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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: While we wait

hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki
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leakybucket
Posts: 299
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Reading Moby Dick

While I was following one of Laurel's links, I found this site that maybe helpful to those who find Moby Dick a bit daunting:

http://www.melville.org/diCurcio/bib.htm

It suggests certain chapters that a first-time reader might skip or just skim the first time through. Kind of a do-it-yourself abridged Moby Dick. Look at the Quick Overview. He suggests 57 out of the 135 that are necessary reading. It is followed by his commentary (which seems very good) on what he considers the 80 "core" chapters.

I can't comment on his selection since I haven't read the book yet myself (I will try to tackle the whole thing), but I know there are chapters that deviate from the plot and provide detail information on subjects that people might not be interested in. However, I have read through a couple of these and have found them interesting. They are kind of stand-alones. Moby Dick seems to be two books in one--a fictional story and an information resource on aspects of whaling.

Bucky





ziki wrote:
hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki

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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: While we wait



donyskiw wrote:
Ooooh, I have always looked at pictures of the Eastman Press books but never bought one! I am drooling on my keyboard with envy!

Denise




Back when I was working my little apartment was so covered with books that I decided something must be done. I donated all but the most beloved to the college where I was working and started a subscription to the Easton Press 100 Greatest Books, thinking, I guess, that if I payed more for books I wouldn't buy as many.

Now I am a young retiree with two beautiful barrister bookcases of fine leather-bound books and a house running over with cheaper books of every age and description. I have books in the library, books in the bedroom, books in the livingroom, books in the bathroom, books in the kitchen cupboards. I need to get more bookshelves, but I have no place to put them. My two cats love books, too, so we all get along fine together.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: While we wait

Ziki, here's some more comment on the political uses of Moby Dick. I agree with Susan Cheevers that the book is above all that.

http://www.radioopensource.org/moby-dick-cheney-et-al/




ziki wrote:
hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Laurel
Posts: 5,747
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: Reading Moby Dick

Great find, Bucky! I have it bookmarked now.



leakybucket wrote:
While I was following one of Laurel's links, I found this site that maybe helpful to those who find Moby Dick a bit daunting:

http://www.melville.org/diCurcio/bib.htm

It suggests certain chapters that a first-time reader might skip or just skim the first time through. Kind of a do-it-yourself abridged Moby Dick. Look at the Quick Overview. He suggests 57 out of the 135 that are necessary reading. It is followed by his commentary (which seems very good) on what he considers the 80 "core" chapters.

I can't comment on his selection since I haven't read the book yet myself (I will try to tackle the whole thing), but I know there are chapters that deviate from the plot and provide detail information on subjects that people might not be interested in. However, I have read through a couple of these and have found them interesting. They are kind of stand-alones. Moby Dick seems to be two books in one--a fictional story and an information resource on aspects of whaling.

Bucky





ziki wrote:
hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki




"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Reading Moby Dick

Can't say I like this idea because the language of Moby Dick is just as important the story and abridged editions usually murder the language. Nor do I think it would be useful to us here for discussion purposes as we all need to refer to a similar text to understand one another.




leakybucket wrote:
While I was following one of Laurel's links, I found this site that maybe helpful to those who find Moby Dick a bit daunting:

http://www.melville.org/diCurcio/bib.htm

It suggests certain chapters that a first-time reader might skip or just skim the first time through. Kind of a do-it-yourself abridged Moby Dick. Look at the Quick Overview. He suggests 57 out of the 135 that are necessary reading. It is followed by his commentary (which seems very good) on what he considers the 80 "core" chapters.

I can't comment on his selection since I haven't read the book yet myself (I will try to tackle the whole thing), but I know there are chapters that deviate from the plot and provide detail information on subjects that people might not be interested in. However, I have read through a couple of these and have found them interesting. They are kind of stand-alones. Moby Dick seems to be two books in one--a fictional story and an information resource on aspects of whaling.

Bucky





ziki wrote:
hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki




Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: While we wait

Melville himself was very political and intentially drew attention by allegory etc to political matters so I don't think the book is 'above' politics. Indeed it was the political content which first made it popular.




Laurel wrote:
Ziki, here's some more comment on the political uses of Moby Dick. I agree with Susan Cheevers that the book is above all that.

http://www.radioopensource.org/moby-dick-cheney-et-al/




ziki wrote:
hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki





Frequent Contributor
leakybucket
Posts: 299
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Reading Moby Dick

I think you misread the posting. He was not suggesting an abridged edition. That was my term to define the concept. I probably should have put it in quotes. He was only suggesting a reading plan whereby the first-time reader could skip certain chapters that were not relevant to the plot.

I agree with you. The way Melville words things is very relevant especially considering his sense of humor. In fact the way Melville words things is one of his most endearing qualities! I just love the way he says things and he is well worth quoting. I find I use my highlighter a lot (and can see why people want to have their own books) and find myself going back to reread and savor certain passages. I especially appreciated the Gregory Peck movie because they retains so much of Melville's actual words in the dialog. Of course there are those very long Melvillian sentences that Ziki humorously mimic on the Help board. At my age I tend to forget the beginning of the sentence by the time I get to the end! But then I have a good excuse to go back and reread it.

Bucky



Choisya wrote:
Can't say I like this idea because the language of Moby Dick is just as important the story and abridged editions usually murder the language. Nor do I think it would be useful to us here for discussion purposes as we all need to refer to a similar text to understand one another.




leakybucket wrote:
While I was following one of Laurel's links, I found this site that maybe helpful to those who find Moby Dick a bit daunting:

http://www.melville.org/diCurcio/bib.htm

It suggests certain chapters that a first-time reader might skip or just skim the first time through. Kind of a do-it-yourself abridged Moby Dick. Look at the Quick Overview. He suggests 57 out of the 135 that are necessary reading. It is followed by his commentary (which seems very good) on what he considers the 80 "core" chapters.

I can't comment on his selection since I haven't read the book yet myself (I will try to tackle the whole thing), but I know there are chapters that deviate from the plot and provide detail information on subjects that people might not be interested in. However, I have read through a couple of these and have found them interesting. They are kind of stand-alones. Moby Dick seems to be two books in one--a fictional story and an information resource on aspects of whaling.

Bucky





ziki wrote:
hahah, I noticed immediately and felt 'well, if I had such nice looking book I would even read MD without fretting', LOL.

In one of those links you provided for us a professor said that students can be divided into two groups; those who treat MD as a bible and those who think it is an impossible book to read.
She also wrote a book about MD's influence on art.

I found it very interesting to hear how some artists used MD as an inspiration for their own art work. What for one person would be a boring amateur mixture with no plot, another could see as a master-opus.

We were talking about the Great American Novel. MD is a candidate to be counted on because it can harbor a wide spectrum of reactions and comments: from impossible to great! MD obviously also held many political projections over the years. Another sign for a great work, it adapts to ever changing circumstances.

I heard one shouldn't read the book just for plot.


ziki






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leakybucket
Posts: 299
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: What's the official start date? - December 26

Moved message.
---------------------

The start date by group agreement is December 26. That was the original date and then B&N opened the board early and moved it up. That left a lot of people scrambling and having to get the book. So we agreed to wait as a group. We had started soom discussion on the book but then we decided to wait. What we have been doing is introducing ourselves, chatting, and having preliminary discussions on subjects related to the book until December 26th.

Don't worry about being too far behind. I'm only up to page 60 myself and many others do not have the book yet. You might want to aim for the first 100-150 pages for the week after Christmas. Considering the volume of "pre-reading" discussions, I think we are going to have a lot to say on just the first 100 pages. We already had a lengthy discussion on the first sentence! I think it will even take us awhile to get beyond the first 12 chapters (through the sermon). I'm going to re-read those just before the book discussions open. So take your time. We are going to be here for awhile.

Good to have you with us Matthieu. Join in the the preliminary discussions and learn a lot about whales and get to meet the rest of the group.

Bucky



matthieu_78741 wrote:
Several posts talk about books not having arrived yet, and the 26th being the start date. Discussions are obviously underway though. Are these eager group members, or is the 26th canceled? If the group started weeks ago, I don't want to join now. I just started reading Moby Dick yesterday. If it's still scheduled to start on the 26th, though, I'll come back and join then.
Frequent Contributor
fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: Bob silver spoon- off topic

That's very nice of you. I've heard about The Silver Spoon and will be adding it to my collection.
Frequent Contributor
fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: While we wait

I still come back to the humor in this book. It's as if Melville knows he has such a ponderous subject and is constantly baiting us with a whimsical play. I'm trying so hard not to treat it like a bible, so I love the early going.
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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: While we wait

I can vouch for the political: the novel Melville wrote before Moby Dick was entitled White Jacket: The World in a Man of War, and it was as expert an allegory of the effect of martial law on working class democracy as I have ever seen. Melville was always keen on that central element of shipboard life--flogging--as it illustrated the utter tyranny of shipboard life that was disguised on dry land. Anyone interested in the political content of Melville's ideas should definitely consult Michael Rogin's Subversive Geneology, the most illuminiating book on Melville I know and also written by a political scientist!
Frequent Contributor
fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: What's the official start date? - December 26

Anyone wishing to start discussing the novel's early chapters, please don't wait for the 26th. That date was superseded by at least three announcements from me and one from Lit Editor Bill at BN. (See my Message from Bob at the old Classics site). It's true we'll be focussing on the first 20 chapters or so of the novel through the 26th, but there's really no need to starve that discussion thread if you have things to say. I'll make sure we stay in that section until after the 26th.

I can't say enough about the quality of discussion that's ongoing in the Melville reference section, biography, and this community forum. Now I see what online discussions are all about. Thanks to all for your incredible creativity and generosity.
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Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Fanuzzir -While we wait

Fanuzzir: Could you please always quote the post you are replying to - it gets a mite confusing when other posts have 'intervened'. Ta.




fanuzzir wrote:
I can vouch for the political: the novel Melville wrote before Moby Dick was entitled White Jacket: The World in a Man of War, and it was as expert an allegory of the effect of martial law on working class democracy as I have ever seen. Melville was always keen on that central element of shipboard life--flogging--as it illustrated the utter tyranny of shipboard life that was disguised on dry land. Anyone interested in the political content of Melville's ideas should definitely consult Michael Rogin's Subversive Geneology, the most illuminiating book on Melville I know and also written by a political scientist!


Frequent Contributor
donyskiw
Posts: 578
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: While we wait

Oh, how funny! Like I said before, I subscribe to the Library of America. It's a better price for someone who is not retired (by the time I'm retired I'm planning to not have a mortgage!) so I do have a growing collection of nice books but not as nice as Eastern Press. But I won't every be under the illusion that I'll ever have less books! I was thinking that if I could get a bunch of those cheap bookshelves made of pressboard, I could line them along the walls of my poorly insulated house and then put all my books in them and save on my heating bill!

Denise
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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: While we wait

I was thinking that if I could get a bunch of those cheap bookshelves made of pressboard, I could line them along the walls of my poorly insulated house and then put all my books in them and save on my heating bill!


Then you must be happy to be reading Moby Dick. There's lots of insulation there!
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: While we wait

Which post are you replying to here Denise?

(Could folks please quote posts as it takes a lot of time searching for the possible match and we have enough trouble with this format!. Thanks:smileyhappy: )




donyskiw wrote:
Oh, how funny! Like I said before, I subscribe to the Library of America. It's a better price for someone who is not retired (by the time I'm retired I'm planning to not have a mortgage!) so I do have a growing collection of nice books but not as nice as Eastern Press. But I won't every be under the illusion that I'll ever have less books! I was thinking that if I could get a bunch of those cheap bookshelves made of pressboard, I could line them along the walls of my poorly insulated house and then put all my books in them and save on my heating bill!

Denise


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Katelyn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Community Room: Where is everyone?



leakybucket wrote:
Give me chance! It is early Sunday morning here and I just got the book and started reading last night. I did read the first sentence and put up a post on that!

I am a first-time reader and I like the book better than I thought I would. I'm finding it most interesting and very easy reading. I also got B&N's SparkNotes. Figured I need all the help I could get! It is available free online but I bought the actual book. I'm old fashioned and like a book in hand rather than reading on the Internet. For those of you more flexible, you can read them at:

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mobydick/

They have some interesting discussion points. I also got the B&N official Edition and I want to read the Introduction. It looks like that has some interesting discussion points as well. Anyone else have that Edition?

Great having a Community Room again so that we don't clutter up the discussion area with trivia. It would be nice if it were on the bottom of the headers but, hey, we can't have everything! Maybe our moderator can move it.

Bucky


LeakyBucket,

Thanks for the link to the online text; I ordered the book a few days ago and it's not here yet. I thought Melville would sound more old-fashioned than he does (I read him in school in anthologies as a kid but nothing since); I read one paragraph and I am hooked!
Thanks for the link.

Kate
Frequent Contributor
fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Product placement

Great having a Community Room again so that we don't clutter up the discussion area with trivia. It would be nice if it were on the bottom of the headers but, hey, we can't have everything! Maybe our moderator can move it.

Leaky, do you meant below the magical line of selected threads at the top? I thought it would be convenient to have the heavily trafficked areas all together so that no one would have to search for anything to get involved.
Bob
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fanuzzir
Posts: 1,014
Registered: ‎10-22-2006
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Re: Community Room: Where is everyone?

Kate, I know exactly what you mean. I can't believe how willing I am to plough through the tough philosophy. He's just so lighthearted! even about suicide. I love the pistol and the ball.

I thought Melville would sound more old-fashioned than he does (I read him in school in anthologies as a kid but nothing since); I read one paragraph and I am hooked!
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