16 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2018
  2. allred720fa18.commons.gc.cuny.edu allred720fa18.commons.gc.cuny.edu
    1. San Dominick’s voyage, down t

      One of Melville's greatest mysteries was his choice to change the historically accurate Tyral ship which the San Dominick's voyage was based on. As cited below, the Tyral was believed to be altered to the San Dominick to reflect the setting leading up to the Haitian Revolution. Melville, also changed the date of the slave mutiny from 1805 to 1799 in order to put it in the exact same time period as the Haitian uprising. Throughout the book Melville also makes reference to Charles V and Saint Bartholomew, who were all heavily involved in the slave trade in Santo Domingo. (Horsley-Meacham 261-262) It is fascinating to think what other liberties may have taken place to accommodate Melville's tale.


    2. follow his leader

      In reference to more work that is listed in reference to "Benito Cereno", " Douglas's "The Heroic Slave" (1853) is the most closely contested example to draw critical differences in representations of Slave Revolts in Colonial History.

      "Douglass's novella has often been compared to other accounts of mutinies at sea, including Richard Henry Dana's Two Years Before the Mast (1846), Herman Melville's "Benito Cereno" (1855) and Billy Budd (1924), Charles R. Johnson's Middle Passage (1990), and Steven Spielberg's Amistad (1997). Though all of these narratives demonstrate the unwillingness of enslaved Africans and conscripted whites to submit willingly to bondage, Douglass's text also emphasizes the possibility of changing white attitudes about slavery. Therefore, The Heroic Slave might be said to stage the perfect audience for the abolitionist messages of Douglass and other critics of American slavery. The text invites the reader to emulate the aptly-named Mr. Listwell—to "listen well" to its message and to carry out its mission. Listwell's resolution to stand against slavery demonstrates Douglass's belief that empathetic identification based on words alone might lead to political action and social change."


    3. the Spaniards slain by command of the negro Babo; that the negresses used their utmost influence to have the deponent made away with; that, in the various acts of murder, they sang songs and danced–not gaily, but solemnly; and before the engagement with the boats, as well as during the action, they sang melancholy songs to the negroes, and that this melancholy tone was more inflaming than a different one would have been, and was so intended; that all this is believed, because the negroes have said it.–that of the thirty-six men of the crew, exclusive of the passengers (all of whom are now dead), which the deponent had knowledge of, six only remained alive, with four cabin-boys and ship-boys, not included with the crew; * *–that the negroes broke an arm of one of the cabin-boys and gave him strokes with hatchets.

      In expansion to my previous annotation referencing this passage ties back to the idea of distancing historical context in association to American/British conflicts in preferences a much more violent, and generic tale of a violent uprising in the French Haitian Revolution context which has historically been misconstrued and utilized as an example to both mobilize and instill fear in prevention of more revolts within the colonial terrain. Tying white morality in tandem to the senseless violence depicted in the court case by Melville is an interesting contrast to the choice to demonstrate the Creole Insurrection in Douglas' "The Heroic Slave".


      The Creole Insurrection would be the center of political tensions between the U.S and Britain for decades over the tumultuous negotiations American slave owners attempted to lay claims on lost property during the loss of the 1841 Creole Case, but would also become the most compelling of five noted Slave Revolts which demonstrated the possibility of a revolt to be politically portrayed to the world as a legally legitimate and moral action in means to freedom.

      While maps are commonly the site of colonial domain and conquest, this sited interactive map gives context to the chain of slave revolts in Jamaica that provide an understanding to how revolts were formulated. I could not find a similar source to the Haitian revolution, but this shows what can be possible in providing more context to historical fictions.


    4. Both the black’s hands were held, as, glancing up towards the San Dominick, Captain Delano, now with scales dropped from his eyes, saw the negroes, not in misrule, not in tumult, not as if frantically concerned for Don Benito, but with mask torn away, flourishing hatchets and knives, in ferocious piratical revolt.

      What might be considered foreshadowing here, is an interesting perspective on a perceived act of relishing the wielding of violent weapons in indulging. Regardless of interpretation, this is an interesting place to mark an often overlooked perspective of a historical Slave Narrative one might categorize this novella.

      "The Heroic Slave" by Frederick Douglass wrote only one work of fiction: this novella, loosely based on a true incident, about a slave who leads a rebellion on board a slave ship. Although it doesn't mention Stowe, it can be read as Douglass' attempt to contest Uncle Tom's Cabin. The novella's description of Madison Washington's appearance closely follows Stowe's first description of Tom. The story Douglass tells, though, allows him to reject her "simple" slave hero (Tom is probably the source for the pious "old slave" Madison encounters in Part II, and whose eloquent praying is a temptation he must resist), and to put in his place a well-spoken black man who fights and kills for his freedom.

      Douglass does not, however, dismiss Stowe's audience. He published the story twice in 1853 -- serially in his newspaper, and as his contribution to an Anti-Slavery anthology Stowe's publisher brought out. But he clearly designed the tale to reach the larger white reading public: one of the most interesting aspects of the novella is the strategic way it tries to lead genteel readers not only to active engagement in the abolitionist cause, but also to grant black slaves the same right to rebel against tyranny that America enshrines in its founders. The novella, however, does not seem to have had many contemporary readers, although it was reissued at least once, in pamphlet form in 1863.

      While Stowe and other white abolitionists can be found in reference to this novella, it's important to note that Douglass still frequently contested the politics of her beliefs in a way that utilized her name to legitimize and maximize his scholarship to a white audience. How might we draw this comparison to Melville's novella? And additionally, what is the difference is drawing references to Douglas' depictions of the Creole Insurrection in comparison to Melville's depiction of the Haitian Uprising?


    5. While thinking which of them to select for his purpose, he chanced to observe a sailor seated on the deck engaged in tarring the strap of a large block, a circle of blacks squatted round him inquisitively eying the process.

      Because apparently all modes of knowledge and learning are from white Europeans. Bow down in awe of all their creations Melville says!

    6. He had descended from the poop,

      It's striking how often he references the slave stepping in poop multiple times in association to his actions. "Unwilling to appear uncivil even to incivility itself" sets the constant tone of a racial hierarchy, even to the details of slaves being inescapable from the stench and overall association to savagery in comparison to Melville's protagonists

    7. To procure substitutes for his lost sailors, as well as supplies of water and sails, the captain, at the earliest opportunity, had made for Baldivia, the southernmost civilized port of Chili and South America; but upon nearing the coast the thick weather had prevented him from so much as sighting that harbor. Since which period, almost without a crew, and almost without canvas and almost without water, and, at intervals giving its added dead to the sea, the San Dominick had been battle-dored about by contrary winds, inveigled by currents, or grown weedy in calms. Like a man lost in woods, more than once she had doubled upon her own track.

      Melville's lack of regard for human life is particularly noteworthy here. His metaphor of a man being lost in the woods, whilst embarking on "the most civilized" port of Africa continues the relentless theme of comparing the value of white and black lives throughout the narrative.

    8. Thus, the Spaniard, regarded in his reserve, seemed the involuntary victim of mental disorder

      This echoes an idea from Olaudah Equiano's Slave Narrative in which me constantly refers to the European mindset as a constant victim to their own doings. Tying in the notion of what would be later known as "The White Man's Burden I'm always fascinated by the colonized mentality of a social responsibility over the colonized.

    1. Before returning to his own vessel, Captain Delano had intended communicating to Don Benito the smaller details of the proposed services to be rendered. But, as it was, unwilling anew to subject himself to rebuffs, he resolved, now that he had seen the San Dominick safely moored, immediately to quit her, without further allusion to hospitality or business. Indefinitely postponing his ulterior plans, he would regulate his future actions according to future circumstances. His boat was ready to receive him; but his host still tarried below. Well, thought Captain Delano, if he has little breeding, the more need to show mine. He descended to the cabin to bid a ceremonious, and, it may be, tacitly rebukeful adieu. But to his great satisfaction, Don Benito, as if he began to feel the weight of that treatment with which his slighted guest had, not indecorously, retaliated upon him, now supported by his servant, rose to his feet, and grasping Captain Delano’s hand, stood tremulous; too much agitated to speak. But the good augury hence drawn was suddenly dashed, by his resuming all his previous reserve, with augmented gloom, as, with half-averted eyes, he silently reseated himself on his cushions. With a corresponding return of his own chilled feelings, Captain Delano bowed and withdrew.

      Starting Point

    1. its reading is semelfactive (this rendering illusory any inductive-deductive science of texts -- no 'grammar' of the text) and nevertheless woven entirely with citations, references, echoes, cultural languages (what language is not?), a

      Slightly confused. Would this indicate the eradication of individualized "text" based on the fact that no difference is truly identifiable in the context of written language and experience? Is this about format or expression?

    2. What History, our History, allows us today is merely to slide, to vary, to exceed, to repudiate.

      Interesting.. complacency or something deeper? Rather than replicate according to our past, how can we remodel something new while still valuing the work of our past?

    3. Text

      note the capitalization of the term. What power do we give words when we capitalize the text. When is it considered incorrect?

    1. Text

      note the capitalization of the term. What power do we give words when we capitalize the text. When is it considered incorrect?

    2. This is what happens in the Text: it can be Text only in its difference (which does not mean its individuality); its reading is semelfactive (which renders any inductive-deductive science of texts illusory: no "grammar" of the text) and yet entirely woven of quotations, references, echoes: cultural languages (what language is not cultural?), antecedent or contemporary, which traverse it through and through, in a vast stereophony.

      Slightly confused. Would this indicate the eradication of individualized "text" based on the fact that no difference is truly identifiable in the context of written language and experience? Is this about format or expression?

    3. What History, our History, allows us today is merely to displace, to vary, to transcend, to repudia

      Interesting.. complacency or something deeper? Rather than replicate according to our past, how can we remodel something new while still valuing the work of our past?

    4. The transformation of the notion of the work does not necessarily derive from the internal renewal of each of these disciplines, but rather from their intersection at the level of an object which traditionally proceeds from none of them. We might say, as a matter of fact, that interdisciplinary activity, today so highly valued in research, cannot be achieved by the simple confrontation of specialized branches of knowledge; the inter-disciplinary is not a comfortable affair: it begins effectively (and not by the simple utterance of a pious hope) when the solidarity of the old disciplines breaks down-perhaps even violently, through the shocks of fashion-to the advantage of a new object, a new language, neither of which is precisely this discomfort of classification which permits diagnosing a certain mutation

      Meaning of "text" within this context.. as a mention to any physical expression to literature? What does it mean to so broaden the term?