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Widely considered one of the great American or The PDF #199 novels Herman Melville’s masterpiece went largely unread during his lifetime and was out of print at the time of his death in Called the great. I re read Moby Dick following my research trips to the whaling museums of New Bedford and Nantucket whaling museums The particular edition I read from University of California Press is HIGHLY recommended as the typeface is extremely agreeable to the eyes and the illustrations are subtle and instructive without ever interfering or drawing attention away from the story Perhaps that s where the latent interest grew deep in my soul as regards the whaling museums and since life offered me recently the opportunity to see and enjoy both I grabbed at the chance and am so glad to have done so This reading of Melville is so much interesting having now a lot background on the various factors social economic and physical that informed the writing and structure of the storyMany modern readers have been turned off of the unabridged Moby Dick due to the many chapters of background information that Ishmael feels compelled to pass us about whales and whaling I can understand that some folks want to get on with the story and don t want to have all this detail Personally the whole book seems so much real to me now When I try to imagine the life of the 21 28 people on a 3 5 year whaling mission with a back breaking job punctuated with long periods of boredom and intense periods of turmoil whether from ocean storms or from the hunt and ensuing processing of blubber I can appreciate how the story moves at its own pace and during those long hours at sea while the sailors are working on their scrimshaw or scanning the horizon for spouts that Ishmael is in his cabin writing all this detail down about this job that he is so incredibly proud of If you remove this description it removes much of the texture of the book and reduces it to an adventure story rather than a universal chez d oeuvreSeveral moments merit mention Father Mapples sermon on Jonah Chapter 9 which sets the tone for most of the book the speech of Ahab in recruiting his crew into his diabolical mission against Moby Dick Chapter 36 and the heart breaking acuiescence of Starbuck and my favorite part so far The Grand Armada Chapter 89 The description of the whale nursery with the mothers and children looking up through the water at their hunters was spectacular writing and makes one dream of being out there in one of those flimsy boats to see itThe writing is by turns ironic serious violent and tender On one hand is the famous Shark Massacre Chapter 66 where Melville weaves in an image of the sharks actually eating themselves in their frenzy amazing realism and exceedingly violent On the other hand the cleverness of Stubb as he manages to steal the sick whale with the ambergris away from the hapless French captain of the Rose Bud Chapter 91 was hilarious and I laughed out loud Even the seemingly dry description chapters often have some high degree of tongue in cheek such as the suggestion that the Kings and ueens were all coronated in whale oil Chapter 25 All of these add a certain uniue texture to Moby Dick and seem to me indispensable to the overall majesty of the bookIt was a breathless ending as one would expect but there was also a feeling of anti climax I think that despite the excitement of the chase and the apocalyptic ending I enjoyed the build up of the suspense all during the book to the end There was a bit of sentimentality towards the end that was not really present during the rest of the textalmost as if Melville was impatient to get to the end to get the end of Ahab out of his system or something And the whirlpool that swallows everything but Ishmael is a bit supernatural which shocks after having such vivid realism for the previous 550 pages It was also strange that after occupying such a central and tender role for Ishmael through the first 100 200 pages of the book ueeueg just disappears from the action And how is it that as a green hand Ishmael suddenly replaces Fedallah in Ahab s boat That seems like a bit of a stretch to me But then I am nit picking on one of the greatest literary masterpieces of all time and that probably sounds ridiculous and pretentious perhapsWhat I loved about this book the atmosphere the excruciating detail the variety of dialogsyou feel like you are also on the deck of the Peuod when Starbuck and Ahab converseok that reminds me of another thing I found annoying Albeit the last solilouy of Ahab is one of the best in Moby Dick it seems almost out of character for him the whole book he is this dark moody almost one dimensional character and suddenly we seem him shedding a tear and opening his heart to the one that nearly shot him the First Mate Starbuck Perhaps I am too influenced by television but it seems a bit incongruent this time aroundOne aspect that just stuck out for me this time around was the latent homosexuality of the narrator Ishmael Besides the obvious coziness between him and ueeueg the description of his hands deep in spermaceti sueezing pieces of oil but also friends of other sailors performing the same task seemed highly sexualized to me I really hadn t thought about this aspect of Melville at all and upon doing a bit of research learned that he and Nathaniel Hawthorne of Scarlet Letter fame and to whom Moby Dick is dedicated may have been lovers Here is a letter from Melville to Hawthorne It doesn t actually change my perception or understanding of the book it is just a curious aspect that added a certain depth or texture to some of the passages such as the one I citedThere is definitely something universal about this story where Ahab clearly feels above morality and is brutally crushed by his pride The sad thing is that the entire crew pays the ultimate price for their adherence to his obsession The last two encounters that are described with other boats are masterful the contrast with the wild abandon of the Bachelor and the rejection of the forlorn Rachel were both perfect set up for the final acts of this tragedyI ll put this aside for now and come back to it in a few years If this inspired you to reread this masterpiece please let me know in the commentsand if I have any further thoughts I ll be sure to share them here my mateysThis is still one of my favorite books but I also read Bartleby the Scrivener The Confidence Man and Billy Budd from Melville which were so great Need to re read this one yet again And please don t bother with the unabridged version go for the whole whaleNeed to reread this againFor my French speaking readers there was a recording at Maison de la Radio in Paris which will be broadcast on France Culture on 27 October 2019 where a translated abbreviated version of this masterpiece was put to music Although I have an issue with appel moi Ishmael not being the opening line the production was fantastic and the music was uite moving despite occasionally drowning out the voices of the actors

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Moby Dick; or The Whale

Ociety The story loosely based on a real whaling shipwreck features the unforgettable vengeful Captain Ahab who obsessively hunts a great Moby Dick MOBI #224 white whale who bit his leg off below the knee. There once was a grouchy alpha whale named Moby Dick who rather than being agreeably shorn of his blubber and having lumpy sperm scooped out of his cranium like cottage cheese chose life Unlike so many shiftless layabout sea mammals of his generation Moby Dick did not go gentle into that good night This whale in short was not a back of the bus rider He assailed a shallow consumerist society which objectified him only as lamp oil or corset ribbing with the persuasive argument of his thrashing tail gaping maw and herculean bulk In his seminal in ways than one animal rights saga Herman Melville conjures an auatic rascally Norma Rae out of an elephantine albino whale Reasonably enough Moby Dick hereafter MD despite possible confusions with the profession is irritable when people are chasing him stabbing him with harpoons and trying to kill him Thus in an act which would be protected by law as self defense in most enlightened nations MD bites off part of the leg of one of his many hunters the humorless Captain Ahab Gall alert Gall alert Ahab has the nerve to hold a fucking grudge against the whale for this entirely ethical dismemberment He also holds a grudge for some incidental damage incurred to Lil Ahab as a very weak corollary of his lost limb but I m not even getting into that Judge Wapner would ve never stomached that half baked reasoning so neither will I Now mind you MD doesn t like come ashore in Nantucket rent a lowrider horse drawn carriage and try to put a cap in the ass of that one legged old bitch ass captain who wanted to decapitate him So I mean who s really the petty one in this euation The novel Moby Dick eschews a first person whale narrator in favor of Ishmael a bit of a rube who shows up in New Bedford with big dreams of a whaling career Whaling was the Hollywood of that era He meets this reformed cannibal harpooner named ueeueg who hails from the South Seas has lots of tattoos and moonlights as a decapitated human head salesman So basically he s rough trade Ishmael and ueeueg become fast friends and do all kinds of jovial homoerotic things together like cuddle in bed and curiously espy each other undressing despite their pronounced cultural differences I think Ishmael acts as a keen ethnographer when he highlights the variances ueeueg the savage idol worshipping hell condemned unenlightened oogah boogah heathen and Ishmael the white guy Yet their love endures It s as if all the sexual currents in Neil Simon s Odd Couple were suddenly foregrounded Ishmael and ueeueg find employment on the whaler Peuod helmed by none other than the killjoy Captain Ahab himself he of prosthetic whalebone leg abbreviated schlong and legendary grudge holding So the Peuod embarks upon a three or four year whaling adventure around the globe ostensibly in search of valuable whale oil but in fact as we later learn to bring about Ahab s vengeance against the Marxist whale MD who refuses to be expropriated by the Man Interestingly enough as the journey goes on Ishmael s character seems to evaporate In other words he gradually shifts from a compartmentalized first person narrator to an omniscient third person narrator He seems almost to have rescinded his identity or he only rarely invokes it in the latter part of the novel as if while we have been distracted by gloppy whale sperm and passing ships he morphed into the Star Child This transformation is of course intentional and creates a sense of broadening perspective throughout the novel of transcending the menial and specific to embrace a grand universal tragedy Here s the bottom line Moby Dick is an American classic that sounds as though it would be absolutely torturous to read A six hundred page nineteenth century novel about the pursuit of a whale You ve got to be kidding Did I mention that there are chapters after chapters that merely detail the processes and often gory procedures of whaling I know Try to control yourself before you run out to the bookstore or library right Wrong Wrong Wrong This novel is magnificent It proves what I have held true ever since I started writing myself that any subject at all from whittling to colonoscopies to Riverdance to bagpipe playing can be enthralling in the hands of a competent writer a writer like Melville who simultaneously locates the universal in this seemingly very particular narrative and makes even the occasionally perplexing rituals of whaling seem fascinating Also it s a captivating historical document chronicling MD s groundbreaking role in the nascent Whale Power movement Eat tailfin honkies

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Est book about the sea ever written by DH Lawrence Moby Dick features detailed descriptions of whale hunting and whale oil extraction as well as beautiful incisive writing on race class religion art and s. i triedBoth ends of the line are exposed the lower end terminating in an eye splice or loop coming up from the bottom against the side of the tub and hanging over its edge completely disengaged from everything This arrangement of the lower end is necessary on two accounts First In order to facilitate the fastening to it of an additional line from a neighboring boat in case the stricken whale should sound so deep as to threaten to carry off the entire line originally attached to the harpoon In these instances the whale of course is shifted like a mug of ale as it were from the one boat to the other though the first boat always hovers at hand to assist its consort Second This arrangement is indispensible for common safety s sake for were the lower end of the line in any way attached to the boat and were the whale then to run the line out to the end almost in a single smoking minute as he sometimes does he would not stop there for the doomed boat would infallibly be dragged down after him into the profundity of the sea and in that case no town crier would ever find her again Before lowering the boat for the chase the upper end of the line is taken aft from the tub and passing round the loggerhead there is again carried forward the entire length of the boat resting crosswise upon the loom or handle of every man s oar so that it jogs against his wrist in rowing and also passing between the men as they alternately sit at the opposing gunwales to the leaded chocks or grooves in the extreme pointed prow of the boat where a wooden pin or skewer the size of a common uill prevents it from slipping out From the chocks it hangs in a slight festoon over the bows and is then passed inside the boat again and some ten or twenty fathoms called box line being coiled upon the box in the bows it continues its way to the gunwale still a little further aft and is then attached to the short warp the rope which is immediately connected with the harpoon but previous to that connexion the short warp goes through sundry mystifications too tedious to detaili tried but any book with that passage and thousands of passages just like it can never get five stars from me and probably not even four not because i think it is shitty writing but because when i was growing up i was told that girls just wanna have fun and that was not giving me any fun at all everyone said nooo karen you were eighteen when you read this the first time and you just didn t give it your all you are bound to love it now with your years of accumulated knowledge and experienceand that sounded valid to me and it s like when i turned thirty and i decided to try all the foods i had thought were from the devil and see if i liked them now that i was old i thought that revisiting this book might have the same results and discoveries but this book remains like olives to me and not like rice pudding which have you tried it is uite goodbut no turns out that when i was eighteen i was already fully formedand it s not that i don t understand it i get the biblical allusions i understand the bitter humor of fast fish loose fish i am aware of the foreshadowing and symbolism i went to school i learned my theory and my close reading but there are passages like the one above that i could not see the glory in all i could see was the dulland the bitch of it is that it started out fine good even i was really getting into the description of the docks and the nantuckters and it was giving me good new england y feelings and then came that first chapter about whale anatomy and i was laughing remembering encountering it during my first reading and being really angry that this chapter was jaggedly cutting in on the action and honestly it was really good at the end too but the whole middle of this book is pretty much a wash a sea of boredom with occasionally interesting icebergsat the beginning he claims that no one has ever written the definitive book about whales and whaling so kudos on that because this is pretty damn definitive it s just no fun maybe i would like it better if it had been about sharks i like sharksi know you wouldn t know it to look at me but i don t have a problem with challenging books i prefer a well told story sure and i am mostly just a pleasure reader not one that needs to be all snooty pants about everything i read but i ve done the proust thing and while he can be wordy at times hahaahah his words will eventually move me i understand them and i appreciate being submerged into his character s thought soup viginia woolf dense writing but it is gorgeous writing that shines a light into the corners of human experience and is astonishing breathtaking thomas hardy has pages and pages of descriptive nature writing but manages to make it matter i just wasn t feeling that here the chapter on the way we perceive white animals the whale through various artistic representations rigging four different chapters on whale anatomy it s just too much description not enough story it seemed all digressive interludeand you would think that a book so full of semen and dick and men holding hands while sueezing sperm and grinning at each other would have been enough but i remain unconverted and sad of itmaybe if i had read this one it would have been differentoh no i have opened the GIS doori am only including this one because i totally have that shark stuffiemaybe i am just a frivolous person unable to appreciate the descriptive bludgeoning of one man s uest to detail every inch of the giant whale or maybe all y all are wrong and deludedheh dickcome to my blog

10 thoughts on “Moby Dick; or The Whale

  1. says:

    LISA Dad you can't take revenge on an animal That's the whole point of Moby DickHOMER Oh Lisa the point of Moby Dick is 'be yourself' The Simpsons Season 15 Episode 5 “The Fat and the Furriest” Ahoy Matey Thar be spoilers aheadThere there Stop your crying You didn’t like Herman Melville’s Moby Dick? You

  2. says:

    “Where the White Whale yo?”Ah my first DBR And possibly my last as this could be a complete shit show Approach

  3. says:

    I re read Moby Dick following my research trips to the whaling museums of New Bedford and Nantucket whaling museums The particular edition I read from University of California Press is HIGHLY recommended as the typeface is extremely agreeable to the eyes and the illustrations are subtle and instructive without ever interfering or drawing attention away from the story Perhaps that’s where the latent interest grew deep

  4. says:

    So Herman Melville's Moby Dick is supposed by many to be the greatest Engligh language novel ever written especially among those written in the Romantic tradition MehIt's not that I don't get that there's a TON of complexity subtlety and depth to this book about a mad captain's uest for revenge against a great white whale And on the surface it's even a pretty darn good adventure story And honestly Melville's pr

  5. says:

    i triedBoth ends of the line are exposed; the lower end terminating in an eye splice or loop coming up from the bottom against the side of the tub and hanging over its edge completely disengaged from everything This arrangement of the lower end is necessary on two accounts First In order to facilitate the fastening to it of an additional line from a neighboring boat in case the stricken whale should sound so deep as to threaten

  6. says:

    I hate this book so much It is impossible to ignore the literary merit of this work though; it is after all a piece of innovative literature Melville broke narrative expectations when he shed the narrator Ishmael and burst through with his infinite knowledge of all things whale It was most creative but then he pounded the reader with his knowledge of the whaling industry that could uite literally fill several textbooks This made the book

  7. says:

    896 Moby Dick The Whale Herman MelvilleMoby Dick; or The Whale is a novel by American writer Herman Melville published in 1851 during the period of the American Renaissance Sailor Ishmael tells the story of the obs

  8. says:

    There once was a grouchy alpha whale named Moby Dick who rather than being agreeably shorn of his blubber and having lumpy sperm scooped out of his cranium like cottage cheese chose life Unlike so many shiftless layabout sea mammals

  9. says:

    I was that precocious brat who first read the whale esue sized Moby Dick at the age of nine Why? I had my reasons and they were twofold 1 I was in the middle of my I love Jacues Cousteau phase and this book had a picture o

  10. says:

    So I just finished it a couple of days ago and pretty much everything else pales in comparison About three hundred pages in it was already in my top ten favorite novels of all time and it didn't disappoint muchas I continued reading I actually deliberately drew out getting to the ending so I could savor the last