Literary Map of Herman Melville’s “Maddy”

  Published in 1849, Maddie was the final volume of Melville’s “Polynesian trilogy” and was Melville’s first experiment in moving from a simple personal narrative to a complex literary narrative, many of which were literary techniques. inherited by him. Nevertheless, the domestic research on “Madi” is still in its infancy, and there are only a few articles that have been discussed in depth, so there is a lot of research space. Most seniors in China simply regard “Maddy” as the sequel to “Tabby” and “Omu”. Their research perspective is mostly limited to the description of the Polynesian world in “Madi”, and the focus is still on the first two works. This research perspective actually ignores Melville’s attempts to construct a “world system” in “Madi”, and some scholars have also noticed that the Maadi Islands are a symbol of the world. A representative point of view is that the novel is a metaphor for the whole world, but only the parts involving Western countries such as Britain and the United States are realistic, and the rest are products of imagination without explicit reference to reality. Therefore, the order in which the dozen or so countries appear in the book is random and arbitrary, and changing their order does not affect the narrative rhythm and text structure.
  The author found that the protagonist’s travel trajectory can be further analyzed in combination with the world map. He arranged for the protagonists to make two round-the-world voyages in the miniature world of Maddie, to investigate civilizations in various regions of the world, and to take care of the established world system in the mid-19th century. This article takes Melville’s two literary maps presented in Maddie as the research object for constructing the world system.
  I. Analysis of “Navigation without Charts”
  Meryl Davis was a landmark figure in the study of Maddie, his 1947 doctoral dissertation “Herman Melville’s Maddie: A Biography of This Book”, and five years later in his The monograph “Melville’s ‘Maddy’: A Voyage Without a Chart”, which was revised on the basis of this, is an important reference material for the study of “Maddy”. Davis’s most important contribution to later generations seems to be his famous “three paragraph theory”, that is, Melville changed his writing plan twice during the two-year writing period from 1847 to 1849, so it is presented to the reader. not one but three novels. The first 38 chapters are narrative openings, and the plot is inherited from the end of “Omu”. Chapters 39 to 64 are romance episodes, marked by Ella’s debut and sudden disappearance. After Chapter 65, Taji is accompanied by four companions in pursuit of the white-skinned beauty Ile in the Madi Islands (like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick in pursuit of the white whale Moby Dick). This section is summed up as a satirical travelogue and romantic quest. Davis’ hypothesis about the change of Melville’s writing plan based on a large number of empirical studies has important inspiration for this article, which can explain the structure of two literary maps that symbolize the world appear one after another and slightly overlap. Although some scholars such as Michael in Melville’s “Maddy: One or Three Books” try to prove that “Maddy” is an organic unity, he analyzes Melville’s views on Neoplatonism and the circular The use of imagery completes its own argument, but at least judging from the plot, the structure of the whole novel is loose, and the content before and after is quite different. At the end of the novel, Melville also admitted that “the book lacks coherence and unity” when he uses the opportunity to describe Lombardo’s “Coztanza” to review the creation process of “Madi”.
  Another assertion that is widely accepted along with the syllogism is that Taji and his four companions went on a chartless voyage in the world of Madi. The textual source for this statement is a prompt from the narrator in chapter 169 of Madi: “Readers, please take note! There are no nautical charts to refer to during our voyage. With a compass and a plumb bob alone, we cannot Know the distribution of the islands of Maddie.” Davis’s “navigation without charts” has become an idiom among Melville researchers to some extent. For example, Sanford titled his essay on Melville’s dealings with Alder in 1849, “More Voyages Without Charts: Melville and Alder at Sea.” In fact, at the beginning of the voyage, King Midia drew a rough sketch, but the specific content is unclear. The reader only has the general direction of the westbound direction. Most domestic researchers hold the same view as Davis. . Taking Yang Jincai and Yu Jianhua’s “The Strange Shape” of “Madi”: An Adventure About Novels as an example, the two seniors pointed out that the
  second half of the novel is a synchronic metaphor. The order of reality in the novel is not really the author’s only choice. Since the experience on each island is an independent unit, there is no necessary logical sequence and causal relationship between each other, so the author can choose to write about Tupia Island first, then Zoam Island; or write first Mondordo, and then writing about Valapi Island, or it can be seen that the “disconnected narrative units in the novel do not unconditionally lead to one-by-one results”, and the narrative form of the novel is actually no longer “linear development”. , but “development around the core”.
  Like Davis and many critics in the year the novel was published, Professor Yang Jincai believes that the arrangement of the islands in Maddie’s World is similar to that of Gulliver’s Travels. Each island represents its own symbolic, independent allegory. Therefore, the order in which these islands appear is not particularly regular, and has nothing to do with the actual geography, and there is no trace of navigation. On the surface, the content of the second half of “Maddy” is indeed wild and absurd. The author agrees more with Ben Rogers’ view after careful reading of the text. Melville made reference to the geographical distribution of the real world when he created the content of “The Travels of the Madi Islands”. Except that the end of the voyage was influenced by Neoplatonism to describe what the narrator called the “spirit world”, the previous content All are references to the real world. However, due to the change of Melville’s writing plan, this part can be divided into two parts: metaphorical writing and direct writing.
  First of all, Mardi’s name implies its relationship to the world. In Italian, Mar means ocean, and di, which is equivalent to of in English, can only appear in the Indian Ocean (MarDiIndia), because the preposition di is followed by a vowel letter, and the other oceans are all consonant letters. preposition de. In addition to indicating that Melville may have a realistic map as a reference when creating, it also confirms Melville’s multicultural vision. While abandoning the simple first-person narrative, Melville also expanded the story beyond the Polynesian world to construct a complete world system.
  Combined with the world map, the travel track of the protagonist in the first part is further analyzed. The author believes that the above two parts represent the two round-the-world voyages carried out by the protagonists in the Maddie world from east to west. The first voyage is carried out in a metaphorical way compared to the second voyage that is accepted by the academic community. From Chapter 145 to the end of Chapter 168, the protagonist and his party have made a complete voyage around the world starting from England and ending at the southwest corner of Europe. The correspondence between this round-the-world voyage and real-world countries is so clear that scholars generally distinguish it from the first half of the voyage. For example, Ronald Elwood Brown summed it up as generalized social satire and political satire targeting specific historical events. The voyage before the debut of Dominora Island (representing the United Kingdom) is generally considered to be a tour of a purely fictional world and has nothing to do with actual geography. For this reason, literary reviews in 1849 invariably grouped “Maddy” with novels such as “Gulliver’s Travels”, “Giant” and “Utopia”. A review in the Boston Post on April 18, 1849, accused it of being “a hodgepodge of giants stripped of all its virtues.” This simplistic classification ignores the first half of the observation of real geography. This paper argues that in the first half of the voyage, Melville painted a metaphorical picture of the world, but the more realistic literary map inserted in the second half diverted researchers’ attention.

  This author makes a bold speculation. The second part of the circumnavigation of the globe was added temporarily after the novel was basically completed, thus producing two partially overlapping literary maps. As Davies said, the precise description of the known world (as opposed to the allegorical world in the preceding paragraph) is closely related to the sudden historical events at the time of writing.
  According to Davis’ research, on May 5, 1848, Melville’s new wife, Elizabeth Shaw, mentioned in a letter to her mother that “Maddy” had been basically created, and that she and her sister-in-law were busy transcribing “Made” every day. Manuscript of Maddie. The second half of the Madey Islands involves historical events that happened that year, such as the California Gold Rush that only spread to the eastern United States in the fall of 1848. The contents of chapters 145 to 168 are structurally integrated, which contradicts the statement in Elizabeth’s letter that the novel is basically completed. A more reasonable explanation is that the content of this part is temporarily added after the novel is basically completed. From this, it can be deduced that Melville takes into account the changes in the real situation and the purpose of criticizing human civilization in the new work, so it is included in it. This explains the intersection and overlap between the two literary maps.
  2. Explanation of the Two Literary Maps
  After confirming the existence of the two literary maps and clarifying their respective characteristics and causes, the following will focus on delineating the general outline of the two, and solve some related problems. The narrator makes the following exclamation in Chapter 169:
  However, a new world is presented before our eyes at this moment, which is a world of the mind. Here, the rover looks around, more curious than the explorer Balboa and his party as they traverse the golden Aztec swamp.
  According to this, some researchers have interpreted the entire Madeira Islands as Melville’s personal spiritual world. Even those commentators who speak of the writing of real-world realms in Maddy tend to ignore the existence of navigational routes. On the surface, “Madi”, like “Tabby” and “Omu”, are novels about adventures in the South China Sea. In fact, the Madi Islands are a metaphor for the whole world, which can be said to be the consensus of the current academic community. As Daniel Straubel said in his doctoral dissertation “The Projection of Melville and his Concerns as an Author into Mardi” ‘, the Polynesian material that appears in “Madi” is only a framing, background, and decoration compared to the broad vision and broad themes of the entire novel. After it is clear that the voyage is divided into two parts (three parts after adding the spiritual journey after chapter 169) and each has meaning, this section roughly sorts out the route of the protagonist Taji and his party in the metaverse of the Madi Islands. .
  Based on Zhu Xikui’s research results, this paper believes that the island countries in the first half of the voyage also refer to the actual geographical prototype. The voyage begins with the islands of Odo and Walapi, which are based on the Polynesia region and the Kingdom of Hawaii, and then to the island of Malama, which symbolizes Italy.
  In “Olianda of Melville”, Finkelstein was keenly aware of the connection between Dozenu Island next to Malama Island and the actual Egyptian island of Philae. It is particularly noteworthy that there is a lake called Yammo (Yammo, Hebrew “lake” is yam) between Malama Island and Dozenu. “Lake Yamo is only a part of the lagoon. A sandbar with shadowy trees extends from the high west coast of the island, turns a bend and points to the promontory, thus forming a narrow channel leading to the sea.” The narrow waterway connecting the open sea resembles the Mediterranean Sea between the Apennine Peninsula and Egypt. The islands that appeared later revolved around a certain ill of Western civilization, and the irony was clearly aimed at Europe and the United States. To sum up, Melville added artistic deformation and exaggeration on the basis of the geographical distribution of the real country. In the first literary map, Malama was the center and the islands were arranged according to the spatial orientation from east to west.
  Most researchers point out that the islands in the second half of the voyage correspond to real-world countries. The earliest can be traced back to 1849, shortly after the publication of the novel in British and American periodicals, but most of them are only selected. Most of the later studies refer only briefly to Melville’s writings of Britain and America. Compared to the first half of the itinerary, which was generally summarized westward, the second part of the description of the orientation became detailed and clear. The second half of the voyage is completely arranged based on the geographical conditions of the real world, and it is not a voyage without a chart at all. Take the part of the description between chapters 165 and 166, for example: “At last we rounded a headland (shaped like a moose in a desperate situation) and sailed into the calm blue waters of a lagoon, as if from the hustle and bustle of youth. All of a sudden into peaceful old age… After reaching the other side of the coast of Columbo country, we continue on… Now we continue along the west coast of Columbo, coming from the shore with the east The sound of the same virgin forest on the coast, we went ashore and stopped for a while, not to look for Ile among those nomadic tribes.” Here is the description of sailing northward along the west coast of America, bypassing Cape Horn from the east coast of America scene. By analogy, careful readers can draw a rough road map on the world map based on the text descriptions in Chapters 145 to 169. It is worth noting that when I flipped through Melville’s reading list compiled by Hilt, I found that Melville had read the globetrotting journals of the 18th century navigators George Anson and John Byron during the creation of “Maddy”. There are accounts of adventures at Cape Horn in both books. Melville seems to have always been interested in this maritime traffic fortress, which is accompanied by a magnificent description of the scenery when passing through the place in “Maddy”, and he also refers to it frequently in later novels. The author believes that this may be related to the strategic position of Cape Horn, which is the only place for businessmen from the eastern United States to cross the Pacific Ocean.
  Taji, Barbaranja, Midia, Mossi, and Yumi set off from England and firstly inspected Scotland north. Melville’s paternal ancestor was an Earl of Scotland. They then sailed to Ireland, rounded the island three weeks later, headed south to France, and crossed the Atlantic to the Canadian coast after making some poignant remarks about the European nations. Afterwards, the protagonists landed in the United States in the south, and after a detailed investigation of the United States from north to south, they set off from the southeastern United States, along the coastline of the east coast of the Americas, all the way to the south around Cape Horn, and then continued along the coastline of the west coast of the Americas. Head north to California, where the gold rush is on. Then they went all the way west, across the vast Pacific Ocean, through the Polynesia region to the east coast of China, then through the Strait of Malacca, through the Indian Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope, the southernmost tip of Africa, and finally along the west coast of Africa northward to the Strait of Gibraltar. After the circumnavigation of the world, the “spiritual journey” began.
  From the above simple outline of the track, it is not difficult to find that this circumnavigation of the world is quite realistic, which is very different from the metaphorical investigation before the appearance of Dominola. If the first voyage represented Melville’s investigation of the civilizations of various countries in the world in a metaphorical way, the second more realistic voyage focused on depicting the order of reality.

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