Herman Melville: Sea Romancer Turned Gardener

“His subjects at the end included roses and irises, bluebirds and chipmunks, his early life with Lizzie in the Berkshires, and children’s dreams. …

…toward the end, … Melville … seems to have been content to avoid socializing, preferring instead to read his books, write, and tend his rose bushes.”

A short essay by  Mark Beauregard, offering a glimpse into Melville’s last years.

Did the “failed novelist” fail at yet another thing — poetry? Did he crave commercial success? Was he a happy man?

Happy, believe, this Christmas eve,
Are Willie and Rob and Nellie and May—
Happy in hope! in hope to receive
These stockings well-stuffed from Santa Claus’ sleigh.

— from Weeds and Wildings, with a Rose or Two, a collection of Melville’s poetry published in a private edition by Lizzie, Melville’s wife of more than forty years.

 

 

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Alfred Hitchcock on Suspense & Style

“For 17 years I have been making pictures described alternately as thrillers, dark mysteries, and chillers, yet I have never actually directed a whodunit or a puzzler. Offhand this may sound like

debunking, but I do not believe that puzzling the audience is the essence of suspense.”

Read “Let ‘Em Play God” by Alfred Hitchcock — a short article on suspense and style, written in the instantly recognizable “Hitchcock” manner.