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Day 12

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 50-53

March 29, 2022 by Yiyun Li

“That unnearable spout was cast by one self-same whale; and that whale, Moby Dick.” I love the entire chapter, “The Spirit-spout,” about the soundless siren song of Moby Dick. Especially love that adjective: unnearable.

“The silent ship, as if manned by painted sailors in wax, day after day tore on through all the swift madness and gladness of the demoniac waves.” The ghost ship, sails on into Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, where it becomes an underwater train.

“The English whalers sometimes affect a kind of metropolitan superiority… regarding the long, lean Nantruckter… as a sort of sea-peasant.” The same encounter between the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse. Some conflicts are as old as Aesop.

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