Alright, we got the big one outta the way, let’s keep moving!
I’ve been feeling energized lately. Maybe it’s just that the weather has cooled down a bit, but my creative juices are flowing again. And this chapter is a great canvas for my, shall we say, creative interpretations of this book.
I’ve really got my work cut out for me this time ’round. This is a very important and fascinating chapter, and has been the subject of a lot of study and discussion over the years. It’s not hard to see why, there’s obviously a lot going on here, and I will do my level best to untangle it, and perhaps offer a bit of my own commentary on top of all the others.
Ahhhhh, my vacation is nearly over, but I managed to find time to do a bit more reading.
This chapter is a bit meatier, a hint at things to come, and it’s a really good one. We’re back into some classic Ishmael philosophizing here. I simply had to tear myself away from various JRPGs to get down to writing about it, before the specter of the work week comes once more to sap all of my creative energies.
Okay, okay, I had my fun, let’s get back to serious business.
Honestly, I got most of the way into writing a big thoughtful analysis of the last chapter, but it really comes down to that little joke. That’s all ya need to know to unravel everything. I only get to do that once, I think, the inverse of my old post where I spun like 2000 words out of a one-paragraph chapter. Ah, that was a good one.
I mean, not really, but also, yes. Look, people love to post excerpts of this chapter out of context, to make it sound like Moby-Dick; or, the Whale is some sort of pornographic free-for-all. As you and I well know by this point, that is not quite the case. And yet, there’s only so much that context can really change for writing like this. Let’s dig in and squish our hands around in it.
Alright, enough about space whales, let’s get back to good ol’ fashioned domestic Earth whales.
We’ve got a real barn burner of a chapter today. One of those ones that feels like it was written specifically for me, or at least the 21st century audience. This is just a beautiful bit of philosophical writing that really gets across an idea in a very neat and tidy way. Sure, there are a few rough edges to it, I won’t ignore those, but we’ve certainly gotten used to them by this point, haven’t we?
Y’know, I really went into this movie ready to be swept away.
I’ve heard all the stories about the original Avatar, how people found themselves aching for this alternate world that it conjured. Of course, I saw it at the time, and enjoyed it but… wasn’t so impressed. Nonetheless, in the intervening years I’ve become a fan of spectacle, and often just let myself enjoy some big dumb action when the spirit so moves me. It did not move when I went to see Jimmy Cameron’s long-awaited sequel to his record-breaking blockbuster about alien cat people.
This week’s chapter is, as they say, a doozy. Not that it is especially long, but it is dense, and comes to a surprising conclusion at the end. We’re back to pure non-narrative stuff, pontification on the nature of whales, in this case a specific part of their biology: the breath. This one requires a bit of cutting through the underbrush of 19th century vocabulary, but if you can manage that, it’s quite fun. Continue reading “Chapter 85: The Fountain”→
Ah, after a couple of chapters of non-narrative philosophizing, we get back to a bit of whale hunting.
This one is kind of tricky, I’m not sure if I’m really going to be able to wring a lot of philosophical meaning out of it, but there is a mystery to be solved. Namely: what the heck is pitchpoling, actually? Let’s get into it. Continue reading “Chapter 84: Pitchpoling”→