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Moby Dick



Moby Dick is now considered one of the greatest novels in the English language and has secured Melville's place among America's greatest writers. Written in 1851, it is the story of Ishmael’s whaling voyage. It contains many examples of alliteration, allusion, similes, and metaphors; it also presents an ironic argument against Transcendentalism and the power of man. This book contains reflections of Melville’s own whaling voyages and many collections of compiled whaling knowledge: the history of whaling, scientific whale groups, usage of whaling tools, etc. Altogether this book is a literary masterpiece. --Submitted by Anonymous

You may think that you know the story of Moby Dick, but until you have read this book, you cannot understand its power. The power comes from the rich descriptions of whalers, those who worked the ships, the history of whaling, the knowledge of whales, and how in the 19th century they were so crudely hunted and butchered on the open seas. Danger in many forms lurks throughout this book, long before we even hear about Moby Dick or Captain Ahab, but these dangers merely set the stage for the cataclysm to come. Just who is this Ishmael? Surely not just some simple merchant mariner looking for a new experience on a whaling ship. It may not make sense that a simple seaman such as he can be someone who seems historian, biologist, journalist, psychologist, and even well-taught in classical literature. In the end he is our window to this incredible adventure, which we experience as vividly as if we were there ourselves.--Submitted by Gregory Pittman.

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Recent Forum Posts on Moby Dick

Looking for Moby Dick quote

Hi, I read this book some time ago and am trying to find this quote which had the following idea: Those who are a carrier of hate to pour it unto something else are consumed themselves by the hate without realizing it. Those aren't the exact words Melville used but that was the general idea of the quote. Could someone familiar with the book please reference me this quote? Thanks in advance. Alvaro

Moby Dick?

I'm about fifty pages into Moby Dick. Queequeg has been introduce and Ishamel is in the whalers chapel. It is a very strange book. Is this a common reaction?

Anyone know the source of this reading?

The start of this music has a reading from the intro of Moby Dick. I like the way it's read very much, more than the eBooks I've heard, so I am hoping it might be from a publicly known/available source. Please check and let me know if you can identify it. Thanks!

Moby Dick - Greatest American Novel Yet Written?

As I'm re-reading Moby Dick, I have formed ipinion about the novel, and that opinion is that it's the greatest piece of American literature that I've ever read. It's so dense, so beautiful, so dark, so funny . . . just so great. So, what do you think?

ABC1(8 and 15 May, 8:35 to 10:00 p.m.)

The following is a revision of some thoughts on Herman Melville after watching Moby Dick on ABC1(8 and 15 May, 8:35 to 10:00 p.m.). Kerry Saunders, a Peabody Journalism Award winner, was interviewed by Alan Saunders back on 30 June 2007 and he stated in that interview that Moby Dick(1851) was a metaphor for the American ship of state which was driving toward destruction, the destruction seen a decade later in the Civil War(1861-1865). The book was also a metaphor for the emptiness of reality part of what came to be called existentialist philosophy, a philosophy that was emerging and would emerge with Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Kierkegaard(1813-1855).-Ron Price, 15 May 2011. THE HEALING ROAD I first came across the ideas of sociologist Emile Durkheim while studying sociology at university from 1963 to 1967. Many of his ideas I have always thought were relevant to a Baha'i perspective. One thing he wrote certainly reflects my experience of intellectual, artistic and literary pursuits, what 'Abdu'l-Baha called "learning and the cultural attainments of the mind." Just as Baha'i administration was taking its first form under the guidance of Shoghi Effendi in the 1920s, Durkheim wrote that "the love of art, the predilection for artistic joys, is accompanied by a certain aptitude for getting outside ourselves, a certain detachment or disinterestedness….We lose sight of our surroundings, our ordinary cares, our immediate interests. Indeed, this is the essence of the healing power of art. Art consoles us because it turns us away from ourselves." After forty years of pioneering I find here my peace and supper as if after a very long day's work. Yes, Herman, this is its own reward. Just a simple artistry in these poems, part of my search for the right idiom and the best ways of meet life's lot. I do not feel like Frost, and stricken, intensely conscious, suspicious of my struggle. A healing came, to me, at last, Herman, at long last…………. And all that gloom, and obsession, temper, rage, depression softened with the years and at last an easy sleep without the pain—dulled it was, life's sharp-ragged edges…../ And my style could lighten and take an easier road without that heat and load; it could brighten. Ron Price 22 September 2002 --------------------------------- ONE HAD TINTED CRIMSON In the year after the Bab was martyred Herman Melville published Moby Dick. Some have regarded this book as the greatest work in American fiction. Melville began writing this book in the late 1840s, perhaps 1849 at the earliest. He said he loved all men who dived. Any fish could swim near the surface, but it took a great whale to go down five miles. Melville also thought that comfortable beliefs needed to be discarded. He could not himself believe and he was uncomfortable in his disbelief.-Ron Price, a summary of an essay and an encyclopaedia article on Melville. Melville must be henceforth numbered in the company of the incorrigibles who occasionally tantalize us with indications of genius.....Melville has succeeded in investing objects.....with an absorbing fascination...Moby Dick is not a mere tale of adventure, but a whole philosophy of life, that it unfolds.---Henry F. Chorley, in London Athenaeum, 25 October 1851; and London John Bull, 25 October 1851. My Revelation is indeed far more bewildering than that of strange that a person brought up among the people of Persia should be empowered by God....and be enabled to spontaneously reveal verses far more rapidly than anyone….-The Bab in Selections from the Writings of the Bab, Haifa, 1976, p.139. They both went down deep into the ocean of mystery, some mystic intercourse had possessed them with subtle-penetrating grandeurs, intensities, strangenesses, absorbing fascination, profound reflections, a whole way of life in their words, a certain eccentricity of style, an object of ridicule, a kind of old extravagance, bewildering, and that very transcendental tendency of the age, that 19th century age. But One had musk-scented breaths... written beyond the impenetrable veil of concealment...oceans of divine elixir, tinted crimson with the essence of existence…..Arks of ruby, tender.... wherein none shall sail but…..……… the people of Baha...1 Ron Price 18 February 1999 1 The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, Haifa, 1976, pp.57-8.

I Read Moby Dick!

That's right, the guy who posted about boring classics, and then received no little grief for making such a statement. Maybe I dead it to prove something to myself. And, I really enjoyed it. Melville's prose is beautiful and his characters are extremely intriguing. It was tedious at times (I could have done without the encyclopedic informational sections at times, but this is what made it so unique), but overall, I felt the story was interesting. I actually don't see why it has such a bad rep. Most likely, I'll re-read it.

Moby Dick question after seeing a movie

Hello everyone, Well, I never thought my very first post would be about a novel I hated, but here it is! I guess I shouldn't say that (not supposed to talk about the subtitles I work on), but I worked on a couple of bonus features for the DVD release of My Soul to Take, an awful movie by the way. Anyway, one of the extended scenes has this guy, in the forest, talking on a cell phone and he asks the girl whether she remembers, in Moby Dick, the sailor who, after killing a penguin just for the heck of it, is punished by God by making him wear the dead body of the penguin around his neck 24/7. When I saw that scene, I was all like, what the heck? Why don't I remember that? Now, I did say I hated the novel (to quote a colleague's friend: "it's the biggest footnote ever") and I guess I should have read it in French, my first language, but I think I would remember such an image, especially since I read it just last year. I can only think of three explanations: 1) I really don't remember that part; 2) my edition was somewhat abridged (though it REALLY didn't feel like it was); 3) the movie extended (pun intended) its mediocrity to the point of actually distorting what is considered a monument of modern literature. In any case, I thank you all in advance for your answers! Dany

The God in Moby-Dick

i just started reading this book for several weeks and i haven't finish it. But i am doing a research on it about the god in this novel. can anyone tell me anything about the gods in this book? the presence, idea, and the role of god. or any good resources that have great informations about the book, espeacially on God. thx

"Best" edition of Moby Dick?

I plan to read this book and would love to hear recommendations as to the best edition to buy. Currently, I'm trying to decide between the Longman Critical Edition and the Norton Critical Edition. Thanks!

Moby Dick

Hello Can any volunteer tell me what is the "Whale line" in question in chapter 60 please? I don't understand... bye

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