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Melville and Balzac: the man in cream-colors.

In their detailed commentary as part of the Northwestern Newberry edition of The Confidence-Man, the editors proposed the accepted theory that Herman Melville began writing his novel after reading a newspaper article about the re-appearance in New York of an "original confidence man," known as William Thompson. Yet beyond this assertion they confess uncertainty on several points still to be resolved. Two of these are the nature of the story's initial setting and its philosophical development.
 Nor do we know two further basic matters: how or when it occurred to
 him to put his Confidence Man aboard a Mississippi steamboat rather
 than keep him, like his prototype, in an eastern city, or when in his
 planning and writing of the book Melville enlarged his Confidence Man
 to a character of wider social and even cosmic significance than the
 newspaper original. (Branch 1984, 278)

Since the days of Howard Vincent's pioneering analysis of Melville's method of composition (1949, 1970), readers have acknowledged Melville's tendency to deliberately "expropriate," embellish and append observations and incidents from other writers to his own work (Branch 1984, 280). Although Melville never mentions French novelist Honore de Balzac in the documentation we possess from the 1850s or earlier, Balzac was a good candidate for literary borrowing. At the time The Confidence-Man was written, Balzac was among the most-read or at least most talked-about European authors in America (Post-Lauria 1996, 129). Moreover, we can show that Melville had easier access than has been previously considered to information about world literature through friends, family and the daily progress of his own reading habits. Researchers have successfully verified that in his later life Melville became voracious for writings by and information about this master proto-Realist (Dillingham 1996; Haydock 1996; Sealts 1988; Cowan 1987). Melville appears even to have used Balzac's Seraphita as a partial character sketch for Billy Budd. Additionally, several studies suggest that some dependence on Balzac may have been active much earlier (Hayes 2000; Haydock 2000; Lawson 1994; Chai 1987). Significantly, Kevin Hayes's discovery of common elements from Balzac in Melville's writing relates to the very same time frame as the conception of The Confidence-Man. (1) Although the dominant opinion is that Melville did not encounter Balzac's writing until at least 1870, to assume that Melville was ignorant of Balzac's achievement up to that time would make him practically a literary recluse; and the massive documents we have available now (Parker 1996, 2002) prove that this image is certainly not accurate. However, the hypothesis of early contact still evokes strong resistance from many conventional Melville critics and scholars. Consequently, a close examination of the opening section of The Confide nce-Man and in particular the characterization of the man in cream-colors in relation to Balzac's similar character in "Jesus-Christ in Flanders" should put any implausibility to rest while simultaneously providing a resolution to the Newberry editors' unanswered questions.

Melville and Balzac

The track of relying on internal evidence can be a slippery one. However, when such evidence is reviewed in the context of prevailing modes of cultural exchange, intellectual preoccupations, and public discourse the same points can become clearly demonstrative of real entanglement and not simply unintended affinity. The proofs offered from the texts that follow will be more authoritative once we establish the facts that there were many conditions in Melville's experience that made contact with the works and ideas of Honore de Balzac before 1857 probable and indeed vital for his creative life. As Jane Lundblad established, "When acknowledged in the early thirties, Balzac immediately became known outside the boundaries of France, and, as we have already seen, was read also in America ..." (1965, 167).

The first and most persistent barrier that is thrown in the path of Balzacian influence is deciding whether Melville had known French or not. Early commentators expected that he had; (2) but when no annotated books exclusively in French were uncovered in Melville's final estate, the general opinion turned to the assumption that he could not have known the language. This question, although often treated as settled in Melville criticism, is yet to be answered decisively. (3) Although he had little formal education, the breadth of Melville's learning has been frequently noted, including his use of German to comprehend Schiller (Sealts 1988, 211).

The primary evidence for the idea that Melville had effective knowledge of French is of course his well-documented familial connections to users of that language. His father spent much of his life visiting France and importing French cultural objects, books chief among them. The argument for immersion then arises as a simple alternative to formal study. The library at the Melville home probably contained numerous books in French. His sisters practiced French for their own classes. And if the passage in Redburn can be trusted as in part autobiographical, Melville at quite an early age had been attracted by French literature:
 Then, too, we had a large library-case, that stood in the hall;...
 with large glass doors, through which might be seen long rows of old
 books, that had been printed in Paris, and London, and Leipsic.... And
 there was a copy of D'Alembert in French, and I wondered what a Great
 Man I would be, if by foreign travel I should ever be able to read
 straight along without stopping, out of that book, which now was a
 riddle to everyone in the house but my father, whom I so much liked to
 hear talk French, as he sometimes did to the servant we had. (Melville
 1969, 7)

His favorite uncle Thomas had lived in France and married a French woman, giving Melville a close French relative, offering him another incentive to learn the language. His French-born cousin Priscilla was an active member of Melville's extended family in the Berkshires (Parker 2002, 59-60). There is even some speculation that Melville may have had another, illegitimate, relation possibly of French background as well (Sparks 1991). (4) Had Herman voiced even the slightest literary interest, some of his family would likely have told him stories about the work of the writer just then the rage of readership in Europe or have translated or recited some "appropriate" tales for him from the books themselves: Reading aloud together was a contemporary practice exercised in his household.

Many of the travel books Melville enumerates in Chapter 30 of Redburn bear French titles and may have been at his side during composition. The citation above identifies the process for learning French as "foreign travel," and not formal, documented schooling. Melville engaged in just such traveling (and in French territory). Pierre Melvill was "a romantic figure" to Herman up until his death in 1844. He had gone to sea and spent time on a route "almost identical to the one Melville was about to follow" to les Marquises (Robertson-Lorant 1996, 90).

This expedition in the early 1840s afforded Melville an opportunity not only to improve his French in the outer territories but also to encounter Balzac in books or in summary retellings brought along by immigrants and sailors. It was common to encounter shipboard libraries, often with eclectic and multifaceted collections. Melville describes one of these in White Jacket: "There was a public library on board, paid for by the government, and trusted to the custody of one of the marine corporals, a little, dried-up man, of a somewhat literary turn" (1970, 167). Although in New York Balzac's morals made him a public nuisance, in the rest of the world, particularly for readers of French on the islands Melville visited on his voyage, Balzac had been a sensation for a decade. Literature from the homeland takes on exceptional value to citizens dwelling far overseas. Nuku Hiva, the second largest island in the Marquises, which occupied the bulk of Melville's attention in Typee, contained the French administrative seat, Hakapehi, with a sizeable contingent of European settlers. Significantly, France annexed the islands in 1842, exactly the time Melville arrived there that summer. Clearly, at such an intense cultural moment for the French, if Melville wanted to improve his language "by foreign travel," he had an excellent opportunity and the quick mind to do so.

Other direct practice with French language and society presented itself on his trip to Europe in 1849, and in this case, he had still a better opportunity to discover the philosophy, methods and stories of Balzac. The ship's library would have been a primary and likely source for Melville to probe. Assembled for educated international travelers and not simply puritanical Americans, the collections for reading on the packet boats were both diverse and contemporary. Ralph Waldo Emerson gave an example of the nature of such libraries, which Melville also would have encountered.
 We found on board the usual cabin library: Basil Hall, Dumas, Dickens,
 Bulwer, Balzac, and Sand were our sea-gods. Among the passengers,
 there was some variety of talent and profession; we exchanged our
 experiences, and all learned something. The busiest talk with leisure
 and convenience at sea, and sometimes a memorable fact turns up, which
 you have long had a vacant niche for, and seize with the joy of a
 collector. (Emerson 1856, 8)

Emerson found Balzac among the books in a standard shipboard library to Liverpool in 1847, almost two years before the same sort of passage taken by Melville. Such coincidence indicates a high degree of probability that Melville could have met with Balzac's writing in this environment. Emerson does not say whether the literature he read was in French or English; but either language could have provided enough material for shipboard interchange.

Melville's journal shows that his onboard activity was also very similar to Emerson's and contained the same stretches of reading, philosophical discussion, and social drinking (1989, 8). Both stress the prevalence of intellectual argument and discovery on the crossing, and Melville records associations with passengers sharing his infatuation with Romantic philosophy. Among the men with whom he most regularly associated in his group were "several Frenchmen;" particularly a "Monsieur Moran," who seemed to be a frequent companion, along with Professor George G. Adler, who was not only a scholar of German literature, but an author who had extensive knowledge of French, also (Lee 1974). (5) "He is full of German metaphysics & discourses of Kant, Swedenborg & c."
 We talked metaphysics continually, & Hegel, Schlegel, Kant & c were
 discussed under the influence of the whiskey. I shall not forget
 Adler's look when he quoted La Place the French astronomer--"It is not
 necessary, gentlemen, to account for these worlds by the hypothesis" &
 c. (Melville 1989, 8)

It is important to remember (as Melville emphasized in Redburn) that in the first half of the nineteenth century, French, and not English, was the international language of travel. Moreover, the topics Melville loved were decidedly international in flavor and implication, the principal thinkers being European.
 McCurdy invited Adler and Taylor & I to partake of some mulled wine
 with him, which we did, in my room. Got--all of us--riding on the
 German horse again--Taylor has not been in Germany in vain. After
 another curious conversation between the Swede and the Frenchman about
 Lamertine [sic] & Corinne, we sat down to whist, & separated at about
 3 in the morning. (Melville 1989, 9)

To conclude that the Swedish, French, German, and American interlocutors were all speaking English is to impose American twenty-first century linguistic privileges on early nineteenth-century global discourse. Melville certainly understood enough of the conversation to be encouraged to pick up his own copy of Corinne from publisher Bentley on his arrival in London. Furthermore, with so much discussion about Romantic principles and authors integral to Balzac's creativity (particularly Swedenborg and Mme. de Stael), mention of Balzac especially among the Frenchmen would seem to have been inevitable in 1849.

The most obvious of all the possibilities affording direct comprehension of French and knowledge of Balzac's fame occurred of course during the several days Melville spent in Paris, first as a tourist, and second as a purchaser of books. He frequently met with Adler, and the professor was his steady guide through French society. Melville stayed at the principal English hotel in the city, where, once his credentials were noted, his gregarious nature would have led him to enter into his usual conversations about philosophy and literature. Additionally, he spent each day at Galignani's, the main English reading room in Paris, which also had a lending library. English readers of French literature would have been his companions. Moreover, Melville's own reputation as a writer, even after the less-than-impressive performance of Mardi, was largely favorable in France and would have admitted him to literary conversations. The respected French critic Philarete Chasles had given him a high (though ironic) rating if for nothing more than effort (Leyda 1951, 304). (6)

Furthermore, at that time, Balzac was at the climax of his notoriety and popularity in Paris. The massive La Comedie humaine was almost complete by 1849, being republished in a new edition that year (with the important theoretical "Introduction" or Avant-propos prominently intact). Balzac, moreover, was still having stories serialized in multiple periodicals simultaneously (Robb 1994, 374). Even though a limited proficiency in French might have restricted Melville somewhat with booksellers, the syllables "Balzac" would be recognizable and easy to trace out in any context. Melville's well documented curiosity about fame and greatness would not have allowed him to ignore such unbridled popularity as that Balzac had achieved (cf. Sealts 1982).

Uncertainty over whether Melville was able to understand French may come closest to a resolution during this episode in Paris. At one point Melville went to visit Adler at his quarters but he was not there. Melville records that time waiting was spent talking with the French host the best he could (1989, 31). This may mean that from his childhood or through his travel experiences he did really master enough French language to speak casually, which suggests a good possibility that he also could read Balzac, at least tentatively. Melville also wrote down that on the train to Germany there was a "Fat Frenchman with whom I conversed a little" (39). It is common experience that to read a language is always less difficult than to speak it socially. If Melville could speak French from his world travels, he might miss some of the subtle connotations of Balzac's wit, but he could surely follow the narrative thread and envision the important characters and their relationships.

In addition to his international activities, Melville would have had many opportunities back at home to encounter Balzac in English as well as French. Again, although having occurred, these instances need not be classified at the time worthy of recording or registering in some extant document. Expectations in this sphere were limited in the 1930s, when Benjamin Griffith stated that between 1828 and 1885 there were only about a dozen works by Balzac in English printed in the U.S. Moreover, he asserted that "only the largest universities taught French" and that only liberal minded, well educated, "more or less cosmopolitans" could respond favorably to Balzac's subjects (Griffith 1930, 8-9). Melville spent much time, of course, in New York City and other New England cosmopolitan centers where these texts were admittedly available. Griffith's published booklist is not his own but based on another scholar's work in the 1920s, evidentially far distant in time from the actual period being investigated. Furthermore, he considered as "extant" only book translations published initially and distributed primarily within American cities, not allowing for sources in the rest of the English-speaking world that could have found their way to our continent. Without the resources also of the National Union Catalog, begun only after 1956, Griffith had no record of books held in American libraries in or before the project he quoted began. Nevertheless, he names Madame Firmiani (1837), The Countess with Two Husbands (1837) A Daughter of Eve (1843), Eugenia Grandet (1843), The Lady with Two Husbands (1843), Luck and Leather (1843) The Philosopher's Stone (1844), Father Goriot (1844), and Melmoth Redeemed (1844) as available in English (11-13).

Library inventories listed in the National Union Catalog give further indication of how long-standing collections have in fact preserved even more early books in English by Balzac. From the 1840s and 1850s there are records of abundant individual narratives in English still on the shelves. (7) These were produced by firms like Liberty Book House and Happy Hour Library. Anthologies of European literature often include Seraphita and selections from the "Droll Stories" (which certainly do not require sophistication to understand!). Others include Father Goriot, "Jesus Christ in Flanders," and Louis Lambert (Library of Congress 1956, 100-205).

In 1843 one American translator introduced Balzac as "the much admired author" (1843, Preface). If the paperback translator conceded to the American public that the Frenchman's work was "much admired," Balzac surely was known to popular taste by the time Melville returned from his sea voyage a year later, regardless of Griffith's assumed conditions. Although he felt most of them had disintegrated from "frequent bethumbings," Hayes identified a number of Balzac pamphlet novels circulating early in the decade (2000, 160). Research also shows that by 1850, Balzac was not only well recognized, but also a serious commercial threat even to local writers (Post-Lauria 1996, 129).

Moreover, once a book appeared in any language with an air of notoriety attached to it, illegal and adulterated or morally "cured" versions would spring up in English from another part of the world and would quickly find their way to America. This type of commercial misappropriation even happened to Melville's Typee in France and later to other of his works in England (Leyda 1951, 344). Additionally, sometimes even American works gone out of print would be reset in England and sent back into this country for sale illegally in U.S. bookstores (Sealts 1982, 255). Most of this activity, of course, went unregistered and unrecorded in official documents.

Evidence also supports the fact that an almost constant stream of information about Balzac and his ideas continued to flow into this country. Griffith counted a minimum of 39 major articles before 1885 (1930, 15). After Balzac's death in 1850 the tide took a decided turn toward praise rather than denigration, once general readers had learned of the extraordinary celebration surrounding Balzac's funeral in Paris and Victor Hugo's ebullient praise of his talent (Besser 1969, 233). (8) In 1850, the Literary World (the same periodical that had published Melville's "Hawthorne and His Mosses" only a month before) excerpted the British comment that also "Perhaps amongst all the authors of our day none will go down to posterity but Balzac. His ideas were grand and majestic, and his bold attacks upon the vices and follies of society constant and unwearied" (qtd. in Hayes 2000, 162). Other news and literary papers Melville would have been likely to see also reported the French writer's death and summarized his career. Melville was later to preserve a clipping of Hugo's funeral oration for Balzac in one of the biographical works he possessed, which certainly implies that he had attached some importance to this event (Cowen 1987, 100). Balzac's supreme success would have been exemplary, giving Melville more incentive to proceed along the path to a literature of cultural breadth, which he so earnestly desired to leave posterity. Across the seven years since this international literary adoration, Melville could have carried the impression of the French writer's influence into his thoughts about The Confidence-Man.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

The most likely native circumstance for Melville's developing a serious understanding of Balzac in the important context of fiction writing would have been his interaction with Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850-52, immediately following Balzac's exaltation. Importantly, it was at this period in his life that Hawthorne was particularly steeped in Romantic (German) philosophy and theory (Cook 1971, 43), a favorite hobbyhorse of Melville's from his days in 1849 with Professor Adler. Balzac was included in Hawthorne's reading (Lundblad 1965, 169). Concerning Hawthorne's application of Balzac's innovations, Leon Chai writes,
 Here I believe it is possible to speak not only of affinity but of an
 actual influence exerted by the great French author upon his American
 contemporary. A comment by Hawthorne himself attests the extent of his
 interest in the former: in 1836-37 he told Elizabeth Peabody he had
 read all of Balzac's works published up to that time.... The magnitude
 of Hawthorne's reading of Balzac thus bears witness to his thorough
 immersion in the world of the Comedie humaine. (Chai 1987, 163)

William Bysshe Stein supports this conclusion by pointing out that Balzac, whom Hawthorne read in the original language, "fascinated him throughout his life; he had procured copies of the French master's work as soon as they appeared in print" (1953, 49). According to Chai, it was "from Balzac's theory of the Will, Hawthorne [developed] his intuition of life as an expression of the individual consciousness" (1987, 158).

Like Cook, Stein also indicates that Hawthorne was a close reader who constructed careful analyses of such predecessors as Balzac, making an "artistic study" of "all the popular novels of the time" and that he "was not averse to adapting and modifying general plot themes or certain technical approaches" to his own advantage (1953, 49). Hawthorne would have found fertile understanding of this strategy in his acquaintance Melville, who already showed a strong tendency to borrow from fashionable narrative styles and needed help in evolving his project on the whale fisheries into a best seller like The Scarlet Letter. At minimum, Hawthorne was a catalyst who brought to clarity in Melville's mind what he had already known or intuited by reading Balzac as an exemplar of contemporary popular writing. At the extreme, he may have instructed Melville directly on Balzac's narrative theory and scheme of character development previously deciphered by his own analysis. (9) He could have brought to their conversations principles and techniques that not only directed Melville's whaling story toward powerful literary effects, but would as well crystallize his ontology throughout the rest of his career as a writer. As one would expect of such intimate and isolated activity, none of the proceedings is written down for us to find, however. Hawthorne wisely never left comments on any contemporary writers he studied (Lundblad 1965, 167). Melville destroyed his letters from Hawthorne, this most likely artistic informant. Similarly, Melville's letters to Hawthorne are probably largely missing and excised of technical matters, thanks to Julian Hawthorne's editing and desire to preserve his father's reputation (Parker 2002, 855-56). Yet there are obvious traces of Balzac's criminal genius Vautrin in the psyche of Captain Ahab, while the character-narratives in Moby-Dick comply precisely with Balzac's system of human types (Haydock 1996). Pierre resembles not only La Peau de Chagrin; it echoes other novels that could have been in Hawthorne's library and logically served as subjects for those long hours of discussion in Melville's barn and Hawthorne's sitting room (Parker 2002; Leyda 1951; Stewart 1948; J. Hawthorne 1968.). Amusingly, Hawthorne had even adopted the Balzac-like disguise of "Aubepine" (Eng. "hawthorn") to emphasize his own philosophic position and lack of recognition by parodying the Frenchman's early poor public appraisal (1992, 318). However deliberately or intentionally, the two friends during these productive months appropriated many of each other's stylistic traits, which are detailed elsewhere (Mueller 1996), and their interlocutory sessions can obviously explain transmission of Balzacian "realism" to Melville. It would be unreasonably cautious simply to assume that because any written record is lacking committed artists like Melville and Hawthorne were unfamiliar in English or French with Balzac, the greatest innovative writer of the age, by 1850: nearly twenty years after his achieving international fame and at the very moment of his high praise in the Literary World.

Having considered these opportunities, one finds emerging a new plausible resolution to the potentialities of composition surrounding The Confidence-Man. Melville could well have been aware not only of Balzac's literary achievement and methods but additionally of one specific story of the French master, which Hawthorne had owned. "Jesus-Christ en Flandre" first appeared in 1831, well within the time period of Hawthorne's close familiarity with and possession of books by Balzac. In fact, if Stein is correct about Hawthorne's being influenced by Melmoth reconcilie (1953, 48), then according to Elizabeth Peabody's time table, Hawthorne probably purchased the 1836 edition of the novel (OCLC # 23410248), which had bound with it "Jesus-Christ en Flandre." Melville could have perused the book while staying overnight or from arriving early in the day while Hawthorne was still at his habitual hours of writing. Melville would spend considerable time waiting in a "boudoir" "furnished with bookshelves" until Hawthorne was ready to meet him (Sealts 1982, 382).

Associatively, Melville himself had taken a ferryboat in Flanders from Ostend to Dover in 1849, an event providing an additional attraction to this volume of La Comedie humaine.
 Arrived at Ostend at 11 1/2 P.M. The boat was at the wharf--took a 2d
 class passage, & went down into a dog-hole in the bow, & there sat &
 smoked, & shivered, & pitched about in the roll of the sea from
 midnight till 5 o'clock in the morning, Thursday 13th Dec when we
 arrived at Dover. Disembarked in the dark in a small boat & went to
 The Sign of "The Gun." (Melville 1989, 39)

The actual incident of disembarking in a small Flemish craft after a rough voyage particularly reflects elements of the French narrative, which also recur in The Confidence-Man. Personal experience comprises a strong element in all Melville's writing, and he probably found something charming or memorable in Balzac's use of a Flanders setting, especially if Hawthorne had introduced him to the story little more than a year after his adventure on the ferry.

By 1857 Melville's financial situation was bringing a decisive end to his career as a professional prose writer. He appears at this time nonetheless solidly dependent on applying interesting compositional structures with proven audience success from the story telling of others, even though his motivation may have changed. (10) It is certainly reasonable that Melville could have taken from "Christ in Flanders" as he had recently done with the Narrative of Captain Amasa Delano and the biography of Israel Potter, an initial situation, fundamental setting, and philosophical framework for his own itinerary of The Confidence-Man. The preponderance of shared elements, particularly in relation to the man in cream-colors, certainly suggests just such an intention to borrow at least in part from another "single printed work" (Branch 1984, 280).

"Christ in Flanders" and The Confidence-Man

The principal section of Balzac's three-part short story concerns the fate of a medieval ferryboat voyage just at sunset between an island and the coast of Flanders. An unusual stranger, mild and meek and without baggage, boards the ferry last after a group of other citizens both rich and poor take up most of the places. The passengers are divided in their opinions of this odd individual, the subject of much banter, yet he remains silent, unresponsive, and notably humble. A storm develops, and the skipper of the boat urges everyone to make extraordinary efforts to survive, while the stranger only asks them to have faith in him and they shall be saved. The apparent "burgomaster" is met with both hoots and supplications as the storm rages stronger, and the steersman, not trusting in prayer or in Providence, demands more courageous participation on everyone's part. At last the ferry breaks up near its destination: Those who disbelieve and are proud or selfish drown from the weight of their egoism; those with confidence in the stranger are saved. The skipper, however, hangs on by his own individual Will and stubbornly survives.

The result of apparent contact with this story is a similar part for Melville's man in cream-colors to that of the stranger in Balzac's tale. Nameless passengers appear suddenly and mysteriously on shore just as a crowded ferry is ready to pull away; they are both buffeted by the self-occupied crowd already on board. They carry no baggage and have no attendants. Both are ethereal, mild and attractive persons, and they stimulate speculation and chatter, even common "titters," among their companions. Neither finds a place to sit and must move to the portion of the boat where the poor and rejected reside. In opposition to prevailing skepticism, both expound discourse of religious faith. Both rely on New Testament phrases to communicate, and each is thought simple-minded as a result. Both vanish as suddenly and unnoticed as they appear. Moreover, they both act as adjuncts or illustrative counter-types to a central character that does not enter the narrative until they have disappeared. Philosophically, both narratives rely prominently on the essence of I Corinthians 13:12 and exploit the problem of perception for the bringer of salvation to a narrow-spirited and imperiled humanity. (11)

In his valuable text studies, Vincent used parallel tables to point out narrative elements that convincingly supported appropriation on Melville's part. I will follow this practice as well by excerpting paragraphs from the earliest extant English translation of "Jesus-Christ en Flandre" (Balzac 1977, 2-19) (12) compared occasionally to the original French (1987, 10-32) and by presenting them next to associated passages in The Confidence-Man (1984). The reader needs to keep in mind in considering the exactness of match that Melville could have, among other possibilities, read an unrecorded "cured" feuilleton translation, plodded through Balzac's French on his own as he had Schiller's German, or heard the story paraphrased by Hawthorne.
"Christ in Flanders" The Confidence-Man

The boat that served to carry At sunrise on a first of April there
 passengers from the Island of appeared, suddenly as Manco Capac at
 Cadzand to Ostend was upon the lake Titicaca, a man in cream-
 the point of departure.... colors, at the water-side in the city
 Just at that moment a man of St. Louis.
 appeared a few paces from ... In the same moment with his
 the jetty, to the surprise of advent, he stepped aboard the
 the skipper, who had heard no favorite steamer Fidele, on the point
 sound of footsteps. The of starting for New Orleans. (3)
 traveler seemed to have
 sprung up from the earth,
 like a peasant who had laid
 himself down on the ground to
 wait till the boat should
 start, and had slept till the
 sound of the horn awakened
 him. (2)

Balzac's description of the event suggests a supernatural origin (they could not hear the stranger's footsteps). Melville bases his beginning on this same imaginative effect with an exactly similar surprise appearance of his initial character. Moreover, Manco Capac was a mysterious outsider who came to shore unexpectedly from an island in Lake Titicaca to found the Inca faith. Although "advent" can be a general term particularly appropriate to this Incan savior, it also has familiar Christian connotations by its identity with "Advent," "the coming of the Savior." Also, April first is usually close to Easter, the celebration of a resurrected God on the Christian calendar. That Balzac's stranger sprang up from the earth can also suggest a resurrection; and the stranger's assumed sleeping is literally duplicated by the man in creamcolors at the end of his participation in Melville's story. It is notable that both vessels are already crowded with passengers anxious to be on their way. Both boats are just on the point of departure, and the final boarders are each judged with impatience. Melville's vessel is set to transport its passengers from St. Louis all the way to New Orleans, but it retains the same flavor of antiquity about it as Balzac's little ferry: In fact, Melville's discharged customs-officer even calls the French-named Fidele (Eng. "faithful") a "ship of fools" (1984, 15)--a direct echo of Sebastian Brandt's medieval satire presenting much of the same imagery found in "Christ in Flanders." Melville directly refers to the steamer as a "boat," despite the contrasting size of the Fidele in relation to the ancient bark, and later says that "... like any small ferry-boat, to right and left, at every landing, the huge Fidele still receives additional passengers in exchange for those who disembark (8)."

Both strangers are denominated by what they wear: "man in the brown camlet coat" and "man in cream-colors." In fact, neither "man" is ever given a definite name. Balzac's is once or twice "the man," while Melville's always bears the designation "the man in cream-colors," without majuscule. Even the stature of the two Christ-like strangers evokes striking correspondences, and the same "titters" [Fr. railleries chuchotees] make up the response by unsympathetic passengers. Both are alone and without companions. The men are alike in their extraordinary projection of an unmistakable mildness and innocent beauty. Neither of them carries any baggage of any sort, a telling reflection that strengthens their identity as being both outside society and free of its accoutrements. In contrast, the other passengers on both boats travel with heaps of baggage. Both vessels carry former soldiers and widows. Balzac's stranger is forced to the bow of the boat, while the man in creamcolors must find his place in steerage on the lower-deck. Thus, both characters are pushed to the least desirable part of their conveyances, among the passive and indigent.
"Christ in Flanders" The Confidence-Man

At first sight of the bareheaded man His cheek was fair, his chin
 in the brown camlet coat and downy, his hair flaxen, his
 trunk-hose, and plain stiff linen hat a white fur one, with a
 collar, they noticed that he wore long fleecy nap. He had
 no ornaments, carried no cap nor neither trunk, valise, carpet-
 bonnet in his hand, and had neither bag, nor parcel. No porter
 sword nor purse at his girdle, and followed him. He was
 one and all took him for a unaccompanied by friends. From
 burgomaster sure of his authority, the shrugged shoulders,
 a worthy and kindly burgomaster titters, whispers, wonderings
 like so many a Fleming of old times, of the crowd, it was plain
 whose homely features and characters that he was, in the extremest
 have been immortalized by Flemish sense of the word, a stranger.
 painters. The poorer passengers, .... Stared at, but unsaluted,
 therefore, received him with with the air of one neither
 demonstrations of respect that courting nor shunning regard,
 provoked scornful tittering at the but evenly pursuing the path
 other end of the boat. (3) of duty, lead it through
 solitudes or cities, he held
 on his way along the lower
 deck ... (3)

Immediately among Balzac's passengers is described a "young knight" [Fr. jeune cavalier], and Melville early mentions among his commuters "certain chevaliers" associated with various "businesses." These "chevaliers d'industrie" are in fact swindlers; a condition Melville takes pains to make clear (and pun upon). Balzac likewise satirizes his narcissistic knight.
"Christ in Flanders" The Confidence-Man

Four of the seven personages belonged ... among them certain
 to the most aristocratic families chevaliers, whose eyes, it was
 in Flanders. First among them was plain, were on the capitals,..
 a young knight (Fr. cavalier) with though, during a chance
 two beautiful greyhounds; his long interval, one of these
 hair flowed from beneath a jeweled chevaliers somewhat showed his
 cap; he clanked his gilded spurs, hand in purchasing from
 curled the ends of his moustache another chevalier, ex-officio
 from time to time with a swaggering a peddler of money-belts, one
 grace, and looked round of his popular safe-guards,...
 disdainfully on the rest of the it was not with the best
 crew.... All these persons made a relish that the crowd regarded
 great deal of noise,... yet close [the stranger's] apparent
 beside them sat a man of great intrusion; and upon a more
 importance in the district, a stout attentive survey, perceiving
 burgher of Bruges, wrapped about no badge of authority about
 with a vast cloak. him, but rather something
 His servant, armed to the teeth, quite the contrary--he being
 had set down a couple of bags filled of an aspect so singularly
 with gold at his side. Next to the innocent; an aspect, too,
 burgher came a man of learning, a which they took to be
 doctor of the University of Louvain, somehow inappropriate to the
 who was traveling with his time and place,.... in short,
 clerk (4). taking him for some strange
 kind of simpleton, harmless
 enough, would he keep to
 himself, but not wholly unob-
 noxious as an intruder--(3-4).

The man in cream-colors must compete for the attention of readers on the boat with his inept messages of gospel charity, a decidedly unexciting event to his fellow travelers who are interested only in other more sensational news. He is unsuccessful at drawing away their selfish interest in the confidence man to his own more familiar phrases from the New Testament. Similarly, Balzac's mild passenger is boring to the other commuters with his encouragement to "have faith," and they also interpret his influence as insignificant.
"Christ in Flanders" The Confidence-Man

His golden hair, parted upon his calm, Illy pleased with his
 serene forehead, fell in thick curls pertinacity, as they thought
 about his shoulders; and his face, it, the crowd a second time
 sublime in its sweetness and radiant thrust him aside, and not
 with divine love, stood out against without epithets and some
 the surrounding gloom. He had no buffets, all of which were
 contempt for death; he knew that he unresented....
 should not die. But if at the first Shield-like bearing his
 the company in the stern forgot for slate before him, amid stares
 a moment the implacable fury of the and jeers he Moved slowly up
 storm that threatened their lives, and down, at his turning
 selfishness and their habits of life points again changing his
 soon prevailed again. inscription to--
 "How lucky that stupid burgomaster "Charity believeth all
 is, not to see the risks we are all things" and then--
 running! He is just like a dog, he "Charity never faileth."
 will die without a struggle,".... The word charity, as
 The wind blew from every quarter originally traced, remained
 of the heavens, the boat span round throughout unef-faced, not
 like a top, unlike the left-hand numeral
 ... "Have faith," he said, "and you of a printed date, otherwise
 will be saved." (10-11) left for convenience in
 blank. (4-5)

The two characters use cliches reflecting Christian virtues--faith and charity--phrases from I Corinthians that prove to be appeals both equally worn out and unimpressive to those around them. There is no one to shield Melville's character and no one ready to defend Balzac's. Similarly, both strangers ignore their negative reception by the other passengers who remain fixed in their self-concern. One can see Melville's intent to connect the ineffectual preacher in cream-colors with the paradigm in the conventional image of Jesus; Balzac conveys a picture of his man like a common devotional painting. By way of a similar impression, the stranger in Balzac's story is called "stupid," while Melville's is a "simpleton." Not listed as among the numerous disguises Melville's confidence man assumes, (13) the man in cream-colors is thus part of a preamble, which plays upon a particular religious stage from which the Cosmopolitan can later offer his alternative speech on Providence the way Balzac prepares for his narrator's evaluation of Christian decrepitude to come in a local chapel.

Dialectically opposed to the man in cream-colors is the ship's barber, paralleling in Balzac's narrative the ferryboat steersman. His name, "William Cream," given only at the end of the novel, clearly elicits the echo in the reader's mind of the man in cream-colors, his opposite. He represents the importance of realism in sustaining modern social identity. Both the barber and the steersman are advocates of human capacity, as opposed to divine intervention--a philosophy shaded in later by the Cosmopolitan as by Balzac's narrator. Balzac's ferryboat skipper introduces the theme of Providence, the same one addressed seven times in Melville's novel, three of them in the last chapter alone. The topic is critical to portraying the man of individual consciousness who does, indeed succeed without displaying confidence in conventional Christian virtues. Both willful men in the stories live by wielding Occam's razor for good or ill to themselves or others.
"Christ in Flanders" The Confidence-Man

... Above all these human lives stood To some observers, the
 a strong man, the skipper; no singularity, if not lunacy, of
 doubts assailed him, the chief, the stranger was heightened by
 the king, the fatalist among them. his muteness, and, perhaps
 He was trusting in himself rather also, by the contrast to his
 than in Providence, crying, "Bail proceedings afforded in the
 away!" instead of "Holy Virgin," actions--quite in the wonted
 defying the storm, in fact, and and sensible order of things--
 struggling with the sea like a of the barber of the boat,
 wrestler. whose quarters [were] under a
"Put your hands to the scoops and smoking-saloon, and over
 bail the water out of the against a bar-room,... jumping
 boat.--And the rest of you," on a stool, he hung over his
 [the skipper] went on, addressing door, on the customary nail, a
 the sailors, "pull with all your gaudy sort of illuminated
 might! Now is the time; in the pasteboard sign, skillfully
 name of the devil who is leaving executed by himself, gilt were
 you in this world, be your own with the likeness of a razor
 Providence! elbowed in readiness to shave,
... These simple folk indifferent and also, for the public
 to thought and its treasures,... benefit, with two words not
 conscience has not been tampered unfrequently seen ashore
 with, feeling is deep and strong; gracing other shops besides
 repentance, trouble, love, and work barbers':--"NO TRUST." An
 have developed, purified, inscription which, though in a
 concentrated, and increased their sense not less intrusive than
 force of will a hundred times, the the contrasted ones of the
 will--the one thing in man that stranger, did not, as it
 resembles what learned doctors call seemed, provoke any
 the Soul. (11) corresponding derision or
 surprise, much less
 indignation; and still less, to
 all appearances, did it gain
 for the inscriber the repute of
 being a simpleton. (5)

Providence is likewise the principal topic Hawthorne recalled from his conversation with Melville just after he had finished writing the The Confidence-Man (1989, 628). Moreover, it is in this specific story that Balzac makes the clearest expression of his theory of volition (which Chai thinks Hawthorne appropriated)--that Will is the closest thing to representing the human soul. By offering no trust in the broader sense of no confidence, Melville's barber takes the way of Balzac's steersman, who denies the relevance of the Holy Virgin in favor of defying the devil. His attitude suggests the conclusion of "Christ in Flanders" that no faith is left on earth. The man of strong Will is then given credit in both works. Although not a skipper, the barber is associated with the ferryboat chief officer by having his shop "next door but two to the captain's office." They are men who set an example by nature.

Ultimately, Melville's potential savior cannot act even to protect himself. Balzac's man becomes a literal savior, who in an original way can still preserve the lives of those following him; while Melville's "savior" is restricted to verbiage and to signs of Christianity only. The stranger in Balzac's story goes overboard to walk on water as an act of salvation for the humble folk on the boat; in direct contrast, the man in cream-colors is nearly knocked overboard by porters carrying a trunk who don't realize his "deafness." The word "charity" is his only Providence. Yet Balzac has as well laid down the possibility that instinctual Will drawn from total commitment can function as a life-saver nonetheless--the equivalent to bearing a soul.

While at least one person sees through the burgomaster's disguise on the little boat, on the Fidele, the man in cream-colors cannot be recognized. He utterly confounds the other travelers, and he remains a different kind of mystery, an unknown. The courageous soldier of Flanders understands the man in the camlet coat's power and wishes to emulate the unnamed savior; but the passengers on Melville's ferry cannot even figure out who the stranger could be, let alone discover any power or authority in him. They list nearly twenty possibilities of his identity but arrive at no conclusion (7-8). For Melville, the exponent of Christianity is not just diminished, but in fact perceived as unconscious and no longer interpretable.
"Christ in Flanders" The Confidence-Man

When they were all seated near the ... Though hitherto, as has
 fisherman's fire, they looked round been seen, the man in cream-
 in vain for their guide with the colors had by no means passed
 light about him. The sea washed up unobserved, yet by stealing
 the steersman at the base of the into retirement, and there
 cliff on which the cottage stood; going asleep and continuing so,
 he was clinging with might and main he seemed to have courted
 to the plank as a sailor can cling oblivion, a boon not often
 when death stares him in the face; withheld from so humble an
 the man went down and rescued the applicant as he.... By-and-by--
 almost exhausted seaman;... two or three random stoppages
 "Good, for this once; but do not having been made, and the last
 try it again; the example would be transient memory of the
 too bad." slumberer vanished, and he
 He took the skipper on his himself, not unlikely, waked up
 shoulders, and carried him to the and landed ere now--the crowd,
 fisherman's door;... then, when the as usual, began in all parts to
 door of the humble refuge opened, break up.... (8-9)
 the Saviour disappeared. (12)

The passing of the two Christians in the stories is remarkably alike. After carrying the exhausted skipper to the door of a hut subsequent to his near drowning in the shipwreck, Balzac's divine type simply vanishes. Melville's preacher dissolves away unnoticed from the commuters' awareness. His exit is every bit as unknown and ironic as his prototype's and conceals similar satire of even the memory of satisfactory religious demonstration. In the conclusion of the novel the Cosmopolitan trumps the barber and berates him for social irresponsibility much as Balzac's savior scolds the steersman for setting a bad example.

The ornamentation of Balzacian elements becomes more diffuse in the later portions of The Confidence-Man, as Melville's story achieves its own momentum from the takeoff out of suggestions from La Comedie humaine. References are often less dense, yet the narrative undercurrent is set in motion and never far from the surface. Rescuing, particularly life-saving in a boat breaking up, becomes an important theme in The Confidence-Man. Disembodied voices address the characters in both texts. Melville's widow "breaks out of the chrysalis of her mourning," (1984, 43), while Balzac's old woman displaces her "chrysalid sheath." (1977, 18). Both boats carry important misers who are endangered by cleaving to their wealth (Melville 1984, 76; Balzac 1977, 11), etc. And while there is no duplicitous confidence man in Balzac's story, the narrator says toward the end, "The colossal [religious] Figure on the crucifix above the altar smiled upon me with a mingled malice and benevolence that frightened me." Both stories remain in essence judgments against the ineffectiveness of contemporary Christianity, degenerated into confidence in Providence that opens the way to exploitative deviltry (cf. Parker 2002, 257-258).


The dramatic, thematic, and linguistic reflections in The Confidence-Man drawn from "Jesus-Christ en Flandre" are in fact more evident and crucial than any set examined in relation to possible Balzacian influence so far, even when Melville's specific sources have been uncovered. The internal evidence implies a particularly intimate relation between "Christ in Flanders" and The Confidence-Man that goes beyond accident. It supports with obvious borrowings that Melville not only knew this story of Balzac's, either in French or in English (both are possible), but he also found in it a device to launch his own "ship of fools" populated with American characters and arguments. He found a way to employ the popular narrative framework of a European literary mode while retaining artistic integrity within the American substance of the work. Balzac's re-evaluation of "confiance" as a decrepit sign of faded religion provided a perfect impetus for Melville's similar philosophic demonstration that goes right up to the final extinguishing of the smoky light (of organized faith) at the end of the novel. The relationship supplies an obvious answer to the first question by the Newberry editors in explaining how the Confidence Man appears onboard a ferryboat instead of staying in the city: He is an integral part of a premeditated allegory about Providence and individual Will, subject to the "German horse" that had so occupied Melville for several years and that he was ready to explore in fiction. Melville's keen awareness of marketplace competition and his persistent desire to make a living by popular writing permitted him the artistic license necessary to parody such evident success as Balzac's. The second uncertainty is also explained with the same evidence. From its conception, the story was intended to have the cosmic significance of a sociological analysis rather than be just a humorous crime story, given Melville's addiction to Balzac's ontology. It was intended from the outset to be a continuation of the discussions begun on shipboard in 1849, an example of Melville choosing to write the way he had preferred since his struggle over completing Mardi. The religious themes and overtones of The Confidence-Man come into dramatic clarity through their source in Balzac's story.

Admitting Melville's considerable debt to Balzac at this stage of his career does not lessen his "Americanness" or his genius; nor does it make Melville appear to be a prevaricator, even if he had warned his countrymen not to write like "a Frenchman" (1987, 248). What Melville was rejecting was a trend toward imitation, while he actually valued "freely acknowledging all excellence, everywhere." He believed what he said in Pierre that "existing great books must be federated in fancy; and so regarded as a miscellaneous and a Pantheistic whole ... thus combined, they would prove simply an exhilarative and provocative.... (1971, 285)." In Balzac, Melville found a provocateur for expressing observations on character within a uniquely national context and particular social consciousness, a principle Nathaniel Hawthorne, and other of Melville's "Young America" cohorts also valued.

In addition, this discovery should close the debate over whether or not Melville knew or employed the works of Balzac before 1870 (Sealts 1988, 131). The bulk of evidence behind this established date is comprised of books printed or obtained after 1860, and most were purchased or published in the 1870s and 1880s and cannot be used as evidence against our proposition. Melville bought and traded entire libraries all throughout his life, selling or disposing of one set of books to allow space for another or as presents or to raise much needed cash. Most were gone by the 1890s, including several volumes of his set of The Human Comedy in English. Yet there are indicators, even in this late inventory, that suggest Melville had been long sensitive to Balzacian importance to literature. Markings in the book by H. H. Walker, The Comedie Humaine and its Author (1879) are such traces. Melville used double lines in the margin to emphasize the following passage:
 In the mean time, if the English reading public have neglected Balzac,
 English authors certainly have not. They have not translated him, but
 they have adapted and adopted him, and his influence on English
 literature is to be traced as distinctly as was that of Sir Walter
 Scott on continental literature of his day. (qtd. in Cowen 1987, 728)

Although superficially Herman Melville may seem far distant in performance and objective from the greatest European novelist of the age, Honore de Balzac, they shared at the level of the interior man many of the same issues and concerns for the subjects and substance of their writing. Melville was obsessed with the idea of the Great Man and what composed him, while Balzac delved deeply into the psychology of the genius along many of the same Romantic veins. They were both satirists of extraordinary achievement; they both wanted to capture in literature the essence of their respective country's character. Finally, they both wanted to be popular and to experiment with originality in the medium of the novel for lasting artistic recognition, for an awaiting posterity. Moreover, holding in mind Balzac's famed "Introduction" to The Human Comedy, where the Frenchman outlines his tenets of fictional representation, one may also come closer to understanding the purpose of the chapters of commentary inserted in Melville's The Confidence-Man and why he may have appropriated a Balzac narrative to rewrite in tandem. The form of character depiction Melville was attempting to separate from in The Confidence-Man (Parker 2002, 270) was in fact the development of his own narrative tendencies originally derived from Balzac and which he had attempted to apply himself, most notably in Pierre and some of the later short stories. These practices, though promising and popular, had brought him no success as a writer; and in his last public work, he was trying to analyze why. His propositions are a personal correction to seedling Realism, more than 20 years before the adaptive experiments of Henry James. Nevertheless, because of his years of dependency on the great master of the Romantic novel, Melville is probably the closest author in originality and scope to an American Balzac that we will ever find.


(1) Hayes (2000) connects incidents in "Bartleby the Scrivener" with Balzac's Colonel Chabert and posits an influence of Eugenie Grandet on the long poem "Clarel."

(2) These commentators include the often-quoted J. St. Loy Strachey, Newton Arvin (1972) and Van Wyck Brooks (1947). Strachey is typical: "I believe [Melville] to have come very strongly under the spell of Balzac. Whether Melville actually studied the La Comedie Humaine [sic] I do not know, and it does not really matter, for the influence I mean is not so much a verbal as a spiritual influence. It is shown, not so much in the phrases as in the structure of the novels...." (qtd. in Higgins 1992, 184).

(3) Even Sealts, Bercaw, and Cowan whose research generated this assumption were aware of its limitations: "... there are two possible misuses of his [Sealts's] checklist [of Melville's final literary estate]: concluding that Melville in fact read all the books listed there, or that he did not read the books not so listed" (Bercaw 1987, 14).

(4) (Spark, 1991) Parker has updated the story and from his view concluded that "Evidence is strongly against the younger woman being an illegitimate daughter of Allen Melvill" (2002, 59).

(5) Within a decade of meeting Melville, Adler translated from French Claude Charles Fauriel's History of Provencal Poetry, which Melville owned (Sealts 1976, 176).

(6) According to the critic on Mardi: "Here is a curious novelty, an American Rabelais ... imagine Daphnis and Cloe or Paul and Virginie dancing in the clouds with Aristotle and Spinoza escorted by Gargantua and Gargamelle, in I do not know what fantastic gavotte. Incredible work worthy of a Rabelais without gaiety, a Cervantes without grace, a Voltaire without taste--Mardi and A Voyage Thither is nothing less than one of the most singular books to appear for a long time on the face of the globe" (translation mine). Although not affected by the accomplishment of the work, Chasles could recognize Melville's obsession with cosmic scope.

(7) By 1847 not only Droll Stories (1833), but Le Lys dans la vallee (1835); Catherine De Medici (1842); A Distinguished Provincial at Paris; Lost Illusions; and other stories (1844); Seraphita and Other Stories (1846); A Harlot's Progress, The Hated Son and Other Stories (1847) were available to libraries in English. The New York University Publishing Society is recorded as publishing some of Balzac's works in English in 16 volumes in 1842. In 1844 there is a recorded translation of La Reserche d'absolut as The Philosopher's Stone by J. Winchester, New York, who published the same year a translation of Pere Goriot (Library of Congress 1956). Many originally disparate translations were reprinted in the Balzac Centenary Edition (1897-99), edited with introductions by George Saintsbury; but the dates assigned individual novels on OCLC databases suggest they had been published in some form before that compilation, probably in Great Britain where the French had no copyright protection.

(8) "The reputation which Balzac had acquired while still alive blossomed into a form of veneration after his death. Victor Hugo set the stage for this apotheosis in his eulogy at Balzac's funeral, in which he publicly proclaimed the writer 'un des premiers parmi les plus grands, un des plus hauts parmi les meilleurs,' and referred to his friend as 'un de ces etres qui ont plane longtemps au-dessus de la foule avec les ailes visibles du genie.'"

(9) Hawthorne's dependence on Balzac, in fact, could be the mysterious "great secret," which would, were it known, "explain all the mysteries of his career" that Melville spoke of to Julian Hawthorne. No statement made by Melville has undergone more wild interpretations, including by Julian himself. See particularly Young 1984.

(10) Indeed, Hayes even suggests at some length that for "Bartleby the Scrivener" Balzac's Colonel Chabert "seems a more important source" than others put forward. "Both stories begin and are set largely in law offices, and both concern the plight of mysterious strangers who enter the offices and profoundly affect the lawyers they meet" (2002, 164).

(11) "For now we see only puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we shall see face to face. My knowledge is now partial; then it will be whole, like God's knowledge of me." (The New English Bible 1970, 221).

(12) Although the story was anthologized during later Balzac editions, it is unclear exactly when it may have been first published, probably in Scotland or somewhere in England. See note #7 above.

(13) The list of eight characters, given in Chapter Three (13), is generally considered Melville's revelation of the extent of the confidence man's "masquerade," although sometimes the narrator of the story is also included as a ninth manifestation.

Works Cited

Arvin, Newton. 1972. Herman Melville. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Balzac, Honore. 1843. Luck and Leather. Boston: Brainard & Co.

______. 1971. "Christ in Flanders," trans. Ellen Marriage, The Works of Honore deBalzac, Vol. I. 1901. Reprint. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press.

______. 1989. "Jesus-Christ en Flandre." Tome XXIII, La Comedie humaine. Paris: France Loisirs.

Bercaw, Mary K. 1987. Melville's Sources. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Besser, Gretchen R. 1969. Balzac's Concept of Genius. Geneva: Library Droz.

Branch, Watson, Hershel Parker, and Harrison Hayford. 1984. "Historical Note." In Herman Melville, The Confidence-Man. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Brooks, Van Wyck. 1947. The Times of Melville and Whitman. New York: E. P. Dutton.

Chai, Leon. 1987. The Romantic Foundations of the American Renaissance. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.

Cook, William A. 1971. "Hawthorne's Artistic Theory and Practice." Ph.D. Dissertation. Lehigh University.

Cowen, Wilson Walker. 1987. Melville's Marginalia. Boston: Harvard University Press.

Dillingham, William. 1996. Melville and His Circle. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Emerson, Ralph Waldo. 1856. English Traits. London: Rutledge.

Griffith, Benjamin. 1930. Balzac en Amerique. Paris: Les Presses Modernes.

Hawthorne, Julian. 1968. Nathaniel Hawthorne and his Wife. Vol. I. 1885. Reprint, Grosse Pt, MI: Scholarly Press.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. 1992. Great Short Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne, ed. Frederick Crews. New York: Barnes and Noble.

Haydock, John. 1996. "Melville's Seraphita: Billy Budd, Sailor." Melville Society Extracts 101 (March): 1-12.

______. 2000. "Melville and Balzac: Pierre's French Model." Leviathan, A Journal of Melville Studies 2.1 (March) 67-81.

Hayes, Kevin J. 2000. "Melville and Balzac." Resources for American Literary Study 26:159-81.

Higgins, Brian, and Hershel Parker. 1992. Critical Essays on Herman Melville's Moby-Dick. New York: G. K. Hall.

Lawson, Benjamin Sherwood. 1994. "Federated Fancies: Balzac's Lost Illusions and Melville's Pierre." In Intertextuality in Literature and Film, ed. Elaine D. Cancalon and Antoine Spacagna. Gainesville: University Press of Florida.

Lee, Dwight A. 1974. "Melville and George J. Adler," American Notes and Queries 12:40-41.

Leyda, Jay 1951. The Melville Log. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company.

Library of Congress. 1956. National Union Catalog, Vol. 33. Baltimore: Mansell.

Lundblad, Jane. 1965. Nathaniel Hawthorne and European Literary Tradition. New York: Russell and Russell.

Melville, Herman. 1969. Redburn. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

______. 1970. White Jacket or the World in a Man-of-War. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

______. 1971. Pierre: or The Ambiguities. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

______. 1984. The Confidence-Man. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

______. 1987. The Piazza Tales and Other Prose Pieces, 1839-1860. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

______. 1989. Journals. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Mueller, Monika. 1996. "This Infinite Fraternity of Feeling." Madison: Associated University Presses.

Parker, Hershel. 1996. Herman Melville, a Biography, Vol. I. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

______. 2002. Herman Melville, a Biography, Vol. II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Post-Lauria, Sheila. 1996. Correspondent Colorings: Melville in the Marketplace. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press.

Robb, Graham. 1994. Balzac: A Life. New York: W. W. Norton.

Robertson-Lorant, Laurie. 1996. Melville: A Biography. New York: Random House.

Sealts, Merton M. Jr. 1982. Pursuing Melville. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

______. 1988. Melville's Reading. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

Spark, Clare. 1991. Enter Isabel: the Herman Melville Correspondence of Clare Spark and Paul Metcalf. Albequerque: University of New Mexico Press.

Stein, William Bysshe. 1953. Hawthorne's Faust. Gainsville: University of Florida Press.

Stewart, Randall. 1948. Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography. New Haven: Yale University Press.

The New English Bible. 1970. Oxford: Oxford University Press & Cambridge University Press.

Vincent, Howard P. 1949. The Trying-Out of Moby-Dick. Cambridge: The Riverside Press.

______. 1970. The Tailoring of Melville's White Jacket. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.

Young, Phillip. 1984. Hawthorne's Secret. Boston: David Godine.

John Haydock holds a Ph.D. from Emory University and is presently serving as an administrator at Georgia State University.
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Title Annotation:Essays; novelists Herman Melville and Honore de Balzac
Author:Haydock, John
Publication:College Literature
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2008
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