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Laurel
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Re: Chapter 18: String Too Short to Use

You'r right. There's no way to post a new message within a string without replying to an old one, and it may have nothing to do with the old one. I've gone back to the first page, which is the last page, many a time to try to bring some logic to the order, but I'm getting tired of that. Maybe I'm too frugal with my time.



leakybucket wrote:
Actually, I thought it might be worthwhile exploring the New England mind set to further understand Moby Dick. However, I thought it more appropriate to put this thread under our miscellaneous section rather than clutter up the actual book discussions. It is under "String Too Short to Use" and temporarily you will find it around page 6.

-------Off Topic but I have to make a statement for the record

Unfortunately, this board design in its present form is getting increasingly difficult to navigate. I think this group has been about as well organized as possible and that the posters have been most diligent in maintaining as much order as possible. But it is already getting bad for those of us in the discussion and will totally frustrate those who come on board next week. And we are just getting started in our discussion! Any further statements I will reserve for the Community Room.

Bucky




Choisya wrote:
Perhaps most country folks did this sort of thing before there was access to cars or regular transport, because they would not be able to get to shops easily? The same reasoning would apply on board a ship on a long voyage. It certainly shows the difference between our throwaway society and Bildads.




pmath wrote:
Why would they keep such lengths?


leakybucket wrote:
Actually, this is part of the New England mind set. I remember once visiting the home of an old-time New Englander in Litchfield, Connecticut. In the kitchen there was a jar labeled "String Too Short to Use."

pmath wrote:
I'm not sure whether Bildad was being frugal or sentimental here: maybe both!





"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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chad
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emotion

Maybe I can tone the conversation down a bit by mentioning a common need to feel or emote- commiseration, which brought Ishmael to the same perverted Inn.

Chad
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Choisya
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Re: Chapter 18: String Too Short to Use

Bringing order out of chaos here is very difficult still:smileysad: What 'miscellaneous section' Bucky??? I thought this was an answer that arose from Chapter 18? If it strays off topic a little bit it doesn't matter. Only move things when there are loads of off topic statements. I thought these were all OK.



Laurel wrote:
You'r right. There's no way to post a new message within a string without replying to an old one, and it may have nothing to do with the old one. I've gone back to the first page, which is the last page, many a time to try to bring some logic to the order, but I'm getting tired of that. Maybe I'm too frugal with my time.



leakybucket wrote:
Actually, I thought it might be worthwhile exploring the New England mind set to further understand Moby Dick. However, I thought it more appropriate to put this thread under our miscellaneous section rather than clutter up the actual book discussions. It is under "String Too Short to Use" and temporarily you will find it around page 6.

-------Off Topic but I have to make a statement for the record

Unfortunately, this board design in its present form is getting increasingly difficult to navigate. I think this group has been about as well organized as possible and that the posters have been most diligent in maintaining as much order as possible. But it is already getting bad for those of us in the discussion and will totally frustrate those who come on board next week. And we are just getting started in our discussion! Any further statements I will reserve for the Community Room.

Bucky




Choisya wrote:
Perhaps most country folks did this sort of thing before there was access to cars or regular transport, because they would not be able to get to shops easily? The same reasoning would apply on board a ship on a long voyage. It certainly shows the difference between our throwaway society and Bildads.




pmath wrote:
Why would they keep such lengths?


leakybucket wrote:
Actually, this is part of the New England mind set. I remember once visiting the home of an old-time New Englander in Litchfield, Connecticut. In the kitchen there was a jar labeled "String Too Short to Use."

pmath wrote:
I'm not sure whether Bildad was being frugal or sentimental here: maybe both!








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Re: emotion

Why is there a need to tone the conversation down a bit?




chad wrote:
Maybe I can tone the conversation down a bit by mentioning a common need to feel or emote- commiseration, which brought Ishmael to the same perverted Inn.

Chad


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Laurel
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Re: emotion

Beats me, Choisya.



Choisya wrote:
Why is there a need to tone the conversation down a bit?




chad wrote:
Maybe I can tone the conversation down a bit by mentioning a common need to feel or emote- commiseration, which brought Ishmael to the same perverted Inn.

Chad





"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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Nantucket Quaker

Choisya wrote:
Bringing order out of chaos here is very difficult still:smileysad: What 'miscellaneous section' Bucky??? I thought this was an answer that arose from Chapter 18? If it strays off topic a little bit it doesn't matter. Only move things when there are loads of off topic statements. I thought these were all OK.
-----------------------------------------------

Choisya, you are right it was related to Chapter 18 and Bildad's odd behavior. I probably could have left it here. But then I thought it might be an interesting side topic to develop in its own right and so I decided to set it up as its own thread and add more information to to the subject. I probably cause even more confusion. Sorry. You are right again, trying to create order our of chaos may be an impossible task anyway! I move the discussion on the New England mind set to "Moby Dick: Footnotes, contexts, and obscure references". But it would be fine to continue the thread here as it relates to Chapter 18 (or Chapter 16)

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

Actually, I haven't read Chapter 18 yet but I did read Chapter 16 (a related chapter) last night. I think Melville put together an interesting two-and-a half page discussion of the Nantucket Quaker. His opening paragraph is:

"Now, Bildad, like Peleg, and indeed many other Nantucketers, was a Quaker, the island having been originally settled by that sect; and to this day its inhabitants in general retain in an uncommon measure the peculiarities of the Quaker, only variously and anomalously modified by things altogether alien and heterogeneous. For some of these same Quakers are the most sanguinary of all sailors and whale-hunters. They are fighting Quakers; they are Quakers with a vengeance."

In my B&N Classics Edition it begins on page 106.

Some other tidbits on the Nantucket Quaker.

"Shortly after 1700, Quakerism began to take root and, by the end of the eighteenth century, the Society of Friends was the major denomination on the island, a refuge for Quakers being persecuted in other areas of the Bay Colony. The Nantucket Quakers also became extremely influential in business and government matters. The simple, sturdy dwellings have been continuously occupied and stand today in pristine ranks along cobblestone Main Street and other lanes and byways. Later, with the influence generated by the whaling industry, merchants and master mariners built their homes with an eye to impress their neighbors."

http://www.nha.org/library/faq/quakers.html
http://www.yesterdaysisland.com/05_articles/satire/revolt1.html

It is interesting to note that Starbuck and Coffin were actual names of Quakers, especially since Ishmael attached such significance to the name Coffin.

Bucky
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Re: Moby Dick: Ishmael meets Queequeg - homo-eroticism.

I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. People would probably assume a sexual relationship if such and encounter occurred in public in the US. But this was not part of it at all. This was another culture where such demonstrations were perfectly natural and spontaneous.

I did not see anything sexual in Queequeg and Ishmael's relationship. It was a spontaneous demonstration of their affection and comfortable relationship with each other. It was initially quite foreign to Ishmael who had his lifetime conditioning to behave in a different way. But it was perfectly natural to Queegueg and his culture, and I think that is what made Ishmael more comfortable with the situation in spite of his own culturally conditioned expected behavior patterns. He seemed to adapt rather quickly but Ishmael was very broadminded and eager to learn of new ways. Also, Melville had to get on with his story and didn't have "space" to allow Ishmael more reasonable time to adapt.

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

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. It was inspiration to see a young girl, who against all odds and constantly being put down as an inferior person because she was a girl by the grandfather she adored, prevail and earn the right to be the leader of her people. I also found the episode of the beached whales quite inspirational as well. The entire village turned out to try to save them and see to their comfort until the tide turned. There was genuine grief when they thought the lead whale had died. Highly recommended. Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!

Bucky


Choisya wrote:
I loved the homo-erotic description in Chapter 4 'The Counterpane' of the Narrator waking to find 'Queequeg's pagan arm thrown around me...and then I lay only alive to the comical predicament. For though I tried to move his arm - unlock his bridegroom clasp - yet, sleeping as he was, he still hugged me tight as though naught but death should part us twain...[I] suddenly felt a slight scratch...Throwing aside the counterpane, there lay the tomahawk sleeping by the savage's side as if it were a hatchet-faced baby. A pretty pickle, thought I, here in a strange house in the broad day, with a cannibal and a tomahawk!...At length by dint of much wriggling and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style....he drew back his arm...sat up in bed, stiff as a pike-staff/, looking at me, and rubbing his eyes as if he did not altogether remember how I came to be there, though a dim consciousness of knowing something about me seemed slowly dawning over him.' There follows the Narrator's description of him watching Queequeg getting dressed 'minus his trousers', 'my curiosity getting the better of my breeding...a man like Queequeg you don't see every day, he and his ways were well worth unusual regarding.'

I wonder how that passage was regarded in Melville's day because today it would surely be analysed for its homosexual implications? I also wondered whether the words as though naught but death should part us twain were foreshadowing something?



fanuzzir wrote:
I hope I can enlist you all in an extended discussion of the most striking chapters of this first section, the comic encounter of Ishmael with his new roommate. It is funny, it is self-mocking, it is profoundly reflective on the white imagination, and it is not half as erotic as I thought it to be. The most delicate subjects and wrenching encounters are pulled off with such a jaunty tone. What are your favorite moments? I like Queequeg and his harpoon.




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For Bucky: WHALE RIDER Thread

I'm glad to hear you enjoyed watching it, too, Bucky! Here's a link to the thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=227


leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. ...

...

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. ... Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!
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Modern Day Queeguegs

Thanks Philomath. I should have actually, pointed out their tattooing as well. It seems most likely Queegueg came from that part of the world since the his tattooing and head touching seemed a lot like their customs.

The movie takes place in the modern world and the Maori certainly had changed and adapted to that modern world but they still retained many of their old customs. The movie really was a close glimpse at modern day Queegueg.

Tatoos

http://history-nz.org/maori3.html
http://www.janeresture.com/oceania_tattoos/newzealand.htm

Touching foreheads:

http://www.pbase.com/image/54099567
http://www.nztvl.com/maori03.htm
http://www.newzealand.com/travel/about-nz/culture/powhiri/the-ceremony/hongi-embrace.cfm

--------------------
Dear Sir,

I have met a Maori man, in California, and his greeting to me was fascinating. He put his forehead and nose to mine and stated that this was his custom greeting.

I was curious as to the meaning behind this particular custom. If you could answer or point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it very much.

I am Maori and have been for about a million years now.

The traditional greeting you refer to is known as "hongi" pronounced kind of like "HORE-NGEE."

It is the touching of nose and forehead to share both thoughts and breath.

It is believed that this is the most intimate of embraces as you must invade each others personal space and share that which is literally the "giver of life" Š breath.

The fact that the foreheads, the place in which the third eye resides, are both touching shows the sharing of common thought and knowledge.
-----------------------------------



pmath wrote:
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed watching it, too, Bucky! Here's a link to the thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=227


leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. ...

...

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. ... Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!


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Laurel
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Re: Moby Dick: Ishmael meets Queequeg - homo-eroticism.

I agree with you entirely. I don't think there's anything homosexual about this story.



leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. People would probably assume a sexual relationship if such and encounter occurred in public in the US. But this was not part of it at all. This was another culture where such demonstrations were perfectly natural and spontaneous.

I did not see anything sexual in Queequeg and Ishmael's relationship. It was a spontaneous demonstration of their affection and comfortable relationship with each other. It was initially quite foreign to Ishmael who had his lifetime conditioning to behave in a different way. But it was perfectly natural to Queegueg and his culture, and I think that is what made Ishmael more comfortable with the situation in spite of his own culturally conditioned expected behavior patterns. He seemed to adapt rather quickly but Ishmael was very broadminded and eager to learn of new ways. Also, Melville had to get on with his story and didn't have "space" to allow Ishmael more reasonable time to adapt.

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

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. It was inspiration to see a young girl, who against all odds and constantly being put down as an inferior person because she was a girl by the grandfather she adored, prevail and earn the right to be the leader of her people. I also found the episode of the beached whales quite inspirational as well. The entire village turned out to try to save them and see to their comfort until the tide turned. There was genuine grief when they thought the lead whale had died. Highly recommended. Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!

Bucky


Choisya wrote:
I loved the homo-erotic description in Chapter 4 'The Counterpane' of the Narrator waking to find 'Queequeg's pagan arm thrown around me...and then I lay only alive to the comical predicament. For though I tried to move his arm - unlock his bridegroom clasp - yet, sleeping as he was, he still hugged me tight as though naught but death should part us twain...[I] suddenly felt a slight scratch...Throwing aside the counterpane, there lay the tomahawk sleeping by the savage's side as if it were a hatchet-faced baby. A pretty pickle, thought I, here in a strange house in the broad day, with a cannibal and a tomahawk!...At length by dint of much wriggling and loud and incessant expostulations upon the unbecomingness of his hugging a fellow male in that matrimonial sort of style....he drew back his arm...sat up in bed, stiff as a pike-staff/, looking at me, and rubbing his eyes as if he did not altogether remember how I came to be there, though a dim consciousness of knowing something about me seemed slowly dawning over him.' There follows the Narrator's description of him watching Queequeg getting dressed 'minus his trousers', 'my curiosity getting the better of my breeding...a man like Queequeg you don't see every day, he and his ways were well worth unusual regarding.'

I wonder how that passage was regarded in Melville's day because today it would surely be analysed for its homosexual implications? I also wondered whether the words as though naught but death should part us twain were foreshadowing something?



fanuzzir wrote:
I hope I can enlist you all in an extended discussion of the most striking chapters of this first section, the comic encounter of Ishmael with his new roommate. It is funny, it is self-mocking, it is profoundly reflective on the white imagination, and it is not half as erotic as I thought it to be. The most delicate subjects and wrenching encounters are pulled off with such a jaunty tone. What are your favorite moments? I like Queequeg and his harpoon.







"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: Fanuzzir: Ishmael meets Queequeg - homo-eroticism.

I was not suggesting that it was a homosexual relationship but that the writing is homo-erotic, as the italicised phrases in my quote show. There is a difference between homo-eroticism, homosexual behaviour and homosexuality. I am sure there have been other comments on this aspect over the years. I wonder if Fanuzzir has further comments on this?




Laurel wrote:
I agree with you entirely. I don't think there's anything homosexual about this story.



leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. People would probably assume a sexual relationship if such and encounter occurred in public in the US. But this was not part of it at all. This was another culture where such demonstrations were perfectly natural and spontaneous.

I did not see anything sexual in Queequeg and Ishmael's relationship. It was a spontaneous demonstration of their affection and comfortable relationship with each other.
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Maori Hongi: Rua Tipoki

Thanks for the links, Bucky: I love the rugby photo, and we get a view of Rua Tipoki's arm tattoos!


leakybucket wrote:
The movie really was a close glimpse at modern day Queegueg.

...

Touching foreheads:

http://www.pbase.com/image/54099567

pmath wrote:
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed watching it, too, Bucky! Here's a link to the thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=227


leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. ...

...

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. ... Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!


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Choisya
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Re: Queegueg & Maori customs Haka & Powhiri

[ Edited ]
Thanks for the links Bucky - I've just put Whale Rider on my DVD rental list.

Here are more relevant Maori links - videos of the Haka and details of the Powhiri - rubbing foreheads. (I have a friend who lives across the bay from Waitangi.)

http://www.newzealand.com/travel/about-nz/culture/haka-feature/haka.cfm


pmath wrote:
Thanks for the links, Bucky: I love the rugby photo, and we get a view of Rua Tipoki's arm tattoos!


leakybucket wrote:
The movie really was a close glimpse at modern day Queegueg.

...

Touching foreheads:

http://www.pbase.com/image/54099567

pmath wrote:
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed watching it, too, Bucky! Here's a link to the thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=227


leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. ...

...

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. ... Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!




Message Edited by Choisya on 12-21-200612:40 PM

Message Edited by Choisya on 12-21-200612:42 PM

Message Edited by Choisya on 12-21-200612:42 PM

Message Edited by Choisya on 12-21-200612:44 PM

Message Edited by Choisya on 12-21-200612:47 PM

Message Edited by Choisya on 12-21-200601:39 PM

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Maori Haka

[ Edited ]
Thanks for the link, Choisya: the haka feature is very well-made!


Choisya wrote:
Here are more relevant Maori links - videos of the Haka and details of the Powhiri - rubbing foreheads. (I have a friend who lives across the bay from Waitangi.)

http://www.newzealand.com/travel/about-nz/culture/haka-feature/haka.cfm

pmath wrote:
Thanks for the links, Bucky: I love the rugby photo, and we get a view of Rua Tipoki's arm tattoos!

leakybucket wrote:
The movie really was a close glimpse at modern day Queegueg.

...

Touching foreheads:

http://www.pbase.com/image/54099567

pmath wrote:
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed watching it, too, Bucky! Here's a link to the thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=227

leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. ...

...

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. ... Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!




Message Edited by pmath on 12-21-200603:17 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Haka & French Polynesian cannibal birthing stones.

I thought that my previous post had a video of a Haka - here is one of the All Blacks' frightening performances!:-

http://www.vaughanwylie.com/01/21/update-all-black-haka-video/

It is possible that Melville heard Haka whilst he was imprisoned on the Marquesa islands in French Polynesia, as they are performed there. (The artist Gauguin lived on the largest island and is buried there.)

I also found this interesting picture and account of the 'birthing stones' of the Cannibals of the Marquesas and a gruesome description of their canibal practices:-

http://apdl.kcc.hawaii.edu/~oahu/stories/waialua/killing.htm




pmath wrote:
Thanks for the link Choisya: the haka feature is very well-made!


Choisya wrote:
Here are more relevant Maori links - videos of the Haka and details of the Powhiri - rubbing foreheads. (I have a friend who lives across the bay from Waitangi.)

http://www.newzealand.com/travel/about-nz/culture/haka-feature/haka.cfm

pmath wrote:
Thanks for the links, Bucky: I love the rugby photo, and we get a view of Rua Tipoki's arm tattoos!

leakybucket wrote:
The movie really was a close glimpse at modern day Queegueg.

...

Touching foreheads:

http://www.pbase.com/image/54099567

pmath wrote:
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed watching it, too, Bucky! Here's a link to the thread:

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board/message?board.id=MobyDick&message.id=227

leakybucket wrote:
I watched Whale Rider last night, which had an interesting relevance to Moby Dick. In this movie the men showed a great deal of affection toward one another and would hug each other very warmly and closely and then touch their foreheads together. ...

...

As an aside, I enjoyed Whale Rider very much. ... Thanks to whoever recommended it--I would post it there if I could find the thread again!







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fanuzzir
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Re: Chapter 1: "Loomings"

I'm starting to reread that chapter in a more sinister light as well. I originally enjoyed the jaunty, self-referential tone to the narration that let you think that this is really about me and my hold over you as a storyteller, no matter what philosophy I might utter. After reading how he boards, and the misgivings he has signing onto the Pequod, I can look back at these words more on face value.

Leaky Bucket wrote:
Loomings

I think this is an excellent chapter. It really sets the scene for the story, Melville's philosophy, and we learn quite a bit about our narrator Ishmael. I find the title doubly appropriate but I'm simply sticking with its dictionary meaning for now--a loom or device for weaving often symbolic of the Fates and the foreshadowing of a magnified and threatening form.
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Re: Chapter 18: More on Bildad

From PMath:
I'm not sure whether Bildad was being frugal or sentimental here: maybe both!

I'm beginning to see Bildad and his partner as two of the most original characters Melville has ever created, perhaps two of the most original in American nineteenth century literature. You can't laugh at them; they sign people up for their doom; but you can't stop liking them; they're too eccentric. I found their chapters some of the most unsettling. Ahab, we know what we're supposed to think of him, but these two set the stage, getting us unsettled with the setting and taking us out of Ishmael's comforting and self-comforting narrative voice.
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Re: Chapter 18: More on Bildad

In the kitchen there was a jar labeled "String Too Short to Use."

Did you run for your life? That doesn't sound charming or even eccentric to me but like a noiseless patient spider.
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Re: Nantucket Quaker

Thanks Leaky, for bringing us these interesting portraits of Quakerism. It is clear that it remains something noble and strange to the American perspective, not quite as noble and strange as Queeqeg but filled with many contradictions and confusing moral imperpatives. I do know that Quakers were devoted to international commerce, but as part of an ethic of international "friendship." And they really believed the metaphor. There was also the suspicion that they remained loyal to their own sect, that by not taking part in the American Revolution, they kept something of their nationality to themselves.



Actually, I haven't read Chapter 18 yet but I did read Chapter 16 (a related chapter) last night. I think Melville put together an interesting two-and-a half page discussion of the Nantucket Quaker. His opening paragraph is:

"Now, Bildad, like Peleg, and indeed many other Nantucketers, was a Quaker, the island having been originally settled by that sect; and to this day its inhabitants in general retain in an uncommon measure the peculiarities of the Quaker, only variously and anomalously modified by things altogether alien and heterogeneous. For some of these same Quakers are the most sanguinary of all sailors and whale-hunters. They are fighting Quakers; they are Quakers with a vengeance."

In my B&N Classics Edition it begins on page 106.

Some other tidbits on the Nantucket Quaker.

"Shortly after 1700, Quakerism began to take root and, by the end of the eighteenth century, the Society of Friends was the major denomination on the island, a refuge for Quakers being persecuted in other areas of the Bay Colony. The Nantucket Quakers also became extremely influential in business and government matters. The simple, sturdy dwellings have been continuously occupied and stand today in pristine ranks along cobblestone Main Street and other lanes and byways. Later, with the influence generated by the whaling industry, merchants and master mariners built their homes with an eye to impress their neighbors."
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Father's Mapple's Sermon

[ Edited ]
I have been pondering Father Mapple's Sermon (I also didn't know that protestant ministers used "father") trying to decide the point or lesson being conveyed. Other than the fact it is a nice parallel whale story from the Bible and appropriate for a sermon in a book on whales, I'm not really sure.

One thing I mentioned back in Chapter 1 (Loomings) was that it was the directive issued by Father Mapple to "preach the truth in the face of falsehood" that Ishmael was following in telling his story.

Another thought was the very quotable "if we obey God, we must disobey ourselves." It could be that Ahab following his own obsession was disobeying the will of God. But I don't see where God has indicated His will in this story. Or maybe there is something in the sermon I missed that defines this.

Since Melville seems to be cynical of things maybe he considers a false ship pulpit in a land bound church (especially one more realistically displaying plaques commemorating the deaths of seamen) is an false place for receiving practical advice for true life and death situations at sea. The sermon is just a convenient Biblical story about whales with some nice sounding conclusions made by Father Mapple "full of sound and fury signifying nothing."

I would be interested to what others have to say about this sermon.

Bucky

Message Edited by leakybucket on 12-22-200610:01 PM

Message Edited by leakybucket on 12-22-200610:02 PM

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