Jason (jcreed) wrote,
Jason
jcreed

Train reading lately has been "Moby Dick" since roseandsigil recommended it. About half-way through it. It's surprising on a number of accounts. Firstly I'm finding it more funny than expected, but I'm not sure how much that's intended and how much it's just that I think Ishmael is kind of a comical dipshit in his pre-whale-ship meandering. The whaling-trivia chapters actually border on riveting; they're not just encyclopedic accounts, but themselves unreliable-narrator monologues about what whaling looks like to a whaling nerd deep, deep into it. My sperm whale pokemans: let me show you them. And then there's the undercurrent of gothic horror, which I had literally no idea was a theme in the book at all until roseandsigil hinted at it. There's a foretaste of that queasy Lovecraftian revulsion, the confrontation of colossal, alien, menacing forces, those that would just as soon poison you with madness as extinguish you. We go on a digression for pages just on how unsettling is the whiteness of the White Whale, how tenaciously it buries itself in our minds and haunts us from therein, etc. etc. etc. It's preposterous and great.
Tags: books
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