Melville’s Last Supper

Closing Pierre is much like that of shutting the door on your distant relatives after Thanksgiving dinner; you are somewhat physically satisfied but are also left with a sizable emotional hole, about that of a whale, in your chest. The book’s problems stem from the fact Melville wrote Pierre to be a loaded ham …on Thanksgiving… in turkey country. Pierre Glendinning was unable to sink his interests into his mother, his fiancé, and himself as soundly as we sink into mashed potatoes, but he certainly gripped hard onto his (second?) dinner roll: his (maybe) half-sister. This incestuous struggle was even more blurred by Melville’s personal tirades about his own personal woes with his bromances (Hawthorne and publishers alike) which left a rather bitter after taste like that of canned cranberry jelly. I did enjoy the tiny morsels of dialogue dropped haphazardly throughout the meal as it would lure me back in even when my mental belt was on its last loop. The enjoyment was brief as the erratic psychological and philosophical babble staled the room much like my Aunt Patrice’s fifth spritz of Chanel No. 5. While Melville’s, I mean, Pierre’s stream of consciousness was unable to discontinuously continue for as long as Melville would have liked, the headache I am left with has enough serotonin to rival even the most potent of my post-Thanksgiving naps.