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Typee : A Peep at Polynesian Life

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Typee is a fast-moving adventure tale, an autobiographical account of the author's Polynesian stay, an examination of the nature of good and evil, and a frank exploration of sensuality and exotic ritual. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 129.54 x 195.58 x 22.86mm | 226.8g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0140434887
  • 9780140434880
  • 189,282

Back cover copy

At one time the most popular of Melville's works, Typee was known as a travelogue that idealized and romanticized a mysterious South Sea island for readers in the ruthless, industrial, "civilized" world of the nineteenth century. But Melville's story of Tommo, the Yankee sailor who enters the flawed Pacific paradise of Nuku Hiva, is also a fast-moving adventure tale, an autobiographical account of the author's own Polynesian stay, an examination of the nature of good and evil, and a frank exploration of sensuality and exotic ritual. This edition of Typee, which reproduces the definitive text and the complete, never-before-published manuscript reading text, includes invaluable explanatory commentary by John Bryant.show more

Review quote

"A classic of American literature [and] the pioneer in South Sea romance." - Arthur Stedmanshow more

About Herman Melville

Herman Melville was born in August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packedtidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924. "show more

Table of contents

TypeeIntroduction by John Bryant Works Cited and Suggested for Further Reading A Note on the Text TYPEEPreface Chapter 1 The Sea Longing for Shore A Land-sick Ship Destination of the Voyagers The Marquesas Adventures of a Missionary's Wife Among the Savages Characteristic Anecdote of the Queen of Nukuheva Chapter 2 Passage from the Cruising Ground to the Marquesas Sleepy times aboard Ship South Sea Scenery Land ho! The French Squadron discovered at Anchor in the Bay of Nukuheva Strange Pilot Escort of Canoes A Flotilla of Cocoa-nuts Swimming Visitors The Dolly boarded by them State of affairs that ensue Chapter 3 Some Account of the late operations of the French at the Marquesas Prudent Conduct of the Admiral Sensation produced by the Arrival of the Strangers The first Horse seen by the Islanders Reflections Miserable Subterfuge of the French Digression concerning Tahiti Seizure of the Island by the Admiral Spirited Conduct of an English Lady Chapter 4 State of Affairs aboard the Ship Contents of her Larder Length of South Seamen's Voyages Account of a Flying Whaleman Determination to Leave the Vessel The Bay of Nukuheva The Typees Invasion of their Valley by Porter Reflections Glen of Tior Interview between the old King and the French Admiral Chapter 5 Thoughts previous to attempting an Escape Toby, a Fellow Sailor, agrees to share the Adventure Last Night aboard the Ship Chapter 6 A Specimen of Nautical Oratory Criticisms of the Sailors The Starboard Watch are given a Holiday The Escape to the Mountains Chapter 7 The other side of the Mountain Disappointment Inventory of Articles brought from the Ship Division of the Stock of Bread Appearance of the Interior of the Island A Discovery A Ravine and Waterfalls A sleepless Night Further Discoveries My Illness A Marquesan Landscape Chapter 8 The Important Question, Typee or Happar? A Wild-Goose Chace My Suffering Disheartening Situation A Night in a Ravine Morning Meal Happy Idea of Toby Journey towards the Valley Chapter 9 Perilous Passage of the Ravine Descent into the Valley Chapter 10 The Head of the Valley Cautions Advance A Path Fruit Discovery of Two of the Natives Their singular Conduct Approach towards the inhabited parts of the Vale Sensation produced by our Appearance Reception at the House of one of the Natives Chapter 11 Midnight Reflections Morning Visitors A Warrior in Costume A Savage Aesculapius Practice of the Healing Art Body Servant A Dwelling-house of the Valley described Portraits of its Inmates Chapter 12 Officiousness of Kory-Kory His Devotion A Bath in the Stream Want of Refinement of the Typee Damsels Stroll with Mehvi A Typee Highway The Taboo Groves The Hoolah-Hoolah Ground The Ti Timeworn Savages Hospitality of Mehevi Midnight Misgivings Adventure in the Dark Distinguished Honors paid to the Visitors Strange Procession and Return to the House of Marheyo Chapter 13 Attempt to procure Relief from Nukuheva Perilous Adventure of Toby in the Happar Mountain Eloquence of Kory-Kory Chapter 14 A great Event happens in the Valley The Island Telegraph Something befalls Toby Fayaway displays a tender Heart Melancholy Reflections Mysterious Conduct of the Islanders Devotion of Kory-Kory A rural Couch A Luxury Kory-Kory strikes a Light à la Typee Chapter 15 Kindness of Marheyo and the rest of the Islanders A full Description of the Bread-fruit Tree Different Modes of preparing the Fruit Chapter 16 Melancholy condition Occurrence at the Ti Anecdote of Marheyo Shaving the Head of a Warrior Chapter 17 Improvement in Health and Spirits Felicity of the Typees Their enjoyment compared with those of more enlightened Communities Comparative Wickedness of civilized and unenlightened People A Skirmish in the Mountain with the Warriors of Happar Chapter 18 Swimming in company with the Girls of the Valley A Canoe Effects of the Taboo A pleasure Excursion on the Pond Beautiful freak of Fayaway Mantua-making A Stranger arrives in the Valley His mysterious conduct Native Oratory The Interview Its Results Departure of the Stranger Chapter 19 Reflections after Marnoo's Departure Battle of the Pop-guns Strange conceit of Marheyo Process of making Tappa Chapter 20 History of a day as usually spent in the Typee Valley Dances of the Marquesan Girls Chapter 21 The Spring of Arva Wai Remarkable Monumental Remains Some ideas with regard to the History of the Pi-Pis found in the Valley Chapter 22 Preparations for a Grand Festival in the Valley Strange doings in the Taboo Groves Monument of Calabashes Gala costume of the Typee damsels Departure for the Festival Chapter 23 The Feast of Calabashes Chapter 24 Ideas suggested by the Feast of Calabashes Inaccuracy of certain published Accounts of the Islands A Reason Neglected State of Heathenism in the Valley Effigy of a dead Warrior A singular Superstition The Priest Kolory and the God Moa Artua Amazing Religious Observance A dilapidated Shrine Kory-Kory and the Idol An Inference Chapter 25 General Information gathered at the Festival Personal Beauty of the Typees Their Superiority over the Inhabitants of the other Islands Diversity of Complexion A Vegetable Cosmetic and Ointment Testimony of Voyagers to the uncommon Beauty of the Marquesans Few Evidences of Intercourse with Civilized Beings Dilapidated Musket Primitive Simplicity of Government Regal Dignity of Mehevi Chapter 26 King Mehevi Allusion to his Hawiian Majesty Conduct of Marheyo and Mehevi in certain delicate matters Peculiar system of Marriage Number of Population Uniformity Embalming Places of Sepulture Funeral obsequies at Nukuheva Number of Inhabitants at Typee Location of the Dwellings Happiness enjoyed in the Valley A Warning Some ideas with regard to the Civilization of the Islands Reference to the Present state of the Hawiians Story of a Missionary's Wife Fashionable Equipages at Oahu Reflections Chapter 27 The Social Condition and General Character of the Typees Chapter 28 Fishing Parties Mode of distributing the Fish Midnight Banquet Timekeeping Tapers Unceremonious style of eating the Fish Chapter 29 Natural History of the Valley Golden Lizards Tameness of the Birds Mosquitos Flies Dogs A solitary Cat The Climate The Cocoa-nut Tree Singular modes of climbing it An agile young Chief Fearlessness of the Children Too-Too and the Cocoa-nut Tree The Birds of the Valley Chapter 30 A Professor of the Fine Arts His Persecutions Something about Tattooing and Tabooing Two Anecdotes in illustration of the latter A few thoughts on the Typee Dialect Chapter 31 Strange custom of the Islanders Their Chanting, and the peculiarity of their Voice Rapture of the King at first hearing a Song A new Dignity conferred on the Author Musical Instruments in the Valley Admiration of the Savages at Beholding a Pugilistic Performance Swimming Infant Beautiful Tresses of the Girls Ointment for the Hair Chapter 32 Apprehensions of Evil Frightful Discovery Some remarks on Cannibalism Second Battle with the Happars Savage Spectacle Mysterious Feast Subsequent Disclosures Chapter 33 The Stranger again arrives in the Valley Singular Interview with him Attempt to Escape Failure Melancholy Situation Sympathy of Marheyo Chapter 34 The Escape Appendix: Provisional cession to Lord George Paulet of the Sandwich Islands Sequel: The Story of Toby Appendixes: List of Textual Expurgations; List of Textual Emendations The Typee Manuscript: A Reading Text Explanatory Notesshow more
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