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Day 6

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 22-27

March 23, 2022 by Yiyun Li

Bildad and Peleg, sending Pequod off with emotion and stoicism, are like men leading a funeral procession. On any given day someone is born and someone dies. This funeral for Pequod and its crew, foreshadowing their demise, happens on Christmas.

“Wonderfullest things are ever the unmentionable; deep memories yield no epitaphs; this six-inch chapter is the stoneless grave of Bulkington.” Fate is rarely willing to meet a reader’s expectations: Bulkington’s potential to be a major character is gone.

The two chapters of “Knights and Squires” read like a collection of obituaries: in eight short pages we meet many of Pequod’s crew, each with his own biography, who will all be buried underwater.

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