Cover "Benito Cereno" by Herman Melville ©Amerikahaus München

"Benito Cereno" by Herman Melville

Wednesday, February 14, 2024, 6 p.m.

Please note: This month's AHLC meeting is being postponed to Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

Originally serialized in 1855, Benito Cereno tells of the strange fate of a Spanish slave ship while hinting at the future ramifications of slavery in America. It is now regarded as one of Melville’s finest works. When an American whaling ship comes to the rescue of the Spanish vessel in distress, the American captain has to piece together what has happened and decide how to react. Race and morality underlie the suspense and mystery and give another dimension to the story. Merton M. Sealts, Jr. says the story is "an oblique comment on those prevailing attitudes toward blacks and slavery in the United States that would ultimately precipitate civil war between North and South".

Born in New York in 1819, Melville is best known for Moby Dick, and especially among crossword puzzle fans for the titles Typee and Omoo.

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