Finding Melville’s Whale: The Whiteness of the Whale (Chapter 42)

After reading some of the reviews from our Readers’ Survey, many people list these among their favorite posts, while many others consider them their least favorite. So, we’ve decided to change the posting schedule for Finding Melville’s Whale. From now on, one or two new entries will appear every Sunday, instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. We hope you will continue reading along with us as we dive deeper in Melville’s masterpiece.

The Whiteness of the Whale

The nameless horror
in that deepest sea
is the whitest whale.
Albino beasts, though
oft mistaken for
divine ravelry
are far more vicious
then their drab companions.
Moby Dick was the
Whitest whale, and the
most horrible.

Finding Melville’s Whale – Moby Dick (Chapter 41)

After reading some of the reviews from our Readers’ Survey, many people list these among their favorite posts, while many others consider them their least favorite. So, we’ve decided to change the posting schedule for Finding Melville’s Whale. From now on, one or two new entries will appear every Sunday, instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. We hope you will continue reading along with us as we dive deeper in Melville’s masterpiece.

Moby Dick

By the glint of harpoon goblets, Ishmael
had sworn bloody vengeance upon the whale.
His future now belongs to Moby Dick.

A whale that terrorized the world’s oceans,
whose tremendous bulk instilled fear in all
men and marine life, even the sharks fled.

He became as god in whalemen’s legend,
ubiquitous, occupying all seas,
and immortal, no harpoon could harm him.

His great bulk, his forehead, wrinkled and white,
his deformed jaw, twisted and cruel, a scythe,
and a conscious, intelligent malice.

The were the fearsome features Ahab fought,
when from a shattered boat he pulled a blade
against the whale, in blood soaked seas, bodies,
lost comrades, swirled around him, Moby Dick,
who reached out with his reaper’s jaw and took
all that Ahab was, and also his leg.

In the throws of madness Ahab subsumed
his demons, leaving behind a monster-
filled captain, unyielding in his vengeance.

And the crew that sails with him, Savages,
Cannibals, Mongrels, broken men. Ishmael’s
oath is to this bloodthirsty endeavor.

First-night Watch and Midnight, Forecastle (Finding Melville’s Whale Chapters 39 and 40)

After reading some of the reviews from our Readers’ Survey, many people list these among their favorite posts, while many others consider them their least favorite. So, we’ve decided to change the posting schedule for Finding Melville’s Whale. From now on, one or two new entries will appear every Sunday, instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. We hope you will continue reading along with us as we dive deeper in Melville’s masterpiece.

Continue reading

Finding Melville’s Whale: Sunset and Dusk (Chapters 37 and 38)

Thanks to everyone who stuck around during our blog vacation. Our adventure into Moby Dick continues with chapters 37 and 38 – Sunset and Dusk. These two chapters have been consolidated from two soliloquies to a dialog between Ahab and Starbuck. Read along with us and discuss this chapter or the book as a whole in the comments. Visit this page for the complete collection to date: Finding Melville’s Whale.

Sunset and Dusk

Ahab: I wear this burden on my brow.
Starbuck: Madness, madness of my captain.
Ahab: No noble sunrise, but anguish.
Starbuck: I see his doom, but follow him.
Ahab: No soothing sunset, but horrors.
Starbuck: This heathen crew swears pagan oaths.
Ahab: They think me mad to hunt the whale.
Starbuck: To fulfill Ahab’s ghastly will.
Ahab: Who took my leg, Starbuck, my leg!
Starbuck: I must fight this phantom future.
Ahab: My path is fixed in iron hate.

All: A dead whale or a stove boat!
All: A dead whale or a stove boat!