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Thread: Moby!

  1. #61
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Well, thumbs up right back at’cha, my friend. This website and you-all have made reading Moby Dick so much more enjoyable than it would’ve been otherwise.
    Uhhhh...

  2. #62
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    From me too!
    "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

  3. #63
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Thanks for those endorsement above. Indeed, re-reading portions of this striking book has been fun for me as well.


    The Pequod ~ what does this name symbolize?

    The Pequots were a doomed tribe of Native Americans. They suffered from war and the ravishes of pestilence. Few survived and most of those who did intermingled with other Algonquin tribes in the Northeast. The vessel which is named after these doomed people is comprised of an assorted set of ne'er-do-wells with sea worthies of various backgrounds. Each contributes to the vessels functions with a great many of them named after biblical characters. The boat meets and deals with other sailing ships which shows that the Pequod and its amalgamation of cultures serves as microcosm for the world. Thus, as in the Bible which is repeatedly referenced in the novel, when in compliance with Nature's law it succeeds. When in violation thereof, it is doomed. Being that it is under the command of an evil character in Ahab, its destiny would become ill fated. Bottom line being that the name of the vessel is prophetic ~ it spells doom for itself and its crew.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  4. #64
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Forgot to add one thing: that, indeed, the few Pequots who survived did so through integration with other tribes or with the general white population. Bear in mind that Frederick Douglass's sermons were all about integration. That America would not survive unless and until society ended slavery and became integrated:



    In its primary applications, Douglass envisioned the Afro-American effort to INTEGRATE as an effort to cultivate the practical virtues required for success in America's political economy, along with a wholehearted patriotic identification with the American nation in its core principles and its historical strivings ...


    https://www.google.com/search?q=fred...hrome&ie=UTF-8


    Perhaps Melville's use of the name Pequod may have included this type of symbolic implication as well.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  5. #65
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    I was thinking along the same lines as to what the name of the ship would spell for the crew. Captain Peleg sort of jovially mentions the tribe, but doesn't give his reasoning for naming the ship after it. Seems dark. Maybe itís like telling an actor to ďbreak a legĒ right before they go on stage.

    Speaking of ship names, the story of the Town-Ho is an odd one, and told in an odd way. A strapping young sailor, Steelkilt, has been singled out by the 1st mate, Radney, for extra cruelty. Steelkilt is a well-liked, ,charismatic fellow, and Radney is a mousey little guy with short-man energy. Anyway to make a long story short, (and itís a long story) Steelkilt canít take it anymore and nearly kills Radney with one punch ó drives his jaw back into his face. Nautical justice is performed; Steelkilt attempts mutiny; mutiny fails; Moby Dick kills Radney; much of the crew abandons ship at the next port. The story of course is much more nuanced than that and is delivered in the book as Ishmael retelling the story years later to a bunch of Spanish patricians in Lima. Odd. Okay we all know how this book turns out, so the story of the Town-Ho seems like a pretty straight forward foreshadowing of things to come for the Pequod, but what would it mean to Ahab and his crew? Ahab already believes the white whale is an evil force. It seems to me, from his perspective, the experience of the Town-Ho just bolsters that belief in his damaged mind and makes it that much more important for him to kill the evil beast.

    Side note here: I canít help but to giggle in a Beavis and Butthead sort of way when I read names like the Town-Ho, or when they talk about the aroma of golden sperm. Melville had to know stuff like that would crack up the ten-year-old boy inside of all of us.

    What he probably didnít know was how uncomfortable it would be us to read the rendering of Fleeceís speech in the chapter about Stubbís dinner. Fleece is the shipís cook. He is an old black man and his speech is laid out phonetically in the chapter. Additionally his treatment by Stubb in that chapter is highly condescending in a racist sort of way. At any rate, Iíd say most readers in the 21st century choke on Stubbís dinner. I donít want to too hypocritical here, I mean Iím giggling when I read about the Town-Ho. Weíve still got a ways to go Mr. Douglas.
    Uhhhh...

  6. #66
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    think you'll watch any of the half-dozen or so movies/tv series from the book?

  7. #67
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bounty View Post
    think you'll watch any of the half-dozen or so movies/tv series from the book?


    Nothing quite compares with this gem:






    But somehow, I've got to watch the Barrymore version from 1930. He was considered by many the greatest actor of his time so that he must have made it worth while:


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

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  8. #68
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Couldn't find the 1930 talkie but did find the Sea Beast (silent, 1926) which was based on MD:



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7-f7U3Co74





    Will watch later on ...
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  9. #69
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Sancho
    I was thinking along the same lines as to what the name of the ship would spell for the crew. Captain Peleg sort of jovially mentions the tribe, but doesn't give his reasoning for naming the ship after it. Seems dark. Maybe itís like telling an actor to ďbreak a legĒ right before they go on stage.

    Speaking of ship names, the story of the Town-Ho is an odd one, and told in an odd way ...
    I believe the name "town ho" implies "homeward bound". In living up to its name, its crew is spared the unhappy fate suffered by the men of the Pequod.

    This episode is so much like Billy Budd both of which deal with injustice, how one bears with it, and the "justice" that results. Innocent as he was, Billy Budd was doomed through an injustice that was no fault of his own. But Steelkilt is spared because of the revenge, the justice brought on by (of all things) Moby Dick who was an avenger of injustices! Indeed, it "seemed obscurely to involve with the whale a certain wondrous, inverted visitation of one of those so called judgments of God which at times are said to overtake men."

    The chapter also deals with an age old conflict of free will vs determinism = are things fated or are they the result of one's willful actions? We are told, "the predestinated mate coming still closer {to the evil Radney} ... the fool had been branded for the slaughter by the gods ... A strange fatality pervades the whole career of these events, as if verily mapped out before the world itself was chartered."

    The one thing both Billy Budd and Steelkilt had in common was that they were both good looking. Not sure why Melville gave us that description.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  10. #70
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Musical Interlude ...

    One of the most underrated songs in the Rock & Roll era:







    I sailed an ocean, unsettled ocean
    Through restful waters and deep commotion
    Often frightened, unenlightened
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    I wrest the waters, fight Neptune's waters
    Sail through the sorrows of life's marauders
    Unrepenting, often empty
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Caught like a sewer rat alone but I sail
    Bought like a crust of bread, but oh do I wail
    Seldom stumble, never crumble
    Try to tumble, life's a rumble
    Feel the stinging I've been given
    Never ending, unrelenting
    Heartbreak searing, always fearing
    Never caring, persevering
    Sail on, sail on, sailor
    I work the seaways, the gale-swept seaways
    Past shipwrecked daughters of wicked waters
    Uninspired, drenched and tired
    Wail on, wail on, sailor
    Always needing, even bleeding
    Never feeding all my feelings
    Damn the thunder, must I blunder
    There's no wonder all I'm under
    Stop the crying and the lying
    And the sighing and my dying
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Sail on, sail on sailor
    Sail on, sail on sailor



    Music wise, everything Brian Wilson touched turned to gold. He was an absolute perfectionist who would record, and re-record every song innumerable times until he got it right. There has also been a very spiritual dimension to his songs which have largely been overlooked. To me, the man is a National treasure.

    "Sail on sailor" means, quoting Captain Kirk, to boldly go where no man has gone before. That despite all hardships and all obstructions, persist and go forth. The men of the Pequod and the Town Ho did just that.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  11. #71
    Registered User tailor STATELY's Avatar
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    Big Doors fan... enjoyed their sea shanty

    Not a Beach Boys fan... in fact I didn't even know this was their song, but I will add this to the only other song I like of theirs: Good Vibrations

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor
    tailor

    who am I but a stitch in time
    what if I were to bare my soul
    would you see me origami

    7-8-2015

  12. #72
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Woo-Hoo. If weíre doing music, there ainít too much in this world that doesnít remind me of a Grateful Dead tune.

    Ship Of Fools:
    https://youtu.be/CQP1NsbeYVg?si=W70wEV0paUNVAhff


    Went to see the captain
    Strangest I could find
    Laid my proposition down
    Laid it on the line

    I won't slave for beggar's pay
    Likewise gold and jewels
    But I would slave to learn the way
    To sink your ship of fools
    As for the movie, Iíll probably skip it. After reading the book Iím almost always disappointed with a screen version. That said, Iíve already started noticing ďMoby-ismsĒ in film, TV, old hippy music, and generally in some pretty unusual places. Just the other day, for instance, an Ahab-type fellow cut me off on the I-5. Additionally the next chance I get Iíll visit a maritime museum. Iím going to be in Boston for a couple of days next week, so I thought Iíd visit the USS Constitution.
    Uhhhh...

  13. #73
    Registered User bounty's Avatar
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    i enjoy watching the movie first and reading the book afterwards. or, and i just did this recently with misery, going back and forth between the two.

    i just got curious about the singer "moby" and found out his middle name is "melville."

    "Richard Melville Hall was born September 11, 1965, in the neighborhood of Harlem in Manhattan, New York City. He is an only child of Elizabeth McBride (nťe Warner), a medical secretary, and James Frederick Hall, a chemistry professor... His father gave him the nickname Moby three days after his birth as his parents considered the name Richard too large for a newborn baby."

  14. #74
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tailor STATELY View Post
    Big Doors fan... enjoyed their sea shanty

    Not a Beach Boys fan... in fact I didn't even know this was their song, but I will add this to the only other song I like of theirs: Good Vibrations

    Ta ! (short for tarradiddle),
    tailor


    Gosh! You brought back some memories for me as we had a great touring homage in NYC to "Crystal Ship" going way back to the late 1970s. I tried to look it up online and was astonished to see that it is still on!


    https://allevents.in/new%20york/crys...00728506391227


    I just cannot believe this is still playing. GREAT song. GREAT group. Everyone should read this excellent book:



    https://www.google.com/search?q=no+o...hrome&ie=UTF-8


    No One Here Gets Out Alive ~ "No one here gets out alive" tells the story of Jim Morrison, from when he was a kid, moving around a lot with his family, due to his father being in the Navy, to when he was a teenager, becoming The Doors' singer and finally dying aged 27 in Paris.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

  15. #75
    Registered User hellsapoppin's Avatar
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    Ch 32 Cetology

    This was probably the most criticized portion of the book. Often dismissed as a seemingly meaningless digression or pedantic departure from the novel, it adds a scientific dimension to the whale which up to now was viewed as a satanic menace from the depths of Hell. Further, it legitimizes Ishmael as a explorer of the universe, if that makes any sense. He brings up the Bible's Leviathan (Book of Job) and the matter as to whether a whale is a fish (perhaps a reference to Jonah and the big fish ~ see "Sermon" Ch 9).

    Then he acts like a new Adam in the Garden of Eden by naming those creatures he sees in his world. In fact, the chapter is structured a lot like the Bible is in that it has Book 1 or Book 2, Chapter such-and-such, etc. He says Cetology is an incomplete science and that his knowledge or capabilities in it are limited. Then he ends the chapter by writing that his research and writing on the subject remain incomplete. Perhaps he suggests that more work or more adventures are to follow.

    Seems to me that this chapter is a follow up to the book's opening where there is an Etymology and Extracts which include definitions and classifications. The fact that this follow up was included in Ch 32 rather than immediately after the opening was a wise one in that a reader would not have known of the whale's monstrous reputation until after reading the chapters that followed that opening.

    In the beginning of the book, Ishmael tells us he was seeking adventure. That he was drawn by Fate to go ship hoy and that the reputed menace of the whale helped draw him to this perilous voyage. But it is also clear that he is seeking knowledge and his references to noted scholarly writings demonstrate this. The chapter does show that he has accumulated a considerable amount of knowledge though it is incomplete and he remains unfulfilled.
    When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent

    ~ Isaac Asimov

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