The Hunt for Herman Melville 

The best biographers are scholars on wheels 
assiduously dogging their subjects' footsteps

WSJ excerpt

Mr. Parker himself revels in the new online world, 
in the new Melville facts to be gleaned 
from newly available newspaper archives, 
for instance. He takes great enjoyment in drawing 
a contrast between the ephemera produced by prominent dilettantes 
and the lasting contributions of diligent but barely known literary bloggers
—"divine amateurs"—
who have made important discoveries of Melville sources. 
One blogger, Nicole Perrin, even discovered, 
through her "marathon reading of Melville," 
a source for a passage in the author's book-length poem "Clarel"
—a source that Melville scholars had never considered.

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