On this day in 1851, Moby-Dick was published. In a letter to Nathaniel Hawthorne shortly afterward, Melville wrote,
… for not one man in five cycles, who is wise, will expect appreciative recognition from his fellows, or any one of them. Appreciation! Recognition! Is Jove appreciated? Why, ever since Adam, who has got to the meaning of his great allegory—the world? Then we pigmies must be content to have our paper allegories but ill comprehended. I say your appreciation is my glorious gratuity.
Needless to say, recognition did indeed come, albeit posthumously.