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Favorite Quotes from M-D

What is your favorite quote from Moby-Dick and why?
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fanuzzir
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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D



ziki wrote:
What is your favorite quote from Moby-Dick and why?


Great question. I'm working on it.
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Chapter 68: "in all seasons a temperature of thine own"

There are so many great passages that it's hard to choose, but I particularly like this one, which I quoted earlier, because I think it sums up HM's philosophy as expounded in MD:


pmath wrote (here):
I love this passage:

...herein we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality, and the rare virtue of thick walls, and the rare virtue of interior spaciousness. Oh, man! admire and model thyself after the whale! Do thou, too, remain warm among ice. Do thou, too, live in this world without being of it. Be cool at the equator; keep thy blood fluid at the Pole. Like the great dome of St. Peter's, and like the great whale, retain, O man! in all seasons a temperature of thine own.

But how easy and how hopeless to teach these fine things! Of erections, how few are domed like St. Peter's! of creatures, how few vast as the whale!


ziki wrote:
What is your favorite quote from Moby-Dick and why?
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Laurel
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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."

"By reason of these things, then, the whaling voyage was welcome; the great flood-gates of the wonder-world swung open, and in the wild conceits that swayed me to my purpose, two and two there floated into my inmost soul, endless processions of the whale, and, mid most of them all, one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."

Wonderful way to end a chapter called "Loomings."
"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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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D


ziki wrote:
What is your favorite quote from Moby-Dick and why?




""Who's there?" cries the Captain at his busy desk, hurriedly making out his papers for the Customs - "Who's there?" Oh! how that harmless question mangles Jonah!"

--From the Sermon chapter.

"Who's there?" is, to me, one of the great opening lines in English-language literature. It's the opening line of Hamlet. (And it's also a very concise description of what the play's all about.)
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fanuzzir
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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."

Laurel, what an ear you have. I remember the same skill in your reading of Whitman. The first time I read those lines as a college student I had to stop and stare into space for quite awhile.
Bob
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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."



fanuzzir wrote:
Laurel, what an ear you have. I remember the same skill in your reading of Whitman. The first time I read those lines as a college student I had to stop and stare into space for quite awhile.
Bob




Thank you, Bob! I've been listening to a reading of Moby Dick, so ear is the right word.
"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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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D

"All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it."


from that great literary critic, Sparky:

"This quote, from Chapter 41, is the existential heart of the book; appropriately, the chapter from which it comes shares its title with the White Whale and the novel itself. While many sailors aboard the Pequod use legends about particularly large and malevolent whales as a way to manage the fear and danger inherent in whaling, they do not take these legends literally. Ahab, on the other hand, believes that Moby Dick is evil incarnate, and pits himself and humanity in an epic, timeless struggle against the White Whale. His belief that killing Moby Dick will eradicate evil evidences his inability to understand things symbolically: he is too literal a reader of the world around him. Instead of interpreting the loss of his leg as a common consequence of his occupation and perhaps as a punishment for taking excessive risks, he sees it as evidence of evil cosmic forces persecuting him."

http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/mobydick/quotes.html
"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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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D

To answer my own question.

from Chapter LII:

"Round the world! There is much in that sound to inspire proud feelings; but whereto does all that circumnavigation conduct? Only through numberless perils to the very point whence we started, where those that we left behind secure, were all the time before us."

(end of p.283 BN edition)

This for me sums up the futility and inevitability of life's all doings.

ziki
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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."



fanuzzir wrote: The first time I read those lines as a college student I had to stop and stare into space for quite awhile.
Bob


....and are you still standing there and gazing, Bob?
If so isn't that moment to be called eternity?

ziki
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fanuzzir
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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."



ziki wrote:


fanuzzir wrote: The first time I read those lines as a college student I had to stop and stare into space for quite awhile.
Bob


....and are you still standing there and gazing, Bob?
If so isn't that moment to be called eternity?

ziki




I can't believe this, but I found that quote hand written on a card,circa 1982, stuffed into my pages of Moby Dick. This whole discussion has made me tremendously nostalgic. I remember identifying closely with the chapter on the masthead, and its description of the feeling of hovering above the ocean. Now? I still can't get over the humane generosity Ishmael showed Queequeg. Maybe that's where I am now.
Bob
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fanuzzir
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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D



Laurel wrote:
"All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it."


from that great literary critic, Sparky:

"This quote, from Chapter 41, is the existential heart of the book; appropriately, the chapter from which it comes shares its title with the White Whale and the novel itself. While many sailors aboard the Pequod use legends about particularly large and malevolent whales as a way to manage the fear and danger inherent in whaling, they do not take these legends literally. Ahab, on the other hand, believes that Moby Dick is evil incarnate, and pits himself and humanity in an epic, timeless struggle against the White Whale. His belief that killing Moby Dick will eradicate evil evidences his inability to understand things symbolically: he is too literal a reader of the world around him. Instead of interpreting the loss of his leg as a common consequence of his occupation and perhaps as a punishment for taking excessive risks, he sees it as evidence of evil cosmic forces persecuting him."

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





Thanks so much, Laurel, for gunning this discussion with a great quote and critical commentary. I'll take the opposite course from Sparky and make this contrarian observation: that Melville seems to be talking about all the little annoyances and resentments in our life that somehow add up to more than the sum of their parts. So I applaud Melville once again for explaining in terms of real life what seems uncomprehendable in Ahab. Evil incarnate? Let's talk about the accumulation of life's indignities, and the tragic response to them.
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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D

[ Edited ]
And to me, it seems that Ahab is responding to the evil which is in himself, letting it prevail over any goodness he has in order to wreak vengeance on the whale.



fanuzzir wrote:


Laurel wrote:
"All that most maddens and torments; all that stirs up the lees of things; all truth with malice in it; all that cracks the sinews and cakes the brain; all the subtle demonisms of life and thought; all evil, to crazy Ahab, were visibly personified, and made practically assailable in Moby Dick. He piled upon the whale’s white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart’s shell upon it."


from that great literary critic, Sparky:

"This quote, from Chapter 41, is the existential heart of the book; appropriately, the chapter from which it comes shares its title with the White Whale and the novel itself. While many sailors aboard the Pequod use legends about particularly large and malevolent whales as a way to manage the fear and danger inherent in whaling, they do not take these legends literally. Ahab, on the other hand, believes that Moby Dick is evil incarnate, and pits himself and humanity in an epic, timeless struggle against the White Whale. His belief that killing Moby Dick will eradicate evil evidences his inability to understand things symbolically: he is too literal a reader of the world around him. Instead of interpreting the loss of his leg as a common consequence of his occupation and perhaps as a punishment for taking excessive risks, he sees it as evidence of evil cosmic forces persecuting him."

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





Thanks so much, Laurel, for gunning this discussion with a great quote and critical commentary. I'll take the opposite course from Sparky and make this contrarian observation: that Melville seems to be talking about all the little annoyances and resentments in our life that somehow add up to more than the sum of their parts. So I applaud Melville once again for explaining in terms of real life what seems uncomprehendable in Ahab. Evil incarnate? Let's talk about the accumulation of life's indignities, and the tragic response to them.

Message Edited by Laurel on 01-23-200709:58 PM

"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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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D : Quote from HM and a painting

[ Edited ]
I was never able to answer this section in the old BNU because there are always so many and in Moby Dick this is true three and fourfold! However, I like rather this quote from Melville himself (in a letter to Hawthorne I think):-

'I am half way in the work ... It will be a strange sort of book, tho', I fear; blubber is blubber you know; tho' you might get oil out of it, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree; — and to cool the thing up, one must needs throw in a little fancy, which from the nature of the thing, must be ungainly as the gambols of the whales themselves. Yet I mean to give the truth of the thing, spite of this.'

I also came across this painting of Moby Dick which, though simple, is very expressive:-

http://openstudio.media.mit.edu/art/92d597180ac7bf58010b06908802015f

Some more MD paintings here:-

http://www.pthompson.addr.com/moby/artwork.htm

And some MD cartoons:smileyhappy:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/M/Moby_dick.asp









ziki wrote:
What is your favorite quote from Moby-Dick and why?

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-24-200707:35 AM

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Captain Rehab

This is the perfect way to end our discussion, Choisya: thanks for finding these!


Choisya wrote:
... some MD cartoons:smileyhappy:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/M/Moby_dick.asp
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pmath end?

[ Edited ]

pmath wrote:
This is the perfect way to end our discussion, Choisya





Are you leaving pmath? Why such hurry? We are just about getting warm to start for real...:-p
ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 01-24-200705:05 PM

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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."



fanuzzir wrote:I can't believe this, but I found that quote hand written on a card,circa 1982, stuffed into my pages of Moby Dick. This whole discussion has made me tremendously nostalgic. I remember identifying closely with the chapter on the masthead, and its description of the feeling of hovering above the ocean. Now? I still can't get over the humane generosity Ishmael showed Queequeg. Maybe that's where I am now.
Bob




serendipity of sorts :-)
perhaps you're stil perched on the masthead but the weather changed and you might even be in another ocean...

ziki
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Re: Favorite Quotes from M-D : Quote from HM and a painting

Great stuff, Choisya! My book has the Robison art, and Robison's Ahab led me here:

http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/MT/95/Dec95/mta18d95.html



Choisya wrote:
I was never able to answer this section in the old BNU because there are always so many and in Moby Dick this is true three and fourfold! However, I like rather this quote from Melville himself (in a letter to Hawthorne I think):-

'I am half way in the work ... It will be a strange sort of book, tho', I fear; blubber is blubber you know; tho' you might get oil out of it, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree; — and to cool the thing up, one must needs throw in a little fancy, which from the nature of the thing, must be ungainly as the gambols of the whales themselves. Yet I mean to give the truth of the thing, spite of this.'

I also came across this painting of Moby Dick which, though simple, is very expressive:-

http://openstudio.media.mit.edu/art/92d597180ac7bf58010b06908802015f

Some more MD paintings here:-

http://www.pthompson.addr.com/moby/artwork.htm

And some MD cartoons:smileyhappy:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/M/Moby_dick.asp









ziki wrote:
What is your favorite quote from Moby-Dick and why?

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-24-200707:35 AM




"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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choisya-- paintings

Hi Choisya, our net researcher of the first grade.

The line drawing was splendid, as you said expressive. It looks like it is has been done just on a simple drawing program! The more amazing.

And the jokes are just...fun! LOL.

Speaking of drawings... I also liked the quote about French artists (chapter LVI):

"The French are the lads for painting action. Go and gaze upon the paintings of Europe, and where will you find such a gallery of living and breathtaking commotion on canvas, as in the triumphal hall at Versailles;"...etc....."the successive kings and emperors dash by, like a charge of crowned centaurs."

LOL (p.319 BN edition)


...but some pieces of Garney that Melville mentioned there I didn't manage to google up, maybe you'd be more successful in that task?

ziki
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Re: Chapter 1: "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air."

I find it interesting how a book will show you what place you are in life by how you respond to it as opposed to how you responded to it the last time you read it. I notice this whenever I read Women Who Run With the Wolves, which I need to read once a decade. I've read it in my twenties and my thirties and need to read it again now that I'm in my forties.

Denise



fanuzzir wrote:


ziki wrote:


fanuzzir wrote: The first time I read those lines as a college student I had to stop and stare into space for quite awhile.
Bob


....and are you still standing there and gazing, Bob?
If so isn't that moment to be called eternity?

ziki




I can't believe this, but I found that quote hand written on a card,circa 1982, stuffed into my pages of Moby Dick. This whole discussion has made me tremendously nostalgic. I remember identifying closely with the chapter on the masthead, and its description of the feeling of hovering above the ocean. Now? I still can't get over the humane generosity Ishmael showed Queequeg. Maybe that's where I am now.
Bob


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