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Whipscars and Tattoos


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Abbreviations Glossary Introduction: Grand, Ungodly, Godlike Men Chapter 1: Te Aara's Scars Chapter 2: Cooper's Death Song Chapter 3: Te Pehi Kupe's Moko Chapter 4: Melville's Furious Life Index

About the Author

Geoffrey Sanborn is Professor of English at Amherst College. He is the author of Sign of the Cannibal: Melville and the Making of a Postcolonial Reader and the coeditor, with Samuel Otter, of Melville and Aesthetics.


"This lucid book is critically and historically illuminating, and immensely pleasurable. Sanborn brings his careful historical, biographical, ethnographical study of the nineteenth-century Maori, who by the 1830s were being described as 'the most impressive people that Europeans had ever encountered' to his dense familiarity with the works of James Fenimore Cooper and Herman Melville. . . . Sketching Sanborn's intriguing claims does not begin to capture the charm of his project, which is so readable, even captivating, such a startling and rewarding engagement with both men and literature." --Journal of American Studies "Who would have thought that the lives of two Maori from New Zealand would resonate so powerfully in two of the most celebrated masterpieces of American literature? Sanborn, with his extraordinary eye for the telling detail, has written an illuminating and compellingly original study of the transnational cross-cultural frontier." --Alex Calder, The Writing of New Zealand "Geoffrey Sanborn's Whipscars and Tattoos illuminates everything it touches in new and startling ways, from its harrowingly memorable portrait of the Maori to its brilliantly reorienting readings of two of America's most canonical novelists, and in doing so, provides an exhilarating example of what American Studies can do, and be." --Jim Shepard, author of Like You'd Understand, Anyway "Fascinating...Specialists will appreciate Sanborn's detailed notes, and less experienced readers will have no difficulty following his clear prose. Highly recommended." --Choice "Adds substantially to our knowledge about Melville's possible reading and sources." --Resources for American Literary Study

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