Many Melville scholars for years have struggled heroically to persuade all who would listen that to read Battle-Pieces (1866) is to see at work the blinding coruscation
of Melville's poetic genius.
Ben-Ami Scharfstein, adopting the "aesthetical" model, sees this coruscation
of thought as the end itself: "It would be easiest on us if we accepted our inevitable disagreements as simply a heightening of our intellectual adventure".
It is wonderful at what a distance these webs may plainly be seen in such a position to the sunbeams, which are so fine that they cannot be seen in another position, though held near to the eye; some that are at a great distance appear (it cannot be otherwise) several thousands of times as big as they ought: They doubtless appear under as great an angle as a body o f a foot diameter ought to do at such a distance; so greatly doth coruscation
increase the apparent bigness of bodies at a distance, as is observed in the fixed stars.
We also heard Walton-like fanfaring and Tippettian coruscations
, and later, huge Romantic-style chords.
He was travelling in a canoe in the English River, and had landed near the Kettle Fall, when the coruscations
of the Aurora Borealis were so vivid and low, that the Canadians [voyageurs] fell on their faces, and began praying and crying, fearing they should be killed; he himself threw away his gun and knife that they might not attract the flashes, for they were within two feet of the earth, flitting along with incredible swiftness, and moving parallel to its surface.
Hay shows how the havoc and coruscations
accompanying the two great writers were enabled by others whose lives are equally important.
Despite Kant's initial obscurity, Carlyle maintains, "among the shapeless immensities which fill the Night of Kantism, and the meteoric coruscations
, which perplex him rather than enlighten, (the reader) will fancy he descries some streaks of a serener radiance, which he will pray devoutly that time may purify and ripen into perfect day" (179).
I know what an artist can glean from the endless dialogue of the sun and the ocean; I know the meaning of the play of shadows around the funeral pyres, the ashes floating down the Ganges by night in the blue and red coruscations
of its waters.
Two tears slid down her fallen cheeks, in and out of the myriad coruscations
of immolation and abnegation and time" (SF 295).
of Talent, elicited by impassioned feeling in the breast of Man, are perhaps incompatible with some of the prosaic Decencies of Life'" (398).
If your answer to any of these questions is "yes," hoof it down to the Flea for "Oh, the Humanity and other exclamations," Will Eno's five fitfully hilarious, prosy coruscations
on the subject of what on earth it all means.