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Patrick James Dunagan explores the human and professional relationship between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne in a review of Erik Hage’s book on the subject over at Bookslut:

Hawthorne inspired and reinforced Melville’s conviction to elevate the writing of Moby-Dick beyond any of the parameters he had previously explored with his earlier work. Melville’s “Mosses” review is clearly intoxicating in its display of ambitious declarative and he dedicates Moby-Dick to Hawthorne: “In token of my admiration for his genius, this book is inscribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne.” As a result of clear gaps between what is readily evident and what is clearly unknown, questions swirl regarding the relationship between the two authors. Hage hopes to offer answer to at least some of them. What remains incontestable is that Hawthorne’s presence clearly contributed to the final, crucial development of Moby-Dick.


Guia Cortassa was born, lives, and works in Milan, Italy. After working as a Contemporary Art curator, she went back to writing. She is a contributing editor for Ondarock and her writing has appeared on Rivista Studio, Flair and the Quietus. She compulsively tweets @gcmorvern. More from this author →