I did it. I finally conquered that freaking White Whale. Possessor of a Masters' in English Lit, and an erstwhile English teacher: I have never read MI did it. I finally conquered that freaking White Whale. Possessor of a Masters' in English Lit, and an erstwhile English teacher: I have never read Moby-Dick. It was a resolution for 2016 and I (barely) made it. Now I have to spend some time digesting it.
Some random preliminary thoughts, which will likely be added to as they occur to me: - Moby-Dick is my dad's favorite book, and I've long felt guilty for not taking it on. - Ishmael is a clever and entertaining narrator, and his bromance with Queequeg oddly heartwarming. - Moby-Dick is essentially a charming picaresque novel until about the last 20%, when it becomes a hallucinogenic nightmare tragedy. - It's also an excellent example of early modernism, and strongly foreshadows postmodernism. - I don't wonder that it's a monolithic piece of the canon: the language is a marvel, and carries some of the less-exciting bits all on its own. But it's the mad hubris of Ahab which has attained mythic symbolism, working its way into the cracks of numberless subsequent tales. - I will never ever forget the scene in which poor Tashtego falls headfirst into the decapitated body of a whale and nearly drowns in spermaceti. Now that's some horrific shit. - I liked it, but I didn't love it. Perhaps that might be amended with further study, since I'm sure at least 50% of the arcane terms and references went sailing over my head. - I loved Benito Cereno, and I amBartleby the Scrivener, so why did I avoid Moby-Dick? - Now I'm going to read Why Read Moby-Dick? . . . maybe it will help me pull it all together....more