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Day 18

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 78-81

April 6, 2022 by Yiyun Li

Tashtego stuck in the whale head in a breech position, then rotated by Queequeg to be delivered head first to safety: despite some comments that the novel has but few female characters, there are plenty of housekeeping activities throughout, and now midwifery.

“Has the Sperm Whale ever written a book, spoken a speech? No, his great genius is declared in his doing nothing particular to prove it.” The Sperm Whale is my favorite Taoist, with an attitude of non-action and a lack of desire for human affairs!

“The Pequod meets the Virgin” is a perfect three-act play: set-up with faux comradeship, confrontation with genuine animosity and competition, and an anticlimax resolution, where the winners get nothing.

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