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fanuzzir
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Moby Dick: Footnotes, contexts, and obscure references

Melville composed Moby-Dick as a symphony of religious, historical, and scientific languages. The discovery and pursuit of these threads has kept scholars and readers busy for over one hundred and fifty years. Let's keep all our "margin notes" discussion that has nothing to do with plot and narrative in this thread.
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Laurel
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Begin in New Bedford

You can visit new Bedford without leaving home by clicking any or all of these links:

http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/11/10/travel/escapes/10trip.html?pagewanted=all

http://www.nps.gov/nebe/

http://www.whalingmuseum.org/

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D00E6DE1F3FF933A25752C1A9609C8B63&sec=travel&pagewan...
"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
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Meet an Artist Obsessed with Moby Dick

American artist Frank Stella, who has been named one of the ten most expensive living artists, did a series of unusual paintings about our book. Here are some of them:

http://www.artnet.com/event/61612/Frank_Stella_Moby-Dick_and_Imaginary_Places.html

You can read about Stella and his work here:

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/storyprint.asp?StoryID=534134

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2004/06/17/DDGLA76M3N1.DTL&o=1

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/06/17/DDGLA76M3N1.DTL

http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_bio_148.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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Laurel
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Let's Go for a Sail

[ Edited ]
Look at these beautiful photos from a display at the New Bedford Whaling Museum!

http://whalingmuseum.org/photo-op/poparts/index.html

And some wonderful art:

http://www.whalingmuseum.org/online_exhibits/wm_bradford/web_bradford_main.html

Message Edited by Laurel on 12-14-200603:15 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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Choisya
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Re: Moby Dick: Footnotes, contexts, and obscure references

I like Enter Ahab; to him, Stubb and The Pequod meets the Bachelor.



fanuzzir wrote:
Melville composed Moby-Dick as a symphony of religious, historical, and scientific languages. The discovery and pursuit of these threads has kept scholars and readers busy for over one hundred and fifty years. Let's keep all our "margin notes" discussion that has nothing to do with plot and narrative in this thread.


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leakybucket
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The Whales

In Moby Dick we are concerned with two types of whales: the sperm whale and the right whale. Moby Dick was a sperm whale and they were considered the most valuable. They usually average about about 60 feet but have been known to grow much bigger. Moby Dick was said to be 100 feet. The article below gives you some background on the sperm whale. Note the little line drawing on the side that compares the size of human to the size of a typical sperm whale.

Sperm Whales:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sperm_Whale

The Right Whale was the "right" whale to kill and it also was a target of the deep sea whaling ships. They were pretty big fellows as well and run to 60 feet.

Right Whales

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_whales
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LitEditor
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Re: Meet an Artist Obsessed with Moby Dick


Laurel wrote:
American artist Frank Stella, who has been named one of the ten most expensive living artists, did a series of unusual paintings about our book. Here are some of them:



What a great find! Thanks for posting those links.

See the latest news about book clubs in the Book Clubs Blog.
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ELee
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Ta Moko

My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.

The tattooing of the head and body by the Maori people is Ta Moko. Because it was originally performed by chiseling the skin with an albatross bone, the markings involved scarring as well as pigmentation. They are worn by both sexes: commonly on the face and buttocks of a man, or the chin, lips and shoulders of a woman. Ta Moko is not just a “decoration”; it is a prominent statement of one’s personal identity, status and cultural affirmation as a Maori. It is a story-telling pattern of the genealogy of the bearer, and a reminder of his/her role and responsibility in life. To copy or duplicate a Maori’s Ta Moko is, for all intents and purposes, identity theft.

Here is a link to Craik’s account – scroll down a little for the portrait of Tupai Cupa.

http://www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document/The_New_Zealanders_%;5BGeorge_L._Craik,_1830%5D/Chapter_XIV/p8?action=null
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Niki Caro's WHALE RIDER

Thanks, ELee: have you seen the film Whale Rider? I loved it.

http://video.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?EAN=043396022720


ELee wrote:
My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.
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leakybucket
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Re: Ta Moko

I had trouble with this link even though I cut and pasted the full link.



ELee wrote:
My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.

The tattooing of the head and body by the Maori people is Ta Moko. Because it was originally performed by chiseling the skin with an albatross bone, the markings involved scarring as well as pigmentation. They are worn by both sexes: commonly on the face and buttocks of a man, or the chin, lips and shoulders of a woman. Ta Moko is not just a “decoration”; it is a prominent statement of one’s personal identity, status and cultural affirmation as a Maori. It is a story-telling pattern of the genealogy of the bearer, and a reminder of his/her role and responsibility in life. To copy or duplicate a Maori’s Ta Moko is, for all intents and purposes, identity theft.

Here is a link to Craik’s account – scroll down a little for the portrait of Tupai Cupa.

http://www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document/The_New_Zealanders_%;5BGeorge_L._Craik,_1830%5D/Chapter_XIV/p8?action=null

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leakybucket
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Re: Niki Caro's WHALE RIDER

Wow, what a find. I had never heard of this. And what overwhelming praise. I have ordered it. I'm getting quite a number of projects to do before we start the official reading of the book. I am definitely going to an expert on "all things whales" by the time we start.



pmath wrote:
Thanks, ELee: have you seen the film Whale Rider? I loved it.

http://video.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?EAN=043396022720


ELee wrote:
My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.


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For Bucky: Witi Ihimaera's WHALE RIDER

Bucky, I first saw it on PBS:

http://www.pbs.org/previews/whalerider/

Perhaps you'd like to read the book afterward.

Paperback edition of Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9780152050160

Hardcover edition of Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9780152050177


leakybucket wrote:
Wow, what a find. I had never heard of this. And what overwhelming praise. I have ordered it.

pmath wrote:
Thanks, ELee: have you seen the film Whale Rider? I loved it.

http://video.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?EAN=043396022720


ELee wrote:
My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.


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Laurel
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Re: Niki Caro's WHALE RIDER

My library has it, so I'm due for another trip around the block.



leakybucket wrote:
Wow, what a find. I had never heard of this. And what overwhelming praise. I have ordered it. I'm getting quite a number of projects to do before we start the official reading of the book. I am definitely going to an expert on "all things whales" by the time we start.



pmath wrote:
Thanks, ELee: have you seen the film Whale Rider? I loved it.

http://video.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?EAN=043396022720


ELee wrote:
My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.





"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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ELee
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Re: Ta Moko

"leakybucket wrote: I had trouble with this link even though I cut and pasted the full link. "


Try www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document/The_New_Zealanders_%;5BGeorge_L._Craik%2C_1830%5D/Chapter_XIV/p8?action=null
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ELee
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Re: Ta Moko

"Ta Moko is not just a “decoration”; it is a prominent statement of one’s personal identity, status and cultural affirmation as a Maori. It is a story-telling pattern of the genealogy of the bearer, and a reminder of his/her role and responsibility in life. To copy or duplicate a Maori’s Ta Moko is, for all intents and purposes, identity theft."

The "Moko" also became a legal identity once the British began to colonize New Zealand. An individual facial design would be carefully drawn on any legal document to serve as a written signature.
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Re: The Whales - Are they aggressive?

Are sperm whales aggressive? Like Moby Dick would they actually sink a ship or attack a man? Apparently so. If they get angry enough they will sink a ship, though they don't always fair well in the process if it is a big ship.

The Essex sinking which inspired the story of Moby Dick and his sinking of the Pequod:

http://www.massmoments.org/moment.cfm?mid=334

http://unews.utah.edu/p/?r=080206-18

http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/ask03/0120.html

http://www.unmuseum.org/spermw.htm

http://www.kevinroderick.com/whales.html

I'm not sure about these accounts about being swallowed by a whale and surviving (I was thinking of Jonah here). If so, it doesn't seem like a very pleasant process from this account. There are stomach acids to contend with!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/brunel/A471548

More info on sperm whales:

http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/sci/A0846252.html

http://www.nienkebeintema.nl/mobydick_eng.htm

I pulled out the paragraph on their aggressiveness from the above link below:

------------------------

In any case we know for sure that they are capable of sinking wooden vessels of three to five times their own weight without considerable trouble. The classic Moby Dick by Herman Melville, in which the ship Essex is brought down by a whale, is based on a true story.

Reine, a small wooden boat of one hundred and fifty tonnes and thirty meters long, would be an easy target for an aggressive sperm whale. However, we do not need to be afraid of that. The animals that we encounter, hardly pay any attention to us at all. Sometimes they even approach the boat out of curiosity. Only with a harpoon in their body will sperm whales really lose their temper. Nowadays they don’t run that risk any more, because sperm whales are protected worldwide. The whales that Norway is still hunting today, are exclusively minke whales. Their population is larger than ever, and Norway allows itself to catch around six hundred individuals per year. The tasty whale beef is for sale in supermarkets all over the country.
-------------------------------
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leakybucket
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Queequeg's Tattoos


ELee wrote:
My “Norton” states that according to Geoffrey Sanborn’s manuscript “Whence Come You, Queequeg?”, an account from George L. Craik’s “The New Zealanders” (1830) Chapter XIV details experiences of the Maori chief Tupai Cupa (Te Pehi Kupe), whose physical appearance and adventures inspired the character of Queequeg.

The tattooing of the head and body by the Maori people is Ta Moko. Because it was originally performed by chiseling the skin with an albatross bone, the markings involved scarring as well as pigmentation. They are worn by both sexes: commonly on the face and buttocks of a man, or the chin, lips and shoulders of a woman. Ta Moko is not just a “decoration”; it is a prominent statement of one’s personal identity, status and cultural affirmation as a Maori. It is a story-telling pattern of the genealogy of the bearer, and a reminder of his/her role and responsibility in life. To copy or duplicate a Maori’s Ta Moko is, for all intents and purposes, identity theft.

Here is a link to Craik’s account – scroll down a little for the portrait of Tupai Cupa.

http://www.enzb.auckland.ac.nz/document/The_New_Zealanders_%;5BGeorge_L._Craik,_1830%5D/Chapter_XIV/p8?action=null




I found this discussion of tattooing quite intriguing. I search a bit through Moby Dick and found this quote about Queequeg's tattoos that fits in very well with your explanation of tattooing among the Maori practice of Ta Moko;

"And this tattooing, had been the work of a departed prophet and seer of his island, who, by those hieroglyphic marks, had written out on his body a complete theory of the heavens and the earth, and a mystical treatise on the art of attaining truth; so that Queequeg in his own proper person was a riddle to unfold; a wondrous work in one volume; but whose mysteries not even himself could read, though his own live heart beat against them; and these mysteries were therefore destined in the end to moulder away with the living parchment whereon they were inscribed, and so be unsolved to the last. And this thought it must have been which suggested to Ahab that wild exclamation of his, when one morning turning away from surveying poor Queequeg -- Oh, devilish tantalization of the gods!" Chapter CX

Bucky
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leakybucket
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Moby Dick Art

Another art work based on Moby Dick. I just stubble across this one named for the first chapter of the book: "Loomings."

http://www.virginia.edu/insideuva/2002/13/whale.html
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leakybucket
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More Moby Dick Art

I thought I would poke around for more Moby Dick art:

a whole book devoted to Moby Dick art:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?isbn=0700607420

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

Click to enlarge images: http://www.nku.edu/~moby/gallery.html

And I couldn't resist, Moby Dick cartoons:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/directory/M/Moby_dick.asp
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Laurel
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Re: More Moby Dick Art

I love the cartoons, especially the lawyer and the teacher.



leakybucket wrote:
I thought I would poke around for more Moby Dick art:

a whole book devoted to Moby Dick art:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?isbn=0700607420

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

Click to enlarge images: http://www.nku.edu/~moby/gallery.html

And I couldn't resist, Moby Dick cartoons:

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


"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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