A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Jan 9, 14:31 -0800
I don't recommend it either, Bruce. It has some good bits here and there. I do find that it helps to read intrepretation and criticism. So if you want to gain a deeper appreciation for it as literature, now that you've read it, I suggest doing some internet searching. Or maybe grab a copy of "Why Read Moby-Dick?" by Nathaniel Philbrick, the author of "In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex". Now that you've been through it, some of these ramblings about the book will be much more interesting!
Moby-Dick is one of those books that everyone (no... not true... every American in a certain range of ages) has been told to read or assigned to read but has mostly encountered indirectly. If you say "Captain Ahab", your listeners probably know you're referencing blind, hateful obsession. If you say "Call me, Ishmael", your listeners probably have no idea where you're going, but they know you're quoting that one line in the ponderous book that everyone has heard. Even not reading it is a cultural reference point. In the film "Star Trek: First Contact" (best or second-best of that canon), a character denounces our hate-blind captain calling him "Captain Ahab". It hits him hard because he has, in fact, read the book. He then quotes (well, not quite!) a passage from Moby-Dick... indicating that she has changed him by calling him Ahab. She looks at him puzzled by the reference and then admits "actually I never read it". And who has?! You're now a member of a select club, Bruce. You read that damn book!
Of course, when you got to the end, the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago...
It always ends that way.