Jun 30, PM. I don't think Moby Dick is great. This is my answer: view spoiler [I do not understand why this book is considered an American classic, unless it was so designated by an enemy of the USA who wants to make us look foolish.
Sascha Morrell does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. This is a novel that announces itself as the tale of a whaling voyage, and expands from there as if to encompass the whole of existence. Its narrator, Ishmael, admits he is overwhelmed:.
Linda Holmes. Your purchase helps support NPR programming. Book club vice-president Marc Hirsh and I finished the book in June of that year and declared it a great lesson in "how to pursue a pointless battle to its bitter, violent, inevitable end.
Four big words—three nouns and an adjective—are regularly called upon to attest to extraordinary achievement. The four, in no particular order of majesty, are: classic, masterpiece, genius, and great. We nod assent to received opinion, and hope that assent will be enough.
The book is sailor Ishmael 's narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahabcaptain of the whaling ship Pequodfor revenge on Moby Dickthe giant white sperm whale that on the ship's previous voyage bit off Ahab's leg at the knee. A contribution to the literature of the American Renaissancethe work's genre classifications range from late Romantic to early Symbolist. Moby-Dick was published to mixed reviews, was a commercial failure, and was out of print at the time of the author's death in
Click here to watch the complete twenty-minute video program, The Ten Essential Penguin Classicshighlighting each of the essential books. Over a century and a half after its publication, Moby-Dick still stands as an indisputable literary classic. It is the story of an eerily compelling madman pursuing an unholy war against a creature as vast and dangerous and unknowable as the sea itself.
The amount of detail included in this book is ridiculous. It is absolutely awe-inspiring. I like to imagine he did this for future generations, so that he could pass on his knowledge of the trade.
This is a feat of endurance, captain. I love Moby-Dick as much as Philbrick does, and I agree wholeheartedly that you should, in fact, read it. In many ways Moby-Dick is the great progenitor of that species, particularly in American literature. So many of its qualities have become familiar, or overfamiliar, through its imitators: the paper-thin plot, the esoteric digressions, the fantastical or allegorical character names, the staggering variety of voices here ranging from the eloquently bastardized English of Queequeg to the Shakespearean diction of Captain Ahab.
By Heart is a series in which authors share and discuss their all-time favorite passages in literature. A great herd of readers profess devotion to Herman Melville's classic Moby-Dickbut novelists especially seem to love saying they love it. But perhaps they all love a different Moby-Dick.
Born inauthor Herman Melville grew up during the peak of American dominance of the whaling industryroughly the period between and the start of the Civil War. Weaving contemporary accounts and his own experiences as a whaler, Melville created his American masterpiece. The young Melville was famously inspired by the story of George Pollard, the former captain of the whaler Essex.