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Day 8

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 33-35

March 25, 2022 by Yiyun Li

“The ringed crown of geographical empire encircles an imperial brain”: the line (and the whole passage) brings to mind the speech of the hollow crown by Richard II.

“Flask, alas! was a butterless man.” “Dough-Boy’s whole life was one continual lip-quiver.” These unforgettable epithets. I would love to introduce a character as someone with a wineless soul, or whose life is a continual sideways glance.

“The Mast-Head” is one gorgeous chapter. Too many good lines to quote. Sometimes I think we readers are mast-head standers, too: some, alert, with the goal to chase and kill the whales; others, dreaming, with elusive thoughts half seen, half felt.

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