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Choisya
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Re: Chapter 80: Vertebrae

I've posted something about this somewhere....




ziki wrote:


pmath wrote:
This is fascinating: does anyone know more about this?

If you attentively regard almost any quadruped's spine, you will be struck with the resemblance of its vertebrae to a strung necklace of dwarfed skulls, all bearing rudimental resemblance to the skull proper. It is a German conceit, that the vertebrae are absolutely undeveloped skulls. ... Now, I consider that the phrenologists have omitted an important thing in not pushing their investigations from the cerebellum through the spinal canal. For I believe that much of a man's character will be found betokened in his backbone. I would rather feel your spine than your skull, whoever you are. A thin joist of a spine never yet upheld a full and noble soul. I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world.





pmath, that is one of many passages that I noticed but didn't know what to do with...especially the end....I'd rather feel your spine than your skull.
In the light of the discussion here...it can be a subtle remark....we know what feeling someone's spine stands for x[rather than some 'silly' science of feeling someone's skull.]

dunno
ziki


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Choisya
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Re: Chapter 80: For Ziki, regarding Ishmael

Wonderful me hearties!




ziki wrote:


pmath wrote:
BTW, Ziki, I love your new icon! I changed mine, too, yesterday.)




;-) I thought it was very daring of you. This was closest to Ahab I could get.

ziki

PS
that flag I didn't get either. I estimate I am missing at least 70% of the book's hidden meanings. Amen.


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Reading M-D



pmath wrote:We're just going to have to read MD again, and again, and again,...




that sounds like a curse, LOL...for some others it is both blessing&addiction or a joy...

Jokes aside, I think that is what it amounts to...rereading. Not sure I become so dedicated but there are spots of beauty in this book. I quite understand that Melville later ventured into poetry (although I didn't read any of his works).

That was a very informative site. I think whales are so misnamed...if right whale has a name because it was a right whale to hunt then the first thing should be to rename it. But we already talked about whale-names.

ziki
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For Choisya and Ziki: MD as Inspiration and Benediction

[ Edited ]
Thanks, Choisya: MD inspires us all! Ziki, I think the novel is HM's benediction.


Choisya wrote:
Wonderful me hearties!

ziki wrote:
;-) I thought it was very daring of you. This was closest to Ahab I could get.

pmath wrote:
(BTW, Ziki, I love your new icon! I changed mine, too, yesterday.)

ziki wrote (here):
that sounds like a curse, LOL...for some others it is both blessing&addiction or a joy...

pmath wrote:
We're just going to have to read MD again, and again, and again,...

Message Edited by pmath on 01-26-200702:20 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Chapter 80: Reading MD - the best ever!

[ Edited ]
For my part I think Moby Dick has been the best book I have read with B&N and you folks, and with an excellent Moderator to boot. The standard of the analysis and comment has been so very high and so many insights have been gained that I feel I could stay on this voyage forever - with an occasional foray onto a South Sea island ...





pmath wrote:
As I told Bob earlier, I didn't understand most of what Ahab said! We're just going to have to read MD again, and again, and again,...

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-26-200702:08 PM

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ch 85-no voice

Here Melville wrote that whale has no voice. What has a whale to say, he wondered? Little did he know then about the whales' singing.

ziki
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fanuzzir
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Re: The Monkey-Rope (ch 72)




I love this Ziki - thanks! Your criticism of Melville's writing reminds me of what has been said of Sinclair's writing about socialism (sorry to use the word!) in The Jungle. Sinclair certainly got tired and dispirited by having to write a different ending to placate publishers, perhaps Melville had the same problems? There is almost a case to be made for separating MD into two volumes, one to cover all the facts about whales and whaling to be published alongside the story of the voyage and hunt as a sort of glossary? Perhaps there is an author out there who could undertake this enormous task - Fanuzzir?:smileyvery-happy:





I know better than to take the bait and attempt such a thing. Part of this is Melville's long-windedness and ambition for the book--Ziki is right in saying that he does loose touch with characters in these long digressions on the facts of whaling. There's such a Shakespearean drama to his characterizations that makes the narrative all the more precious when he does get back to it. Then again, I do know that Melville was trying to write something like an encyclopedia, not just of whaling but of knowledge, mystery, and theology, in this novel. He enjoyed making the most unlikely, grubby enterprise--oil drilling--into a perfect illustration of these; at the same time, he wanted to dwarf the human beings who pursued their daily grind in the larger scope of human enterprise that whales and whale hunts have always represented in literature and religion. No one seems aware of these divergent and conflicting contexts--except Ahab. He is the one who always sees the big picture, who tries to elevate whatever little ritual of whaling or item of personal history into a story for the ages. He's most like Melville in this regard, but Melville has the wit to deflate himself every now and then. Just not enough for most of us.
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fanuzzir
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Re: Chapters 61-98, if I had to choose... (spoiler ch 87)

Ziki, I love this chapter too. "And thus, though srrounded by circile upon circule of consternations and affrights, did these inscrutible creaturesat the centre freely and fearlessly indulge in all peaceful concernments; yes, serenly revelled in dalliance and delight. But even so, amid the tornadoed Atlantic of my being, do I myself still for every centrally disport in mute calm; . . . deep down and deep inland I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy."

A remarkable pasage and confession. This is what Ishmael needs and has been looking for; he finds it in the eye of a hurricane. Maybe he needs the calm, but he goes through the hurricane to get it.

Ziki, I don't see where he throws out the terms Loose Fish or Fast Fish. Give me some help?



ziki wrote:
I think the part of the chapter (The Grand Armada) where they get into the "eye of the whales" was nothing short of magic.
From the mad hunt straight into the peace, Queequeg starts patting them on their heads...now, that's my boy....thre's some hope for the human race.

Melville really worked nicely with the contrasts here, it was very visual.
----------
But then he wonders if I am a Loose-Fish or Fast-Fish??? Sometimes I do not get him at all. Do you?

ziki


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Laurel
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Re: Chapters 61-98, if I had to choose... (spoiler ch 87)

Ziki, I don't see where he throws out the terms Loose Fish or Fast Fish. Give me some help?

>>> Chapter 89
"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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doctrine of Loose and Fast-Fish

Bob, correct as Laurel said, chapter 89 and that specific question is at the very end.
It has to do with the law, ownership and I suspect some 'metaphor-system' Melville is up to but admittedly sometimes I am too lazy to grasp his meaning. It is like catching a whale-I might get the harpoon in but then he manages to disapper with the whole body of sense and dives again on me, LOL.

Loose fish is a game to anybody who can catch it..OK, got that i.e. with the colonies... Fast fish belongs to the party fast to it....so is he then implying that I as an individual do not have much freedom the way society functions, the way anybody needs to earn money etc.?

ziki
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Re: The Monkey-Rope (ch 72)


fanuzzir wrote: Then again, I do know that Melville was trying to write something like an encyclopedia, not just of whaling but of knowledge, mystery, and theology, in this novel. He enjoyed making the most unlikely, grubby enterprise--oil drilling--into a perfect illustration of these; at the same time, he wanted to dwarf the human beings who pursued their daily grind in the larger scope of human enterprise that whales and whale hunts have always represented in literature and religion. No one seems aware of these divergent and conflicting contexts--except Ahab. He is the one who always sees the big picture, who tries to elevate whatever little ritual of whaling or item of personal history into a story for the ages. He's most like Melville in this regard, but Melville has the wit to deflate himself every now and then. Just not enough for most of us.





So perhaps Melville succumbed to the great human ambition, namely, to create the science of everything. That makes sense. I feel that the chapters are so loosely woven together that I could pick just about anyone, study it and be busy with it for quite some time.

While reading this part of the book I felt that I was being 'educated' and I wondered if the book really was a fiction. I am not sure I appreciate such rough handling of myself as a reader but if that is what Melville does, I simply follow; not much I can do about it as a reader except to throw the book into the nearest river. In some respect Melville is quite overbearing.

ziki
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Choisya
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Re: doctrine of Loose and Fast-Fish

I think Melville is seeing possession the whole of the law (not nine-tenths) and he extends the argument from whaling to social arrangements in general, nations and the world of ideas. He asks:

"What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but FastFish, whereof possession is the whole of the law? What to the rapacious landlord is the widow's last mite but a Fast-Fish? What is yonder undetected villain's marble mansion with a door-plate for a waif; what is that but a Fast-Fish? ... What are the Duke of Dunder's hereditary towns and hamlets but Fast-Fish? ... And concerning all these, is not Possession the whole of the law?
"But if the doctrine of Fast-Fish be pretty generally applicable, the kindred doctrine of Loose-Fish is still more widely so. That is internationally and universally applicable.

"What was America in 1492 but a Loose-Fish, in which Columbus struck the Spanish standard by way of waifing it for his royal master and mistress? What was Poland to the Czar? What Greece to the Turk? What India to England? What at last will Mexico be to the United States? All Loose-Fish.

"What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What are all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish?

"What is the principle of religious belief in them but a Loose-Fish? What ... are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish! And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?"


The most revealing phrase to me is "What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What are all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish?The Rights of Man and Liberties of the world are loose fish because we have not yet caught them. (Or are they harpooned but not yet landed?) All men's (and reader's) minds and opinions are loose-fish because they are uncatchable.






ziki wrote:
Bob, correct as Laurel said, chapter 89 and that specific question is at the very end.
It has to do with the law, ownership and I suspect some 'metaphor-system' Melville is up to but admittedly sometimes I am too lazy to grasp his meaning. It is like catching a whale-I might get the harpoon in but then he manages to disapper with the whole body of sense and dives again on me, LOL.

Loose fish is a game to anybody who can catch it..OK, got that i.e. with the colonies... Fast fish belongs to the party fast to it....so is he then implying that I as an individual do not have much freedom the way society functions, the way anybody needs to earn money etc.?

ziki


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oh, all those heady Chapters 61-98

Summary chapters 61-98:
These must be the best medicine for insomniacs!
------
But there are some original sayings, like:
Oh! my dear fellow beings why should we longer cherish any social acerbities, or know the slightest ill-humor or envy! Come;let us squeeze hands all round; nay,let us all squeeze ourselves into each other;let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness.

Wow, that Melville was a daring guy!
And next he dresses the priest into the dried skin of the whale grandissimus!
Now, who is too much? It must be Melville after all, not me. :-)

ziki
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? in the congregation of dead ch. 96

[ Edited ]
Excuse me, but what were they doing with the Try-Works?

What were they burning (ok, fritters, whale blubber) but why, what for? Shouldn't sharks eat the rests? Was that too old for them?

Metaphorically 'tis a picture of hell, methinks.

But then HM (his majesty= Henry Melville) mixes Pascal, Rousseau and Rabelais in a quick blend and looses me again to a Catskill eagle, ack, and I feel like a fathead again, sperm whale forgive me. How to fathom this opus? I pity all the school kids.

ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 01-27-200708:30 PM

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fanuzzir
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Re: The Monkey-Rope (ch 72)



ziki wroteSo perhaps Melville succumbed to the great human ambition, namely, to create the science of everything. While reading this part of the book I felt that I was being 'educated' and I wondered if the book really was a fiction. I am not sure I appreciate such rough handling of myself as a reader but if that is what Melville does, I simply follow; not much I can do about it as a reader except to throw the book into the nearest river. In some respect Melville is quite overbearing.

ziki




This is a very accurate description of knowledge at its ultimate, which is power. If you are honest and candid about your reactions to this book then you are in a position to glimpse what the underlying nature of western, Judeo Christian knowlege is.
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fanuzzir
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Re: doctrine of Loose and Fast-Fish


Choisya wrote:
I think Melville is seeing possession the whole of the law (not nine-tenths) and he extends the argument from whaling to social arrangements in general, nations and the world of ideas. He asks:

"What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but FastFish, whereof possession is the whole of the law? What to the rapacious landlord is the widow's last mite but a Fast-Fish? What is yonder undetected villain's marble mansion with a door-plate for a waif; what is that but a Fast-Fish? ... What are the Duke of Dunder's hereditary towns and hamlets but Fast-Fish? ... And concerning all these, is not Possession the whole of the law?
"But if the doctrine of Fast-Fish be pretty generally applicable, the kindred doctrine of Loose-Fish is still more widely so. That is internationally and universally applicable.

"What was America in 1492 but a Loose-Fish, in which Columbus struck the Spanish standard by way of waifing it for his royal master and mistress? What was Poland to the Czar? What Greece to the Turk? What India to England? What at last will Mexico be to the United States? All Loose-Fish.

"What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What are all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish?

"What is the principle of religious belief in them but a Loose-Fish? What ... are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish! And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?"


The most revealing phrase to me is "What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What are all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish?The Rights of Man and Liberties of the world are loose fish because we have not yet caught them. (Or are they harpooned but not yet landed?) All men's (and reader's) minds and opinions are loose-fish because they are uncatchable.

Please file this under my favorite quote. I can't believe I missed it, and I'm so grateful you found it for us. "Republican slaves." Melville spits this phrase out. He can't believe the vaunted free nation has any slaves at all. And his historical sweep, in capturing all the contrary tendencies in modern life. Domination and liberation, possession and evasion, tyranny and human rights: these are not just the choices nations have made since 1492, but the ones everyone makes every day; our lives our immersed in this grand and tragic story. Thanks, everyone, for turning our attention to this.
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Re: The Monkey-Rope (ch 72)



fanuzzir wrote If you are honest and candid about your reactions to this book then you are in a position to glimpse what the underlying nature of western, Judeo Christian knowlege is.





hmmm....one can really wonder if there is any difference between fiction and fact when it comes to that. Gotta think about this.

ziki
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Laurel
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Re: doctrine of Loose and Fast-Fish

All this brings Billy Budd to mind. "Farewell, 'Rights of Man!'"



fanuzzir wrote:

Choisya wrote:
I think Melville is seeing possession the whole of the law (not nine-tenths) and he extends the argument from whaling to social arrangements in general, nations and the world of ideas. He asks:

"What are the sinews and souls of Russian serfs and Republican slaves but FastFish, whereof possession is the whole of the law? What to the rapacious landlord is the widow's last mite but a Fast-Fish? What is yonder undetected villain's marble mansion with a door-plate for a waif; what is that but a Fast-Fish? ... What are the Duke of Dunder's hereditary towns and hamlets but Fast-Fish? ... And concerning all these, is not Possession the whole of the law?
"But if the doctrine of Fast-Fish be pretty generally applicable, the kindred doctrine of Loose-Fish is still more widely so. That is internationally and universally applicable.

"What was America in 1492 but a Loose-Fish, in which Columbus struck the Spanish standard by way of waifing it for his royal master and mistress? What was Poland to the Czar? What Greece to the Turk? What India to England? What at last will Mexico be to the United States? All Loose-Fish.

"What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What are all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish?

"What is the principle of religious belief in them but a Loose-Fish? What ... are the thoughts of thinkers but Loose-Fish? What is the great globe itself but a Loose-Fish! And what are you, reader, but a Loose-Fish and a Fast-Fish, too?"


The most revealing phrase to me is "What are the Rights of Man and the Liberties of the World but Loose-Fish? What are all men's minds and opinions but Loose-Fish?The Rights of Man and Liberties of the world are loose fish because we have not yet caught them. (Or are they harpooned but not yet landed?) All men's (and reader's) minds and opinions are loose-fish because they are uncatchable.

Please file this under my favorite quote. I can't believe I missed it, and I'm so grateful you found it for us. "Republican slaves." Melville spits this phrase out. He can't believe the vaunted free nation has any slaves at all. And his historical sweep, in capturing all the contrary tendencies in modern life. Domination and liberation, possession and evasion, tyranny and human rights: these are not just the choices nations have made since 1492, but the ones everyone makes every day; our lives our immersed in this grand and tragic story. Thanks, everyone, for turning our attention to this.



"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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Chapter 81: Coffee

Would "Stubb's" have been a better choice than "Starbucks?"

"What has he in his hand there?" cried Starbuck, pointing to something wavingly held by the German. "Impossible!--a lamp-feeder!"

"Not that," said Stubb, "no, no, it's a coffee-pot, Mr. Starbuck; he's coming off to make us our coffee, is the Yarman; don't you see that big tin can there alongside of him?--that's his boiling water. Oh! he's all right, is the Yarman."

"Go along with you," cried Flask, "it's a lamp-feeder and an oil-can. He's out of oil, and has come a-begging."

Laurel wrote (here):
Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.
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Choisya
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Re: Chapter 81: Coffee

I only realised today, when reading an article on the American coffee shop chain Starbucks in my Sunday paper that Laurel was referring to those shops!!:smileysurprised: They aren't as common over here, although I have seen one or two in London. Were they named after Moby Dick's Starbuck?? 0




pmath wrote:
Would "Stubb's" have been a better choice than "Starbucks?"

"What has he in his hand there?" cried Starbuck, pointing to something wavingly held by the German. "Impossible!--a lamp-feeder!"

"Not that," said Stubb, "no, no, it's a coffee-pot, Mr. Starbuck; he's coming off to make us our coffee, is the Yarman; don't you see that big tin can there alongside of him?--that's his boiling water. Oh! he's all right, is the Yarman."

"Go along with you," cried Flask, "it's a lamp-feeder and an oil-can. He's out of oil, and has come a-begging."

Laurel wrote (here):
Starbuck is the man for me. I'll bet he would even bring me coffee.



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