This episode features a conversation with archivist Melissa Watterworth Batt about poet Charles Olson (1910-1970) and his collection which documents an intensive study into Herman Melville’s personal library and the marginalia found within it. Olson worked with Melville’ relatives as well as librarians, private collectors, and book dealers to attempt to track down the “lost five hundred,” the approximate number of books Melville’s widow had sold to a Brooklyn dealer in 1892 after Herman’s death. In addition we discuss Olson’s book, Call Me Ishmael (1947) which incorporated his research, the history of Herman Melville’s whaling experiences, and his own postmodern poetics. This is part 1 of a 2 part conversation featuring seafaring songs and archival recordings, check out part 2 here.
Logo by Melica Stinnett