Australian and New Zealand American Studies Association
Place of publication
St Lucia, Qld.
Herman Melville discovered the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer late in life, and must have been surprised to discover how close this writer's philosophy was to his own beliefs. Despite this late revelation, the influence on Melville's work was strong, and there are good arguments to show that Melville was inspired by his ideas in the creation of 'Bartleby , the Scrivener' and Billy Budd. Melville may well have been aware of Schopenhauer's philosophy earlier, however, regardless of his lack of proven or direct exposure to the work of the German writer at the time of its composition, Moby-Dick exhibits many affinities with Schopenhauer's thought and it is possible to examine the book through such a reading.