The Two Moby Dicks: The Split Signatures of Melville's Novel

poster / demo / art installation
  1. 1. Chelsea Miya

    University of Alberta

Work text
This plain text was ingested for the purpose of full-text search, not to preserve original formatting or readability. For the most complete copy, refer to the original conference program.

There has been a longstanding debate over the cetology sections in Herman Melville's Moby Dick. These chapters, which are interwoven into the mid-section of the novel, are curiously devoid of characters or plot development and instead describe whaling biology and behavior. Some Melville scholars, including Charles Olson and Lawrence Buell, have suggested that the novel might have been written as two separate texts that were spliced together in the final stages. As the original manuscripts have been lost, this has never been confirmed. However, I hope to show that the way in which the chapters cluster together reveals that the novel does indeed have two unique stylistic signatures. This is perhaps compelling evidence in favor of the “two Moby Dicks,” a phenomenon that has been much speculated upon but never proven.


Bastian M., Heymann S., Jacomy M. (2009). 
Gephi: an open source software for exploring and manipulating networks. International AAAI Conference on Weblogs and Social Media.

Eder, Maciej. Kestemont, Mike and Rybicki, Jan. (2015).
‘Stylo’: a package for stylometric analyses.

If this content appears in violation of your intellectual property rights, or you see errors or omissions, please reach out to Scott B. Weingart to discuss removing or amending the materials.

Conference Info


ADHO / EHD - 2018

Hosted at El Colegio de México, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (National Autonomous University of Mexico)

Mexico City, Mexico

June 26, 2018 - June 29, 2018

340 works by 859 authors indexed

Conference website:

Series: ADHO (13), EHD (4)

Organizers: ADHO