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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 3,107
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Ishmael's voice



fanuzzir wrote:
He's a little like Whitman, then: he doesn't want us to fall completely into the story and forget about the author. He wants to meet with us as readers and reach out to us directly, so he dispenses with the fiction part at crucial times. He must feel that we need some kind of enlightenment, or some kind of spirituality that we would never have if we didn't know whales . . .




There was a point when I put the book aside and wondered 'who is talking to me now? It's not the Ishmael who shipped, it is the 'old' Ishmael who survived.' Melville confuses but skillfully and I still can't make up my mind if he does it on purpose or if it is a 'mistake'. In any case perhaps it doesn't matter because it is the 'whole-whale-experience' of the text that matters more.

I saw a note today: a culture can only be understood by someone outside of it, a neutral observer. That would correspond with the character of Ishmael's voice onboard the Pequod.

If that is true maybe even we as readers have some such advantage being 150 years delayed.

ziki
(yes, Whitman poped up with a poem after I finished MD)
Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: liking

Fanuzzir wrote:-
'He must feel that we need some kind of enlightenment, or some kind of spirituality that we would never have if we didn't know whales . . .'


And he was right!





fanuzzir wrote:
He's a little like Whitman, then: he doesn't want us to fall completely into the story and forget about the author. He wants to meet with us as readers and reach out to us directly, so he dispenses with the fiction part at crucial times. He must feel that we need some kind of enlightenment, or some kind of spirituality that we would never have if we didn't know whales . . .


Inspired Contributor
Choisya
Posts: 10,782
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Ishmael's voice

Ziki wrote:
I saw a note today: a culture can only be understood by someone outside of it, a neutral observer. That would correspond with the character of Ishmael's voice onboard the Pequod.

If that is true maybe even we as readers have some such advantage being 150 years delayed.


Good observation Ziki - thanks.





ziki wrote:


fanuzzir wrote:
He's a little like Whitman, then: he doesn't want us to fall completely into the story and forget about the author. He wants to meet with us as readers and reach out to us directly, so he dispenses with the fiction part at crucial times. He must feel that we need some kind of enlightenment, or some kind of spirituality that we would never have if we didn't know whales . . .




There was a point when I put the book aside and wondered 'who is talking to me now? It's not the Ishmael who shipped, it is the 'old' Ishmael who survived.' Melville confuses but skillfully and I still can't make up my mind if he does it on purpose or if it is a 'mistake'. In any case perhaps it doesn't matter because it is the 'whole-whale-experience' of the text that matters more.

I saw a note today: a culture can only be understood by someone outside of it, a neutral observer. That would correspond with the character of Ishmael's voice onboard the Pequod.

If that is true maybe even we as readers have some such advantage being 150 years delayed.

ziki
(yes, Whitman poped up with a poem after I finished MD)


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