Moby-Dick, or The Whale
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Bestselling and beloved classic now with apparatus including: images, chronology, filmography, and essays spanning the themes of whaling, sermons, and cannibalism in Melville's novel. "It is the horrible texture of a fabric that should be woven of ships' cables and hawsers. A polar wind blows through it, and birds of prey hover over it." So Melville wrote of his masterpiece, one of the greatest works of imagination in literature. In part, Moby-Dick is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself. But more than just a novel of adventure, more than an encyclopedia of whaling lore and legend, the book can be seen as part of its author's lifelong meditation on America. Written with wonderfully redemptive humor, Moby-Dick is also a profound inquiry into character, faith, and the nature of perception.
“wonderful…except after explanation”—so that it cannot properly be said to end. Moby-Dick is as nearly endless as an artifact can be. It was, and is, a gift to democracy because it compels our respect for “Men…[of] mean and meagre faces,” as well as for “man, in the ideal, [who] is so noble and so sparkling, such a grand and glowing creature, that over any ignominious blemish in him all his fellows should run to throw their costliest robes.” To read Moby-Dick is to acquire anew this knowledge,
foam, the towing whale is forty feet ahead. Handling the long lance lightly, glancing twice or thrice along its length to see if it be exactly straight, Stubb whistlingly gathers up the coil of the warp in one hand, so as to secure its free end in his grasp, leaving the rest unobstructed. Then holding the lance full before his waistband’s middle, he levels it at the whale; when, covering him with it, he steadily depresses the butt-end in his hand, thereby elevating the point till the weapon
ladies’ bodices. But this same bone is not in the tail; it is in the head, which is a sad mistake for a sagacious lawyer like Prynne. But is the Queen a mermaid, to be presented with a tail? An allegorical meaning may lurk here. There are two royal fish so styled by the English law writers—the whale and the sturgeon; both royal property under certain limitations, and nominally supplying the tenth branch of the crown’s ordinary revenue, I know not that any other author has hinted of the matter;
DEL ECUADOR: QUITO. So this bright coin came from a country planted in the middle of the world, and beneath the great equator, and named after it; and it had been cast midway up the Andes, in the unwaning clime that knows no autumn. Zoned by those letters you saw the likeness of three Andes’ summits; from one a flame; a tower on another; on the third a crowing cock; while arching over all was a segment of the partitioned zodiac, the signs all marked with their usual cabalistics, and the keystone
Queequeg’s canvas sack and hammock, away we went down to “the Moss,” the little Nantucket packet schooner moored at the wharf. As we were going along the people stared; not at Queequeg so much—for they were used to seeing cannibals like him in their streets,—but at seeing him and me upon such confidential terms. But we heeded them not, going along wheeling the barrow by turns, and Queequeg now and then stopping to adjust the sheath on his harpoon barbs. I asked him why he carried such a