Moby Dick Monday: January 4, 2010 (Week 8)

Welcome to Moby Dick Monday! This is where we read four pages a day and then post about what we’ve read. Consider it an adventure of sorts!

My Story Re-Cap:

This week’s reading takes us through the various descriptions of Moby Dick as described by Ishmael.

For, it was not so much his uncommon bulk that so much distinguished him from other sperm whales, but, as was elsewhere thrown out— a peculiar snow-white wrinkled forehead, and a high, pyramidical white hump. These are his prominent features; the tokens whereby, even in the limitless, uncharted seas, he revealed his identity, at a long distance to those that knew him.

The rest of his body was so streaked, and spotted, and marbled, with the same shrouded hue, that, in the end, he had gained his distinctive appellation of the White Whale; a name indeed, literally justified by his vivid aspect, when seen gliding at high noon through a dark blue sea, leaving a milky-wake of creamy foam all spangled with golden gleamings.

What I just shared with you pretty much says it all yet Melville takes an additional 29 pages to drive the point home. Yes, Moby is known as the White Whale and at times he is seen with an ethereal glow. I get it!

My Rambling Thoughts:

As I was going through this week’s reading, all I could think of is that scene from Back to School where Sam Kinison is screaming at Rodney Dangerfield, “Say it! Just say it!” A lot of what Melville includes is quite lovely but thirty pages of the same thing, said in twenty different ways. UGH!

Here’s the video clip to give you an idea of what I was feeling while reading this week. The part that I mentioned is right around 2:18.

Reading Along With Me:

Jill/Softdrink of Fizzy Thoughts
Jill of RhapsodyinBooks
Dar of Peeking Between the Pages
Eva of A Striped Armchair
Wisteria from Bookworm’s Dinner
Gavin from Page247
Claire from kiss a cloud
Sandra from Fresh Ink Books

For those that are participating, share your post links in comments. What do you think so far? Oh, and if anyone wants to join us just leave me a message below.

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9 Responses

  1. Actually I thought the discussion of the symbolism of whiteness was pretty good; it may have a lot to do with his understanding of the impact of race. But I must admit, he did go on and on with examples!!!

  2. I actually did the reading this past week…and I’ve already started on this week. But did I write a post? Noooooooo.

  3. It is official … there is no way I’m ever gonig to read Moby Dick.

  4. You know these posts make me WANT to read it more and more. I mean I can deal with the description that last forever if I know about. I will just have to settle in for the ride. I wonder if it is better via audio as Jill is taking in the story. Great post and as always great series…

  5. Yikes! Now I remember why I have never read this one! You guys that are, are my heroes. I will just have to live vicariously through you all because there is no way, no how I am reading that myself! ;)

  6. Somewhat verbose, as you say, but I actually enjoy long descriptions and very detailed prose. I ‘m guessing the quote is from chapter 42 or thereabouts, would you mind telling us the chapter and page please so I can read it in context as I haven’t made it nearly that far yet?
    I’m just barely into the story as I spent some time perusing the 51 page introduction (I love those). But I’m so glad I finally got around to this 19th century classic. I’m mentioning MB Mondays wherever I can to share our interest. Next week I’ll have read enough to post an opinion on the text. Thank you for an interesting post.

    • It was from chapter 41 and in my book, it was on page 199, second paragraph from the bottom, There are so many different versions out that I’m sure the page # will not correspond with what you have, but it was about 5 pages into the chapter.

      • Thank you so much for taking the time to send me that information. I found it immediately in the same spot on page 198 in my edition. Until Monday…

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