Free Shipping on Order Over $60
AfterPay Available
Zen and the White Whale

Zen and the White Whale

A Buddhist Rendering of Moby-Dick

by Daniel Herman
Publication Date: 19/10/2015
RRP  $82.99 $62.25
This item qualifies for FREE delivery
In this book, Herman argues that Herman Melville may have been aware of Buddhist thought far earlier than previously considered. Scholars have long known of Melville's interest in Buddhism in the final decades of his life (seen in the short poem "Buddha," and perhaps even the surname of his final protagonist, Billy "Budd"). But as early as 1847, Melville had knowledge of "the grand lama of Thibet," mentioning him in that year's Omoo. And the five years directly preceding the composition and publication of Moby-Dick (1844-1849) coincided with the period during which interest in Buddhism turned from an obscure curiosity among American intellectuals to formal research among religious scholars in the United States.
In Moby-Dick's wide philosophical musings and central narrative arch, Herman finds a philosophy very closely aligned specifically with the original teachings of Zen Buddhism. In exploring the likelihood of this hitherto undiscovered influence, Herman looks at works Melville is either known to have read or that there is a strong likelihood of his having come across, as well as offering a more expansive consideration of Moby-Dick from a Zen Buddhist perspective, as it is expressed in both ancient and modern teachings. But not only does the book delve deeply into one of the few aspects of Moby-Dick's construction left unexplored by scholars, it also conceives of an entirely new way of reading the greatest of American books-offering critical re-considerations of many of its most crucial and contentious issues, while focusing on what Melville has to teach us about coping with adversity, respecting ideological diversity, and living skillfully in a fickle, slippery world.
Literary studies: c 1800 to c 1900
Publication Date:
Lehigh University Press
Country of origin:
United States
Dimensions (mm):

This title is in stock with our Australian supplier and arrives at our Sydney warehouse within 7-10 working days of you placing an order.

Once received into our warehouse we will despatch it to you with a Shipping Notification which includes online tracking.

Please check the estimated delivery times below for your region, for after your order is despatched from our warehouse:

ACT Metro 2 working days

NSW Metro 2 working days 

NSW Rural 2-3 working days

NSW Remote 2-5 working days

NT Metro 3-6 working days

NT Remote 4-10 working days

QLD Metro 2-4 working days

QLD Rural 2-5 working days

QLD Remote 2-7 working days

SA Metro 2-5 working days

SA Rural 3-6 working days

SA Remote 3-7 working days

TAS Metro 3-6 working days

TAS Rural 3-6 working days

VIC Metro 2-3 working days

VIC Rural 2-4 working days

VIC Remote 2-5 working days

WA Metro 3-6 working days

WA Rural 4-8 working days

WA Remote 4-12 working days

Customer Reviews

Be the first to review Zen and the White Whale.