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  1. #16
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    quoting bounty: "poppin, if you've read Wallace's book, then id encourage you to wed whats in it to the specific parts of the posts here when the opportunity arises"


    Sorry. I no longer have the book and cannot quote from it. But it is a good source for info on the linkage between the two writers.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  2. #17
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    Sancho---danik made a typo, or a literary influenced changed memory, about Nazi germany:

    The Executive Order on the Law on the Alteration of Family and Personal Names requires German Jews bearing first names of “non-Jewish” origin to adopt an additional name: “Israel” for men and “Sara” for women.The government required Jews to identify themselves in ways that would permanently separate them from the rest of the German population.
    https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/conte...personal-names

  3. #18
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    poppin, interesting, there is actually another book of the same nature:

    https://www.amazon.com/Frederick-Dou.../dp/0807858722

    you can access the Wallace book here if you join:

    https://archive.org/details/douglass...ge/n7/mode/2up

    large sections of it are here:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=0X...page&q&f=false

  4. #19
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    quoting bounty:


    its not accurate to say that he had no "family except for mankind." even though "ishmaelites" were known as nomads, he had a wife, and genesis 25:12-18 accounts for a large number of descendants.



    My error - meant to say that about Ishmael from MB, not the biblical one. Sorry for not being clear about that. Indeed, the biblical Ish had a large family and Arabs are his descendants. Not so for our storybook hero. No family but he does speak for humanity.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  5. #20
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bounty View Post
    poppin, interesting, there is actually another book of the same nature:

    https://www.amazon.com/Frederick-Dou.../dp/0807858722

    you can access the Wallace book here if you join:

    https://archive.org/details/douglass...ge/n7/mode/2up

    large sections of it are here:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=0X...page&q&f=false




    EXCELLENT post. I am very certain that this will kindle many people's interest in both books.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  6. #21
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bounty View Post
    Sancho---danik made a typo, or a literary influenced changed memory, about Nazi germany:



    https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/conte...personal-names
    You are right, bounty. It's Israel and not Ismael. Thanks for the correction.
    "I seemed to have sensed also from an early age that some of my experiences as a reader would change me more as a person than would many an event in the world where I sat and read. "
    Gerald Murnane, Tamarisk Row

  7. #22
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    What is ''Matelotage''

    Why do sailors call each other "mate"?


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matelotage


    Matelotage (French for "seamanship") was an agreement amongst pairs of European sailors, in particular buccaneers, in the 17th and early 18th century. As part of this economic partnership, "matelots" would agree to share their incomes, and inherit their partner's property in the case of their death. In addition, they would pledge to protect and fight alongside each other in battle and otherwise act in the other's interest.[1] Not limited to sailors or pirates



    I have a background in law and have read of court cases which dealt with the subject. In virtually every case, the contractual agreement made subject to Matelotage was upheld.

    Do we see such a possible arrangement in MB? I suggest we do in Chapter 10 ~ A Bosom Friend


    After Ish leaves church and Quee prayed to his pagan icon, the two settled and enjoyed a smoke. Then Quee gave half of his money to Ish, pressed his forehead together with Ish, said they were now "married", then the ''bedfellows'' went off to the bed they shared, and slept in peace as a "cosy loving pair."


    Thoughts?
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  8. #23
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    There’s a lot going on there.
    Ismael proves himself open minded for the day by taking as a bestie a dark, heavily tattooed, unapologetic cannibal.
    In everything Queequeq does he proves himself to be a standup guy and a loyal friend.
    Melville, I think, is having a little fun with, and testing his reader’s prejudices by making Queequeq the most moral character in the book.

    The relationship between the two certainly looks a lot like the Matelotage described on the wiki link, but it’s more of an informal and natural agreement between Queequeq and Ishmael than the agreement entered into by European sailors. I think Ishmael goes along with it initially because he figures it’s Queequeg’s custom. And Ismael goes along with it right away. He goes from being terrified of Queequeq to being totally trusting of him and willing to sleep in the bed with him very quickly. “Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian” (something like that) Despite all the homoerotic shading, it appears to be a strictly Platonic relationship.

    I loved the scene where they signed onto the Pequod. Ismael negotiates his deal (a ripoff IMO) with Captains Peleg and Bildad, the two owners of the boat. The two old Quakers play a sort of good cop bad cop routine on Ishmael and he walks away less than he should’ve gotten — a three hundredth stake. The back and forth between Peleg and Bildad is hilarious:

    Captain Peleg —
    “Fiery pit! fiery pit! ye insult me, man; past all natural bearing, ye insult me. It’s an all-fired outrage to tell any human creature that he’s bound to hell. Flukes and flames! Bildad, say that again to me, and start my soulbolts, but I’ll — I’ll — yes, I’ll swallow a live goat with all his hair and horns on. Out of the cabin, ye canting, drab-colored son of a wooden gun — a straight wake with ye!”
    More comedy when they sign on Queequeq. They’re a little taken aback by his appearance of course. Bildad is primarily concerned with whether or not Queequeq had converted to Christianity and Peleg wants to know if he’s any good as a harpooner. Queequeq answers Peleg by jumping onto the bow of the whaleboat:

    “Cap’ain, you see him small drop tar on water dere? You see him? well, spose him one whale eye, well, den!” and taking sharp aim at it, he darted the iron right over old Bildad’s broad brim, clean across the ship’s decks, and struck the glistening tar spot out of sight.

    “Now,” said Queequeg, quietly, hauling in the line, “spos-ee him whale-e eye; why, dad whale dead.”
    I can almost picture the stodgy old Bildad checking his hat for harpoon damage. Here’s Peleg after the harpooning demonstration:

    “Quick, Bildad,” said Peleg, his partner, who, aghast at the close vicinity of the flying harpoon, had retreated towards the cabin gangway. “Quick, I say, you Bildad, and get the ship’s papers. We must have Hedgehog there, I mean Quohog, in one of our boats. Look ye, Quohog, we’ll give ye the ninetieth lay, and that’s more than ever was given a harpooneer yet out of Nantucket.”
    As for Bildad’s reservations concerning Queequeq’s soul, Ishmael insists Queequeq is a deacon in The First Congressional Church. Bildad doesn’t buy it, so Ishmael changes tacks and gives a sort brotherhood of man defense:

    “I mean, sir, the same ancient Catholic Church to which you and I, and Captain Peleg there, and Queequeg here, and all of us, and every mother’s son and soul of us belong; the great and everlasting First Congregation of this whole worshipping world; we all belong to that; only some of us cherish some crotchets no ways touching the grand belief; in that we all join hands.”
    Well said, Ish’.

    So my progress so far in the book is chapter 23 and it looks like a pretty good spot to take a breather. The Pequod has just shoved off on its three-year voyage.
    Uhhhh...

  9. #24
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    ~ "The relationship between the two certainly looks a lot like the Matelotage described on the wiki link, but it’s more of an informal and natural agreement between Queequeq and Ishmael than the agreement entered into by European sailors." ~


    Actually, most Matelotage contractual agreements made by sailors in those days were informal (that is, not written down) due to the fact that most sailors were illiterate.


    ~ Despite all the homoerotic shading, it appears to be a strictly Platonic relationship. ~

    History shows that most of those agreements were heterosexual. In fact most of the legal cases that arose from the contracts were taken by wives, siblings, or children of one of the partners who sought gold or other belongings left behind after the death of a partner. In just about every case I read of (admittedly, few in number) the contract was upheld and the surviving partner inherited what gold or personalty was left behind.



    In the modern era, these cases were used as legal precedent by survivors of same sex partnerships in estate court. Until just a years ago before such marital relationships became legal, surviving litigants had to go to court to legally inherit property (such as real estate, liquid assets, and personalty) from a managing partner. Now with the legalization of such relationships, the point is moot as anyone can now be a beneficiary without any such agreement whether formal or informal.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  10. #25
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Sancho,



    As for Bildad’s reservations concerning Queequeq’s soul, Ishmael insists Queequeq is a deacon in The First Congressional Church. Bildad doesn’t buy it, so Ishmael changes tacks and gives a sort brotherhood of man defense:

    “I mean, sir, the same ancient Catholic Church to which you and I, and Captain Peleg there, and Queequeg here, and all of us, and every mother’s son and soul of us belong; the great and everlasting First Congregation of this whole worshipping world; we all belong to that; only some of us cherish some crotchets no ways touching the grand belief; in that we all join hands.”


    Ish learned his lesson from Father Mapple whose sermon {Chapter 9} taught the world that we are all "Brethen", "ship mates", brothers and sisters in this troubled world. A timeless lesson, indeed, but one that was shocking to critics in that era, a great many of whom were apologists for slavery and Manifest Destiny which entailed military conquest, the imposition of brutal depredations, and decimation of populations that had settled in the Great Plains and Far West. Readers today do not understand Melville's implications in that regard ~ a point illustrated in the Wallace book.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  11. #26
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Nice. You know, I didn’t make the connection between Father Mapple’s sermon and Ishmael’s defense of Queequeg. There’s a lot about that sermon I’m still sussing out. I’m sure it will continue to have relevance as book goes on.

    Ishmael makes a point of how high the pulpit is and how tight the quarters are in the church, which means there’s not enough room for a staircase to the pulpit/ship’s bow, so Father Mapple climbs a rope ladder. I figure that’s all theater for the sailors. But then he pulls the ladder up behind him. ?? That action has to have some significance I’m not getting…yet.

    What do you make of the other church Ishmael stumbles into while he’s looking for a place to stay in New Bedford? (Aside here, The Spouter Inn looks like the Motel 6 of the Ismael’s time) Anyway it’s a negro church. The reverend is preaching about darkness. And Ishmael exits pretty quickly. I sort of pictured the scene this way — Ishmael walks into the church thinking it’s a cheap hotel. All the black faces in the congregation turn look at him — Needle Scratch — Ishmael departs.
    Uhhhh...

  12. #27
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    I may not have made the connection between Ismael’s defense of Queequeg and Father Mapple’s sermon, but Captain Peleg did. In fact he thinks Ismael one-ups Mapple. Here’s his reaction:

    “Splice, thou mean’st splice hands,” cried Peleg, drawing nearer. “Young man, you’d better ship for a missionary, instead of a fore-mast hand; I never heard a better sermon. Deacon Deuteronomy — why Father Mapple himself couldn’t beat it, and he’s reckoned something. Come aboard, come aboard: never mind about the papers. I say, tell Quohog there — what’s that you call him? tell Quohog to step along. By the great anchor, what a harpoon he’s got there! looks like good stuff that; and he handles it about right. I say, Quohog, or whatever your name is, did you ever stand in the head of a whale-boat? did you ever strike a fish?”
    This of course was just prior to Queequeg’s harpooning demonstration that nearly bisected Captain Bildad’s Quaker hat.
    Uhhhh...

  13. #28
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sancho
    Nice. You know, I didn’t make the connection between Father Mapple’s sermon and Ishmael’s defense of Queequeg. There’s a lot about that sermon I’m still sussing out. I’m sure it will continue to have relevance as book goes on.

    Ishmael makes a point of how high the pulpit is and how tight the quarters are in the church, which means there’s not enough room for a staircase to the pulpit/ship’s bow, so Father Mapple climbs a rope ladder. I figure that’s all theater for the sailors. But then he pulls the ladder up behind him. ?? That action has to have some significance I’m not getting…yet.

    What do you make of the other church Ishmael stumbles into while he’s looking for a place to stay in New Bedford? (Aside here, The Spouter Inn looks like the Motel 6 of the Ismael’s time) Anyway it’s a negro church. The reverend is preaching about darkness. And Ishmael exits pretty quickly. I sort of pictured the scene this way — Ishmael walks into the church thinking it’s a cheap hotel. All the black faces in the congregation turn look at him — Needle Scratch — Ishmael departs.


    You raise some very good points here ~


    The pulpit was designed in the form of a ship's bow. It represents the ship of life and puts him in a high position which reminds you of Moses standing atop Mount Sinai preaching a fire-and-brimstone sermon to the congregants. His fiery sermon is a lesson for all to never stray from the True Path of righteousness into the Primrose Lane of sin and perdition.


    The negro church ~ a segregated institution where everyone was huddled together timidly. Ish called that church "Tophet" which means "Hell" and "The Trap" because the sermon preached was one of doom and gloom. By contrast in the Whalemen's Chapel where Father Mapple preached people were "sitting apart". Too far apart for the Preacher's taste. His opening words were:


    ""Starboard gangway, there! side away to larboard—larboard gangway to starboard! Midships! midships!"''



    In other words, 'those of you to the far right, come to the center. Those of you to the far left, come to the center!' Does this sound like a message some of us preach to extremists today?

    This message is so remarkably relevant!! Every bit as much as Father Mapple's message about universal brotherhood. What a great contrast between his sermon of love and redemption as opposed to the Negro church's sermon about doom and gloom.




    You mentioned that you believed Father Mapple's sermon has more relevance as the story unfolds. As one who has read the book (at least twice) I can assure you that it does. In fact, to me, the entire book is one gigantic sermon for all the world to learn from.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  14. #29
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Excellent post, hellsapoppin. It’s posts like that that keep me coming back to this website. I went ahead and bookmarked the sermon chapter, because I’ll be coming back to it from time to time. Melville certainly seems to have a penchant for juxtaposition: the two churches/sermons, Captains Peleg and Bildad, Green Mountain landlubbers and Nantucket whalemen, Ishmael and Queequeg, I’m sure there’s more.

    Totally agree, we need to listen to the old sailor/preacher — Amidships! Amidships!

    I’m finding all sorts of things in this book that apply to the present day. Here’s one. I just read The Advocate chapter this morning. I was taking a pause to digest the first section of the book (from Ishmael leaving Manhattan to the Pequod heaving off in Nantucket), but I read ahead a few chapters. You see, the wife’s got remodeling the kitchen, so while I’m waiting for paint to dry or mortar to set up, I’m sitting on an orange, 5-gallon bucket, reading my kindle. But that’s not important. The Advocate is an impassioned defense of the vocation of whaling by Ishmael. Serendipitously I had CNBC (financial channel) on in the background, and Sara Eisen (presenter) was interviewing Rick Perry (former Texas governor and former Energy Secretary under Trump). Well, Perry was making the exact same argument for the fossil fuel industry that Ismael was making for the Whaling industry. It was hilarious. The more things change…

    (It kinda made me like Ishmael a little less.)
    Uhhhh...

  15. #30
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    quoting Sancho,

    It’s posts like that that keep me coming back to this website.

    ~ juxtaposition ~

    First, thanks for the kind words.

    Second, re juxtaposition, I would also add Elijah the Prophet (Ch 19) as contrasted with Sister Charity (Ch 20). The former being a scammer, a phony, all "ragged". By contrast the latter was thoughtful, conscientious, and helped to prep the vessel for its long voyage with every manner of comfort to facilitate safety and cleanliness.




    Re "Advocate" Ch 24 ~ it reminded me of present day conflicts between environmentalists such as Greenpeace and the maritime industry today.

    The whaling industry was condemned in its time for defiling Nature, leading to butchery of sea life which was characterized as
    "unclean" and "defiling". It was even said to be undignified. Ish defends the industry by pointing out that it generates high revenues, creates many jobs, promotes a better standard of living by providing oils used for lighting in homes and in shrines. Whalers were said to be explorers who facilitated the liberation of Latin America (personally, I doubt the veracity of that statement), and expanded the known world to include Australia. Whalers were daring people who carried missionaries to the unknown world thereby spreading Christianity. It even spreads knowledge as whaling vessels were his "Yale and Harvard" colleges. The whaling profession is so great that our own Ben Franklin is descended of whalers!

    One thing more: he points out that the military is far bloodier. Yet is is considered ennobled by the world.

    War kills so that there is nothing noble in it. Whaling is an industry that creates. In the next chapter Ish boasts "we whalers light up the world!".
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

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