Enough of this reflection and philosophizing, it’s time for more action!
I do wonder if Melville was a bit self-conscious in writing this book, aware that he was a bit too heavy on the high-minded discourse, when his audience was expecting more of a rollicking action-adventure yarn. After all, his most successful previous books, Typee and Omoo were more in that vein. Thus, the sudden shift in tone here, to a good ol’ fashioned whale hunt. Continue reading “Chapter 81: The Pequod Meets The Virgin”→
Now that the choking, toxic smoke in the air of Seattle has been replaced with the more traditional water, I find myself in a writerly mood once again. And a readerly one, I suppose. A torrential downpour outside does tend to push one towards cozier pastimes, I find. Continue reading “Chapter 80: The Nut”→
Ah, it’s been a little while, and this is not exactly an ideal chapter to come back with, though it is an interesting one. I’ve been having a bit of a depressive episode and lost myself in Final Fantasy XIV for a couple weeks, due to… *gestures broadly at the world*. As I sit here, the world outside my window blanketed with poisonous fog and haunted by the specter of a deadly virus, it feels somewhat frivolous to write about some 150-year-old book about whales. And yet, I shall, since I don’t really have anything better to do with my time. Continue reading “Chapter 79: The Prairie”→
Yes, I’m catching up on stuff I’ve been reading over the summer. This is the most recent book I’ve finished, actually, so it’s a bit more fresh in my mind than the Pelican Brief. This time, the book is one I’ve read before, thought it was a very long time ago, when I was but a small child. My dad used to read books to me and my brother, and Redwall and Mossflower were among them. I read a few of the later entries in the series on my own, but soon fell off, replacing it with Discworld in my heart.
Yes, after a few chapters in a row of straight philosophizing, Ishmael has deigned to give us some more Things That Actually Happened on his fateful whaling voyage. I often wonder how much of the initial poor reception of this book would have been mitigated if Melville mixed these two modes of writing together more evenly. I remember hearing that it went narrative and non-narrative every other chapter, but that’s obviously not true.
It would be rather odd if it was, since I only read a few chapters a week, and they’re usually not very long, and for months I wasn’t even updating this blog! No, while I haven’t been reading as much as usual lately, since I’m not working at the Pike Place Market for obvious reasons, I have been pecking away at some books before bed every night.
In the spirit of one of my favorite podcasts, I decided to make some posts about ’em. Just the usual reflections, but on a whole work instead of a little piece of it. It’s not a formal review, just some stray thoughts and observations, more in the style of my Moby Dick posts.
This is one of the chapters that really inspired me to do this blog.
The casual reader of Moby Dick, which I must assume exists because I was one, would come across this and be utterly confused. What the heck is a Heidelburgh Tun, and why is it being talked about like it’s some sort of famous reference that everyone knows? It’s a question that cries out for answering. This is the one that really got me started in on researching all these obscure 19th century references. Continue reading “Chapter 77: The Great Heidelburgh Tun”→
Boy I sure hope you’re ready for more whale physiology!
Continuing on with our little run of non-narrative chapters, today we’re getting a close examination of the sperm whale’s powerful forehead. Of course, this being Moby Dick, it has some deep philosophical implications that would drive a man mad if he fully understood them. Let’s get into it. Continue reading “Chapter 76: The Battering-Ram”→