Beginning Moby Dick

Home Beginning Moby Dick

I’ve started reading Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. I mention Melville’s name not because there is another Moby Dick (a Disney prequel about Ahab’s troubled youth where he forgets to believe in himself?). but because I’m afraid it’s too easy to think of this book as unbirthed, always swimming around in the deep like the whale himself. It’s better, I think, to remember that a man wrote this monster into existence and that it can be read and tamed.

“Whales- Mammal or Fish? Moby Dick is the stupidest book ever written.”
SuperBruinMan at Bruins Nation, from The Stupidest Book Ever Written

Or maybe not. Melville is a classic example of the artist ignored in his own time. His peers were unable to appreciate this thing; what hope have I? Moby Dick has been over-interpreted, under-interpreted, and variously and conflictingly interpreted for over 150 years. Can I add anything interesting to the discussion? Probably not. Hopefully, and more likely, definitely, it can add something to me.

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