Moby-Dick or, the Whale Moby-Dick or, the Whale discussion


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5th reading of Moby Dick

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message 1: by Doris (new)

Doris Jean This book gets better as I age. At first, it was assigned and I found the topic fascinating, particularly the descriptions of madness and obsession which were plaguing me in my teens. Later, I loved the facts revealed about the natural world in all of its diversity. Reading it in my 30s, I found the nuggets of insight on so many topics thought provoking--for hours I could contemplate just one of his many quotable gems. Now, I am reading it with a book club in Chicago and I plan to come back for each of the two remaining discussions in June. This time I am impressed by its style, its prescience about ecological issues, the rapaciousness of humankind across the globe, the difficulties posed by economic disparity and racism, the breadth of knowledge Melville achieved without a college education. It is equally riveting now.


Greg Doris wrote: "This book gets better as I age. At first, it was assigned and I found the topic fascinating, particularly the descriptions of madness and obsession which were plaguing me in my teens. Later, I love..."
Hi Doris, I read this in high school like many people, and I didn't care for it. But I recently read the fabulous, brilliant "The Art of Fielding" in which there is much discussion of "Moby Dick" so I'm going to return to "Moby Dick" for a 2nd reading. And, by the way, if you haven't read "The Art of Fielding" I highly recommend it, not only for all the Melville/Moby references, but just because it is flat-out awesome!


Cymru Roberts I just read it for the first time this year after trying and failing in college. I was surprised at how witty and sarcastic Ishmael was. Truly one of the best narrators of all time. And the book reminded me of other books, like the Savage Detectives, or something by Borges, with the stories-within-stories, and all of the different tangents. It's much more accessible than it gets credit for. It's also a spiritual ancestor to Blood Meridian, and manages to be as or more disturbing with 1% of the violence. So much emotion.. I bought a copy and plan on re-reading it throughout the rest of my years.


R.a. Everyone, (or every American), it seems, has that "awful" text from high school which exists as a sort of plague or bane.

From some, it was Moby Dick, for others, it was The Scarlet Letter, and still for others, it was The Great Gatsby.

For me, that bane was Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. Three to four bloody times through that script. Only upon seeing it on the stage, (as it was meant to be experienced), did I see all the wonderful and affecting elements to it.

Luckily, all the novels previously mentioned, I loved with the first read.

And, Moby Dick is great. I couldn't help but wonder, though, whether Poe's influence existed with the "white as evil" idea.

Well, something to ponder, anyway.

Good reading, all.


Greg R.a., Cymru,good points, thanks! I'm getting back to Moby Dick soon!


message 6: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben Finished it fairly recently, and wrote a blog post on it (http://littleblogofben.blogspot.co.uk...). There is probably more to it than I have so far understood, but what's great about this novel is that it is understood to have more meaning than it first makes out.

I would like to read it again, but it is a leviathan of a book, and something that I'd quite like to take a break from.


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