This essay explores alternative ways to consider Melville’s anti-dualism in the light of the new materialist turn. Through a close reading of “The Mast-Head” chapter in Moby-Dick, I reclaim the relevance of the body’s incorporeality in order to complicate the Cartesian separation between mind and matter on which the chapter has been understood to rely. Rather than negating or col- lapsing distinctions between ontological categories, Melville’s apparent oppo- sitions reveal the connections and relations that mediate between them. “The Mast-Head” encourages a redefinition of our customary objectivist idea of the body even as it helps us rethink other Melvillean dualities.

Navigating Dualisms on the Mast-Head: On Melville, Incorporeality, and New Materialism

Benedí, Pilar Martínez
2019

Abstract

This essay explores alternative ways to consider Melville’s anti-dualism in the light of the new materialist turn. Through a close reading of “The Mast-Head” chapter in Moby-Dick, I reclaim the relevance of the body’s incorporeality in order to complicate the Cartesian separation between mind and matter on which the chapter has been understood to rely. Rather than negating or col- lapsing distinctions between ontological categories, Melville’s apparent oppo- sitions reveal the connections and relations that mediate between them. “The Mast-Head” encourages a redefinition of our customary objectivist idea of the body even as it helps us rethink other Melvillean dualities.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/138214
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