Saturday, February 19, 2011

Brodhead: Incredible Incompetence or Credible Malice?

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1 comment:

  1. What is wrong with saying that only I have the instruments to detect POEMS, when all Melville scholars had known a great deal about POEMS since 1922 and when the evidence was quoted right there in several pages of the book Brodhead was paid to review? Obviously, it's wrong to discredit me as someone who may have fabricated an unknown title (when the title is well known as Melville's own). But beyond Brodhead's damage to my reputation is something much more malign, his simply erasing from memory all the people who thought about POEMS from Minnigerode to Thorp to Leyda and Howard then on to all the more recent people such as Shurr. Brodhead as heir to Charles Feidelson was not just denying scholarship, he was denying the life-work of scholars, which comes down to denying their existences, since what is remembered, by people outside their families, is their work. Is there anything worse that a critic can do?