Melville's exceptionally entertaining and simultaneously perplexing allegorical satire of antebellum American life. Introduced and with notes by John Bryant.
In THE CONFIDENCE-MAN, writes John Bryant in his Introduction, “Melville found a way to render our tragic sense of self and society through the comic strategies of the confidence game. He puts the reader in the game to play its parts and to contemplate the inconsistencies of its knaves and fools.” Set on a Mississippi steamer on April Fool’s Day and populated by a series of shape-shifting con men, THE CONFIDENCE-MAN is a challenging metaphysical and ethical exploration of antebellum American society. Set from the first American edition of 1857, this Modern Library paperback includes an Appendix with Bryant’s innovative “fluid text” analysis of early manuscript fragments from Melville’s novel.
“‘The great transcendental satire.’ Carl van Vechten”