Just finished re-reading Moby-Dick, or The Whale by Herman Melville.

What can I say about this bizarre classic? It’s one of my favorite books for its poetic meanderings, the scope of its contemplations and its experimentation as a novel.

Then, again, in mountainous countries where the traveller is continually girdled by amphitheatrical heights; here and there from some lucky point of view you will catch passing glimpses of the profiles of whales defined along the undulating ridges.

“Of Whales in Paint ; in Teeth : in Wood ; in Sheet-Iron ; in Stone ; in Mountains ; in Stars”

Glimpses throughout Ishmael’s narrative reveal a psyche irrevocably swayed by his experience with the white whale. Though of course not nearly so traumatic, this novel left a deep impression on me during college–when I sounded deep into the text in helping bring it to life on stage for a theatrical production–and I find myself reminded of Moby-Dick by mundane occurrences ever since. Like all re-readings, plunging in again yielded new impressions and takeaways, which I am sure I will continue to contemplate until called to embark again.

By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, midmost of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air.

“Loomings”

Reading

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *