I want to read Moby Dick again

I was reading the latest Vanity Fair (Canadian. I only say that because our issues seem to run a month behind the US issues. You might think Graydon Carter could pull a few strings, eh?) and there's an article about Herman Melville's Moby Dick. It recalled to my mind how much I loved this book.

I keep looking for something worthy to read and instead of looking at best seller shelves I should be looking at classics. I had started to read all the classics I could find a few years ago. I never studied literature in school. Just tech subjects relating to drafting. I had missed out. I wanted to catch myself up.

The Vanity Fair article said
"The book is so encyclopedic that space aliens could use it to re-create the whale fishery as it once existed on planet earth in the 19th century"
So true! I felt like I was there. You learned something reading that book. Actual whaling information and there was that Ahab thing too. Herman Melville was a whaler. He was an interesting man and captured the industry at the time in a lively, earthy style.

He looks like he would have been a cool character.

Of course we know whales are big. But can you imagine how big big is?

Two sperm whales washed up on the north shore of the island on which I lived growing up. They were about fifty feet long. Big. We took a drive up to see them and as a teen I remember feeling a great sense of loss that something this enormous could just wash up, dead and unsung, on an unpopulated stretch of beach. It was a waste. I had to look way up to the top of the whale because lying down it was still so much taller than I was. It was such a big creature and now such a big carcass. It was quiet also. Naturally. But I felt that a sad, melancholy sound should have accompanied this scene. I suppose the relentless surf could suffice.

I have a reading quest. What could be better? I can't wait.

This picture makes me crave a really big glass of water.


Anonymous said...

suggestions.....read to kill a mockingbird, fahrenheit 451, day of the triffids, and animal farm.


Frimmy said...

Fahrenheit 451 and Triffids, I haven't read yet. I will look into them, thanks!

Noelle said...

Oh yeah me too thanks Ann.

Angie said...

While reading the first chapter of Animal Farm, my cat knocked the book off the edge of the tub, into the water. I haven't gotten back to it.

Anonymous said...

Your cat is obviously a marxist sympathizer......


Angie said...

Nice one...lol

Unknown said...

Funny cause the big complaint about Moby Dick is usually that it contains too much description of the ins and outs of whaling. The sequence where they're out on the boats chasing the whales is about as good as literature gets. If you want to tie your brain in a knot read Melville's Pierre: Or the Ambiguities. I can't decide if it's total drivel or a masterpiece. Also George Eliot's Adam Bede or The Mill on the Floss. Or, fuck it, both. Oh and of course Virginia Woolf's Orlando which I've been re-reading in between my normal history stuff.

Frimmy said...

...and so I just returned from my quest to get the books mentioned above and do you know what I was able to buy?

Moby Dick. (I also picked up "Life of Pi" by Yann Martel. Not a classic but a book I loved and wish to read again)

So, yeah, Moby Dick was the only one there. I thought I would buy some other books by the authors mentioned and I came away with:

Silas Marner - George Eliot
To The Lighthouse - Virginia Wolfe
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Wolfe

When I checked the data base at the store all of the books mentioned in the comments were available in ebook form.

Also on a side note, a store assistant helped me find the George Eliot books, she seemed like she needed something to do so I let her help since I'm quite capable of finding authors when they are catagorized alphabetically, and when I asked if that's all they by her, she looked at me like I was a little weird. Yes, young one, George Eliot is a her. I saw that Cheers episode, you can't fool me on that one.

I will be checking out Amazon for the others since the local book stores can't be relied upon to stock actual books anymore.

I should do a post about virtual books vs actual books.


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