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.
«3 »
  • Post
  • Reply
Philthy
Jan 28, 2003



Pillbug

I'm generally like that with Russian lit, but this was a bit next level.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

EmmyOk
Aug 11, 2013


IMO it's fine to want to understand the references and a nice copy like the penguin classics one has annotations for the big ones which are good and unobtrusive. It's just bizarre to think of it as 30% story and 70% encyclopedia. A lot of people read Moby Dick thinking it'll just be a rip roaring tale when it's a rumination on everything in life. There's definitely some small parts where he does seem to be just talking about whaling but that adds to the grand sum, most of hich is wonderful prose about human life. That's what's most baffling about op's take not the references or whatever. How you can think the majority of the book is just an encyclopedia is impossible for me to understand.

EmmyOk
Aug 11, 2013


let's all post some of our favourite passages

Big Man Herm posted:

[...] but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Wickliff's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over.

There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at mid-day, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!

ThePopeOfFun
Feb 15, 2010


Don't have time to dig it up right now, but the the Lee Shore and the chapter on the Blacksmith's skin are my faves.

Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


From Chapter 87: The Grand Armada. I had to stop myself from reposting the entire chapter

quote:

It had been next to impossible to dart these drugged-harpoons, were it not that as we advanced into the herd, our whale’s way greatly diminished; moreover, that as we went still further and further from the circumference of commotion, the direful disorders seemed waning. So that when at last the jerking harpoon drew out, and the towing whale sideways vanished; then, with the tapering force of his parting momentum, we glided between two whales into the innermost heart of the shoal, as if from some mountain torrent we had slid into a serene valley lake. Here the storms in the roaring glens between the outermost whales, were heard but not felt. In this central expanse the sea presented that smooth satin-like surface, called a sleek, produced by the subtle moisture thrown off by the whale in his more quiet moods. Yes, we were now in that enchanted calm which they say lurks at the heart of every commotion. And still in the distracted distance we beheld the tumults of the outer concentric circles, and saw successive pods of whales, eight or ten in each, swiftly going round and round, like multiplied spans of horses in a ring; and so closely shoulder to shoulder, that a Titanic circus-rider might easily have over-arched the middle ones, and so have gone round on their backs. Owing to the density of the crowd of reposing whales, more immediately surrounding the embayed axis of the herd, no possible chance of escape was at present afforded us. We must watch for a breach in the living wall that hemmed us in; the wall that had only admitted us in order to shut us up. Keeping at the centre of the lake, we were occasionally visited by small tame cows and calves; the women and children of this routed host.

Now, inclusive of the occasional wide intervals between the revolving outer circles, and inclusive of the spaces between the various pods in any one of those circles, the entire area at this juncture, embraced by the whole multitude, must have contained at least two or three square miles. At any rate- though indeed such a test at such a time might be deceptive- spoutings might be discovered from our low boat that seemed playing up almost from the rim of the horizon. I mention this circumstance, because, as if the cows and calves had been purposely locked up in this innermost fold; and as if the wide extent of the herd had hitherto prevented them from learning the precise cause of its stopping; or, possibly, being so young, unsophisticated, and every way innocent and inexperienced; however it may have been, these smaller whales- now and then visiting our becalmed boat from the margin of the lake- evinced a wondrous fearlessness and confidence, or else a still becharmed panic which it was impossible not to marvel at. Like household dogs they came snuffing round us, right up to our gunwales, and touching them; till it almost seemed that some spell had suddenly domesticated them. Queequeg patted their foreheads; Starbuck scratched their backs with his lance; but fearful of the consequences, for the time refrained from darting it.

But far beneath this wondrous world upon the surface, another and still stranger world met our eyes as we gazed over the side. For, suspended in those watery vaults, floated the forms of the nursing mothers of the whales, and those that by their enormous girth seemed shortly to become mothers. The lake, as I have hinted, was to a considerable depth exceedingly transparent; and as human infants while suckling will calmly and fixedly gaze away from the breast, as if leading two different lives at the time; and while yet drawing mortal nourishment, be still spiritually feasting upon some unearthly reminiscence;- even so did the young of these whales seem looking up towards us, but not at us, as if we were but a bit of Gulfweed in their new-born sight. Floating on their sides, the mothers also seemed quietly eyeing us. One of these little infants, that from certain queer tokens seemed hardly a day old, might have measured some fourteen feet in length, and some six feet in girth. He was a little frisky; though as yet his body seemed scarce yet recovered from that irksome position it had so lately occupied in the maternal reticule; where, tail to head, and all ready for the final spring, the unborn whale lies bent like a Tartar’s bow. The delicate side-fins, and the palms of his flukes, still freshly retained the plaited crumpled appearance of a baby’s ears newly arrived from foreign parts.

Bifauxnen
Aug 11, 2010

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


I still haven't got too far yet but "The Prophet" might be my favourite chapter so far. I just love Ishmael's exasperation at Elijah to stop ominously foreshadowing at him so much and get to the point, man!

quote:

“My friend,” said I, “what all this gibberish of yours is about, I don’t know, and I don’t much care; for it seems to me that you must be a little damaged in the head. But if you are speaking of Captain Ahab, of that ship there, the Pequod, then let me tell you, that I know all about the loss of his leg.”
“All about it, eh—sure you do?—all?”
“Pretty sure.”
With finger pointed and eye levelled at the Pequod, the beggar-like stranger stood a moment, as if in a troubled reverie; then starting a little, turned and said:—“Ye’ve shipped, have ye? Names down on the papers? Well, well, what’s signed, is signed; and what’s to be, will be; and then again, perhaps it won’t be, after all. Anyhow, it’s all fixed and arranged a’ready; and some sailors or other must go with him, I suppose; as well these as any other men, God pity ’em! Morning to ye, shipmates, morning; the ineffable heavens bless ye; I’m sorry I stopped ye.”
“Look here, friend,” said I, “if you have anything important to tell us, out with it; but if you are only trying to bamboozle us, you are mistaken in your game; that’s all I have to say.”

cda
Jan 2, 2010


EmmyOk posted:

let's all post some of our favourite passages

Wow... It's a big loving book and somehow you picked my favorite passage. We are Dick Bros now

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Kangxi posted:

From Chapter 87: The Grand Armada. I had to stop myself from reposting the entire chapter

Yesssss best overall chapter imo. We are Dick Bros now.

cda
Jan 2, 2010


Chapter 41:

quote:

Winding far down from within the very heart of this spiked Hotel de Cluny where we here stand—however grand and wonderful, now quit it;—and take your way, ye nobler, sadder souls, to those vast Roman halls of Thermes; where far beneath the fantastic towers of man’s upper earth, his root of grandeur, his whole awful essence sits in bearded state; an antique buried beneath antiquities, and throned on torsoes! So with a broken throne, the great gods mock that captive king; so like a Caryatid, he patient sits, upholding on his frozen brow the piled entablatures of ages. Wind ye down there, ye prouder, sadder souls! question that proud, sad king! A family likeness! aye, he did beget ye, ye young exiled royalties; and from your grim sire only will the old State-secret come.

Melville's use of iambic rhythm is so good. Here's two iambic heptameters

So with a broken throne, the great gods mock that captive king...

and from your grim sire only will the old State secret come.

ulvir
Jan 2, 2005



so are we gonna have a botm poll for january, orrrr....

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

ulvir posted:

so are we gonna have a botm poll for january, orrrr....

A quick poll will go up tonight. I've been knocked flat for the past few days by a fever.

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/alloy_dr/status...7057529863?s=20

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Slowly working my way through the book--I really love it, but am doing a million other things too.

The first scenes on the Pequod are amazing. From the baleen hut to the skin flint negotiations with Ishmael to the introduction of Queequeg to Captains Peleg and Bildad when Peleg throws all the money at him, LMAO

And the strangeness of the Ramadan scene.

I also now want chowder.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Continuing to live blog my slow read through...just finished with the cetology chapter. It's always interesting to me who works in the area to read how pre evolutionary classifications were done. Even post Darwin, shaking the essentialism of classification took until the 70s and 80s of last century. As a utilitarian thing though what Ishmael presents is pretty helpful for what will come no doubt.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

The Whiteness of the Whale is amazing

Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


Bilirubin posted:

The Whiteness of the Whale is amazing

i've tried to write "on the Xness of the X" allusions in stuff I've written for like the past decade and always had editors cut it at the last minute, alas

Tree Goat fucked around with this message at 06:25 on Jan 28, 2020

CestMoi
Sep 16, 2011



Tree Goat posted:

i've tried to write "on the Xness of the X" allusions in stuff I've written for like the past decade and always had editors cut it at the last minute, alas

the whaleness of the whale

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

very whale

Tree Goat
May 24, 2009

argania spinosa


CestMoi posted:

the whaleness of the whale

i swear it was X and Y in my head

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

But anyway I love how Melville dissects the mystique about the symbolism of "white" in building up Ishmael's reaction to the whale, and by extension the rest of the crew's feelings about the whale. The whale don't care though, and I really hope Melville doesn't anthropomorphize it at the end (I believe he does not), which would set up a great counterpoint between nature and man's reaction to nature. Which, again, I think this does.

I cannot believe this was written in the mid 19th century, and that I have somehow never read it myself. Its really 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

https://twitter.com/cinemashoebox/s...6645179395?s=20

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

The Story of Town-Ho

Excellent mutiny tale. Makes me wonder how often mutinies took place back then

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Nearly done, finally. Holy hell is it ramping up to biblically apocalyptic. The Candles was amazing and to follow up with the Compass.

Poor Starbuck He knew, he saw

The North Tower
Aug 20, 2007

You should throw it in the ocean.

Any good articles/essays/videos on Moby Dick?

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

That ending. OMG.

Also recalling back to the end of V.

Thanks for making this the BotM, always meant to read this and this was the impetus I needed!

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



I thought V. borrowed a lot from Moby Dick; Stencil, obviously, and the beginning of V. reminds me of the beginning of Moby Dick.

Bilirubin
Feb 16, 2014

The sanctioned action is to CHUG!!!




Bleak Gremlin

Yeah I would have missed all of that not having read Moby Dick when we did our read of V. I mean I knew generally that Abab was an embodiment of human obsession for revenge but not any specifics.

I still can't believe it's taking this long to get around to reading it. poo poo's really good.

Animal-Mother
Feb 14, 2012

RABBIT RABBIT
RABBIT RABBIT

When I was young I fantasized about remaking John Huston's film version of Moby Dick. Updated music, perfectly cast new actors, believably monstrous whale, that sort of thing. This project was, only to a small extent, my personal white whale, for a while. I never pursued it. I didn't get sucked in like Starbuck did. Every now and then I read an article about how scientists have discovered a sea creature, a blind Greenland shark or some other thing, that has been verified to be hundreds of years old. And it makes me wonder if the furious toothed whale that struck and sunk the Essex, with his crooked jaw and his wrinkled brow, might still be alive, swimming all seven seas.

If you haven't, for some God-forsaken reason, watched the 1950's Moby Dick movie, fix that immediately, shipmate.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5r3g5zhKIM

Safety Biscuits
Oct 21, 2010



There's only one Moby Dick film that I can recommend: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moby_Dick_(2010_film)

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Safety Biscuits posted:

There's only one Moby Dick film that I can recommend: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moby_Dick_(2010_film)

I honestly loved this. Unironically. Barry Bostwick is a great Ahab. Loved the whole updated nuclear submarine thing.

This year I read Ahab's Return by Jeffrey Ford, which reimagines the ending and Ahab survives, and it turns out Ishmael was just mistaken. Ahab returns to New York to save his son from gang life. It's fun. Not as good as I had hoped, but still fun and quick little romp.

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