08/25/19 • 74 min
All aboard, it's time to sail the high seas with Herman Melville's Billy Budd (1924)! Melville's posthumously published tale is about a very hot dumb guy who is kidnapped into the navy, then executed for reasons that involve mutiny, gossip, and soup. We talk about how a lot of things on this ship are described as erect, which is definitely just a coincidence, and what hundreds of sailors sleeping in hammocks would have smelled like. (Good!) We also discuss all the bodily fluids released in a 19th century hanging. ALL. OF. THEM. We read the Penguin Classics edition Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories edited by Peter Coviello. Be sure to check out Pete’s great introductory essay and his very helpful and, um, vivid explanatory notes. For further reading, check out Barbara Johnson's "Melville's Fist: The Execution of Billy Budd" in Studies in Romanticism. Find us on Twitter and Instagram @betterreadpod, and email us nice things at email@example.com. Find Tristan on Twitter @tjschweiger, Katie @katiekrywo, and Megan @tuslersaurus.
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