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APS TOGETHER

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville Day 7

March 24, 2022 | Chapters 28-32

28 chapters in—one fifth into the novel—we finally get to meet Ahab, the “supreme lord and dictator” of the Pequod, and the chapter ends with an image of the thunder-cloven old oak sending off green shoots, resonating with Andrei’s revival in War and Peace.

“For a Khan of the pank, and a king of the sea, and a great lord of Leviathans was Ahab.” One would think no other character could bear the name Ahab. Then I encountered, in E. F Benson’s Mapp and Lucia books, a servant comically and unfittingly named Ahab.

“Celology” is one of my favorite chapters, an anchor in facts before we enter “unshored, harborless immensities.” It also reminds me of a zoology exam in college, being given sets of teeth from different fish species to categorize—it was fish forensics!


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