Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us $3,400 per month for bandwidth bills alone, and since we don't believe in shoving popup ads to our registered users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
  • Post
  • Reply
cda
Jan 2, 2010


I taught it three times to Honors Senior English classes and had a great time. If you emphasize the humor and also how bad rear end characters like Queequeg, Ahab, Fedallah and Stubb are, and give them permission to read the digressions quickly and just for an overall feel, I think it can go pretty well. What I'd typically do is use a digressive chapter for a close reading assignment, just so they'd have to engage with it somewhat, and then as far as lectures and bigger assignments went, we would focus on the plot-driven big-picture elements. It was part of a class on sea adventures where we also read The Odyssey, Old Man and the Sea, Treasure Island, The Perfect Storm, Charles Johnson's Middle Passage, and Peter Matthiessen's Far Tortuga .

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

I have a copy of Far Tortuga on the shelf I've been meaning to read ever since Dogcrash Truther started talking about it years ago

I'd also suggest folks look at Two Years Before the Mast

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I also think people may be better readers. Popular fiction is getting longer and more complex, more people have advanced degrees, if you've spent five hours reading random Wikipedia articles about whales then this is the book for you but fifty years ago that wasn't a thing.

Popular fiction isn't getting more complex and having a degree doesn't make you more inclined to read a digressive polymathic novel.

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I also think people may be better readers. Popular fiction is getting longer and more complex, more people have advanced degrees, if you've spent five hours reading random Wikipedia articles about whales then this is the book for you but fifty years ago that wasn't a thing.

I don't know what was popular in 19th century USA, but I don't think modern popular fiction is as long and complex as for example Dickens. The first, maybe, but not the second.

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I have a copy of Far Tortuga on the shelf I've been meaning to read ever since Dogcrash Truther started talking about it years ago

It's good. Makes your brain work in different ways.

Hieronymous Alloy posted:

I'd also suggest folks look at Two Years Before the Mast

There were books I had to cut from the syllabus for time's sake, and that was one of them. The Caine Mutiny was another one. Of course, if I'd just cut Moby Dick then I probably could have done both of them. But that wasn't going to happen.

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Safety Biscuits posted:

I don't know what was popular in 19th century USA, but I don't think modern popular fiction is as long and complex as for example Dickens. The first, maybe, but not the second.

Gotta be careful with Dickens though because it was serialized. In that sense, when we read the books as a whole and perceive their structure that way, we're missing how they were encountered when they initially became popular.

ThePopeOfFun
Feb 15, 2010


This BotM inspired me to start a reading of it with parts of my friend group.

Gotta add The Sea Wolf to the sea adventures list. My dad gave it to me in middle school and it was awesome then. I've read it a couple times since. Also fits the theme of mad captain and a hostaged crew, but kind of beats the crap out of the Romantic.

Would be interesting to read after Moby Dick.

ThePopeOfFun
Feb 15, 2010


Telling the reader to get off their rear end and Call me Ishmael is so drat cool.

Melville loves blowing up cliches (money is the root of all evil) into transcendent, clever anecdotes. That little bit on paying vs. being paid reads like stand-up comedy and/or rap, while also making GBS threads on boring passenger peasants.

Aaaand then fart jokes to close the chapter.

Moby Dick: Something for Everyone.

I think I love this book so much because I feel Melville's brain pulling together every minute connection possible to throw in the book. Without the fart jokes and dunking on the lames, it would come off as arrogant. Instead, the effect is like watching a brain make art in real-time.

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Been reading Foucault and came across this little gem, the last line of "Of Other Spaces," the text of a speech he gave in the 60s which was untranslated in his lifetime. Seemed relevant to Moby Dick:

In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

https://twitter.com/MobyDickatSea

cda
Jan 2, 2010



I follow this and it's pretty good although I feel it leaves out a lot of great poetic lines and leans a little hard on the stuff that's funny in/out of context

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Interesting- I'm on SA for the first time in a while, and the BotM is my all-time favorite! I even posted an effort thread about it back in 2009(!), which you can read if you have archives: https://forums.somethingawful.com/s...40&pagenumber=1

Some of the stuff I thought was really deep and interesting seems pretty obvious in retrospect, but hey, I was an undergrad at the time.

I don't really have anything to add to the discussion at the moment, but I will post Orson Whales, since no one's done it yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aUIDlzG908

Teach
Mar 28, 2008



Pillbug

From Camus' Lyrical & Critical Essays,


Somebody fucked around with this message at 12:23 on Dec 18, 2019

EmmyOk
Aug 11, 2013


Read this for the first time last month and am relistening now on audiobook as Iím back in the countryside over Christmas and itís lovely on long walks.


anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.



Grimey Drawer

Ishmael's cetology, .

cda
Jan 2, 2010


https://twitter.com/catchaspark_/st...8550893568?s=19

EmmyOk
Aug 11, 2013


Lmfao

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Moby "Big Dick Energy"

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


I've burned through the last thirty or chapters or so on Christmas break.

I'm glad I reread this. Its really fuckin good.

Hieronymous Alloy
Jan 30, 2009


Why! Why!! Why must you refuse to accept that Dr. Hieronymous Alloy's Genetically Enhanced Cream Corn Is Superior to the Leading Brand on the Market!?!



Morbid Hound

we need nominations for next month! and next year!

^burtle
Jul 17, 2001

God of Boomin'



This book is moby sick~

Bifauxnen
Aug 11, 2010

Resurrected
Living in a lighthouse
The lions and the lambs ain't sleeping yet


I'm new to browsing the Book Barn so I'm very late in starting this, but I am sitting here utterly fascinated by the chapter just describing the symbolic feel of this odd pulpit with a side ladder.

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Bifauxnen posted:

I'm new to browsing the Book Barn so I'm very late in starting this, but I am sitting here utterly fascinated by the chapter just describing the symbolic feel of this odd pulpit with a side ladder.

I think themed churches are a great idea. Like you go to a church in Paris and the pastor is up in a scale model of the Eiffel Tower or something

Selachian
Oct 9, 2012



Hieronymous Alloy posted:

we need nominations for next month! and next year!

I've suggested it before, but I think youse guys would enjoy John Dos Passos's U.S.A. Although doing it all in one month might not be workable, doing the first book, The 42nd Parallel, could be a good start.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Riffing on this, how about American Pastoral?

But really All the Pretty Horses

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013


If it wasn't for disappointment,
I wouldn't have any appointment.





Grimey Drawer

BotM needs more poetry and more short story collections and more plays.

I was gifted a collection of Chekhov's plays by Chip McFuck, so one of those would be cool. Six Characters in Search of an Author, Eugene Onegin, or something by Beckett. Or even some Shakespeare.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

I think you're thinking of Boris Godunov, although Onegin is a worthy suggestion itself.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013


If it wasn't for disappointment,
I wouldn't have any appointment.





Grimey Drawer

Sham bam bamina! posted:

I think you're thinking of Boris Godunov, although Onegin is a worthy suggestion itself.

You're right, I was. Thank you!

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



a rebours by joris-karl huysmans

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



hereís a snippet about the book to pique your interest and to serve as an argument

quote:

Huysmans' novel, Against the Grain, has more discussions of sound, smell and taste than any other work of literature we know of. For example, one chapter consists entirely of smell hallucinations so vivid that they exhaust the book's central character

iím not sure if the first sentence is actually true or not (regarding ďthan any other work we know orĒ) but itís an interesting novel at least

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Franchescanado posted:

BotM needs more poetry and more short story collections and more plays.

For short stories, how about Lydia Davis Varieties of Disturbance or Donald Barthelme Sixty Stories?

Poetrywise I'm going to put in a plug for the little-known Just Let Me Say This About That by John Bricuth. It's a book length poem in the form of a press conference given by God and it's very good. Or John Berryman's Dream Songs or Robin Coste Lewis's Voyage of the Sable Venus which people might have noticed I won't shut up about.

Morty the Mad
Jul 24, 2002

GOOD GOD, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? WHY ARE YOU TAKING YOUR PANTS OFF? IS THIS A GODDAMN NUDIST COLONY? ARE WE ABOUT TO TAKE A SHOWER

This is probably my favorite piece of American literature. I've had the privilege of teaching it at the undergraduate level (in a poli sci department), and it is as rich and deep a text as you could want for analysis. However, what I love most about it is simply the power and elegance of the prose: the entire chapter on the whiteness of the whale, Ahab's lament to the dead whale's head, the description of Pip falling overboard and going mad, etc. These meandering, philosophical interludes that don't advance the plot are what drive some readers of this book crazy (chapter on cetology/scientific classification, anyone?), but they're also where Melville is at his absolute best and most beautiful.

Philthy
Jan 28, 2003



Pillbug

Finished this.

I absolutely loved the story portion, which I felt like maybe 30% of the book. The other 70% felt like Encyclopedia Whale. Which was very interesting at first (So much so I was sitting in Wikipedia going over it all), but lost me when it felt like Melville obsessed over every little bit of whale and never stopped writing. Skeleton? Heads? Skin? Brain? Intestines? I could be entirely off, and maybe it was really 70/30 just because content that doesn't interest you seems to drag.

I do admit I'm terrible at allegories and most likely much of this content went right over my head. (Even reading an annotated version) Those last 30 or so chapters were amazing, however. It really saved me from feeling bad about reading this. I'm glad I stuck with it and finished it. Maybe I'll revisit it again a few years from now.

Philthy fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Dec 25, 2019

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




Fallen Rib

Morty the Mad posted:

the description of Pip falling overboard and going mad

I haven't been able to shake this since I read it a few years ago. I'm very slowly reading the book again now and goodness it's well-written. Queequeg and Ishmael OTP.

EmmyOk
Aug 11, 2013


His prose is great and heís pretty explicit about whatever comparison heís drawing to human experience. Maybe 10% is a textbook and the rest is the best book written

Philthy
Jan 28, 2003



Pillbug

I dunno, most chapters had on average 5-6 biblical references. The later chapters not so much, but the annotations in some of these were 30-40 items in some chapters. At times it got way too much but they did help.

Sham bam bamina!
Nov 6, 2012

ƨtupid cat


Gravy Boat 2k

Philthy posted:

I dunno, most chapters had on average 5-6 biblical references.
lmfo

A human heart
Oct 10, 2012



when a 19th century writer references the bible more than 5 times i reach for my revolver

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

cda
Jan 2, 2010


There are different ways to read and I'm not judging any of them but personally the I-need-to-get-all-the-references style makes no sense to me if the goals are things like, enjoy the book, finish the book, etc.. I am just fine reading a reference I don't understand and going "huh, didn't get it, maybe one day I will." It's nice to feel like I understand a book but it's not a requirement.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply