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Herman Melville

August 1
 
"Friendship at first sight, like love at first sight, is said to be the only truth."    --- Herman Melville
 
Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 - September 28, 1891)
Born in New York City, New York. 
Died in New York City, New York of "cardiac dilation" at age 72
Herman enjoys the only king-sized bed at the Sylvia Beach, as befits the behemoth of the deep sought in his masterpiece.   This room is newly remodeled with two excellent reading chairs.  It's on the third floor, at the top of the stairs, close to the spiced wine at night and coffee in the morning, and the library at all hours.
 
My 2012 New Year's Resolution to (finally) read Moby-Dick was one of the inspirations for his project, so this room (and author) is dear to me.  My birthday present to the room was a brand new book, published on the author's birthday in 2012, titled Dive Deeper: Journeys with Moby-Dick by
George Cotkin.  This book is basically a terrific chapter-by-chapter analysis of Melville's masterpiece, complete with current cultural references, and many links to other works that have since led me down many other paths of research. 
 
Another recent work (2011), Why Read Moby-Dick ? by Nathanield Philbrick (who also wrote In the Heart of the Sea, which is the true story of the whaleship Essex which inspired Melville's novel) proved inspirational.   You see how one book leads to another, and another, and another.......
 
My Guest Journal Entry:  Happy Birthday, Herman Melville !  One of my New Year's Resolutions was to ... FINALLY... read Moby-Dick this year.  And I decided I had to kick off this resolution at the Sylvia Beach, in YOUR room.  Then one thought led to another idea and then a concept until I wound up deciding to stay in every room in the Sylvia Beach Hotel on the birthday of each author...starting with Hemingway on July 21 and ending with Shakespeare next April.  Happily, your birthday was early in the schedule, so I can keep my resolution and honor you as my muse for MY future book:  Birthdays at the Beach.  Thanks for the inspiration -- Kelly Paige.
P.S.  Your birthday present for the room will be "belated."  I bought a little shelf shaped like a dinghy--it may end up here.....or a new book about Moby-Dick is coming out today:  Diving Deeper - Journeys with Moby-Dick.  I might buy a copy of that for the room.  I'll be back in September and we'll see......KP
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Kelly Paige,
Apr 22, 2013, 7:15 PM
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