Saturday, February 11, 2006

Too Much Beavis and Butthead

Let me start by saying that since my last anti-Moby rant the action has picked up nicely and I'm back to enjoying the book again. I've also run across a few passages and quotes that I thought were worth sharing:

In chapter 45, The Affidavit, Ishmael is describing the dangers of whaling and how deaths are vastly underreported, so few understand just how fatal the profession can be: "For God's sake, be economical with your lamps and candles! not a gallon you burn, but at least one drop of man's blood was spilled for it." I wonder how many other products we could say the same about?

From chapter 46, Surmises: "To accomplish his object Ahab must use tools; and of all tools used in the shadow of the moon, men are most apt to get out of order." (and women, I would add)

Considering that he's been singing about the nobleness of the whaling profession the entire book and he decided to try it out of a desire for adventure, I think it's pretty funny that the first thing Ishmael does after his first encounter with a whale is make out his will (chapter 49, The Hyena).

And I know this is juvenile and the double meaning would have meant nothing to Melville, but I still couldn't help laughing the first time I heard of the ship named The Town-Ho (especially since I am listening and didn't get the hyphen). (Chapter 54, The Town-Ho's Story)

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1 comment:

Erica Reynolds said...

I'm sure Melville would get a kick out of the double-meaning of Town-Ho in today's context...