Moby-Dick, or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleIt is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships cables and hawsers. A Polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it.
So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literary history. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopaedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its authors lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humour, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.
This edition of Moby-Dick, which reproduces the definitive text of the novel, includes invaluable explanatory notes, along with maps, illustrations, and a glossary of nautical terms.
Moby Dick - Thug Notes Summary and Analysis
Subversive, queer and terrifyingly relevant: six reasons why Moby-Dick is the novel for our times
By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. A great herd of readers profess devotion to Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dick , but novelists especially seem to love saying they love it. But perhaps they all love a different Moby-Dick. It's been called a whaling yarn, a theodicy, a Shakespeare-styled political tragedy, an anatomy, a queer confessional, an environmentalist epic; because this novel seems to hold all the world, all these readings are compatible and true. He didn't disappoint. In his essay, Gilbert looks directly at the book's shape-shifting form and examines its ability to serve as a personal cipher. In his reading of the novel's magnificent 87th chapter, "The Grand Armada," Melville seems to choose this theme self-consciously: It's a comment, according to Gilbert, on how self-reflective we tend to be when we look out at the world.
Sascha Morrell does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. This is a novel that announces itself as the tale of a whaling voyage, and expands from there as if to encompass the whole of existence. Its narrator, Ishmael, admits he is overwhelmed:. Friends, hold my arms! For in the mere act of penning my thoughts of this Leviathan, they weary me, and make me faint with their out-reaching comprehensiveness of sweep, as if to include the whole circle of the sciences, and all the generations of whales, and men, and mastodons, past, present, and to come, with all the revolving panoramas of empire on earth, and throughout the whole universe, not excluding its suburbs. But whereas the ancient epic presents the world as a unified and coherent totality, the modern world can only hope to express itself through fragmentation, dialogue, digression and collage.
T hursday marks the th birthday of Herman Melville — the author of the greatest unread novel in the English language. It is the Mount Everest of literature: huge and apparently insurmountable, its snowy peak as elusive as the tail of the great white whale himself. Perhaps it was because I saw it on a tiny black-and-white TV, but the whole story seemed impenetrable to me. I would have been even less keen had I known that the whale footage Huston did include had been specially shot off Madeira, where they were still being hunted. Forty years later, I saw my first whales in the wild , off Provincetown, a former whaling port on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It was there, in New England, that I finally finished the book. What had seemed to be a heroic tale of the high seas proved to be something much darker and more sublime.