Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kudos on completing your mission

Gotta give you props, JLea, for not only the detailed live book blogging but for making good on the promise to yourself to read "Moby Dick."

Though I confess I can't think of anything less conducive to getting wrapped up in a story than stopping every few chapters to write about what you've read. It reminded me a bit of teachers who'd advise us to take notes on things like theme and character and foreshadowing while we read. Ugh. Who wants to do that?

When I first read the novel a gazillion years ago in high school, I too wondered why the endless chapters on the whale and the gams, etc.

Now though I think that maybe Melville's obsession with detail in those chapters speaks to Ahab's obsession itself. Perhaps those sections are designed, not to bore the reader, but to manifest just how deeply Ahab has been overtaken by his quest for revenge.

- Tricia Ambrose



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