all the good folks who read her blog ponder this. We are thinking in a 21st century mind set about everyone is equal. In Melville's time, slavery is legal... not to mention in 1799 (the year the story takes place). As I read this story something in me was bothered by Melville's take on the story. Which only prove the point of Keesey and myself that we bring a personal perspective to every single thing that we read.

According to Delano, Benito Cereno most likely could most likely could be someone held against his will. But as we read on we discover that it may not be that simple. I will reinforce the message in my previous blogs that we cannot read or write in a vacuum. Melville definitely could not...understanding that twenty years or so prior, the La Amistad rebellion had taken place. I'm pretty sure we are going to read this story over and over again so there will be more things to discover.


DID YOU SAY WE ARE READING THIS OVER AND OVER! I am buying stock in Vivarin because I know this class will be stocking up if forced to re-read and re-read BC. Is re-read hyphenated?

Yes, we do bring a personal perspective every time we read something - but that doesn't mean the value of that piece of literature, or the value of our opinion, has to decrease.