Friday, June 24, 2011

"And God created great whales"

Let it been known to all principalities, kingdoms, and nations– to all men, women, and children–that I have accomplished a most horrific feat. A feat that most men either lie and say they have championed that beast, or feign interest to attempt. For you see– I have been swayed up to the top of the mast in the hempen basket. I have spotted the spout three points off the weather bow. I swear before this court that on the eighteenth of June in the year of our Lord two-thousand-eleven I did indeed finish reading Moby-Dick or The Whale.

Mr. Melville I awe.

"...Death is only a launching into the region of the strange Untried; it is but the first salutation to the possibilities of the immense Remote, the Wild, The Watery, the Unshored; therefore, to the death-longing eyes of such men, who still have left in them some interior compunctions against suicide, does the all-contributed and all-receptive ocean alluringly spread forth his whole plain of unimaginable, taking terrors, and wonderful, new-life adventures; and from the hearts of infinite Pacific, the thousand mermaids sing to them–"come hither, brokenhearted; here is another life without the guilt of intermediate death; here are the wonders supernatural, without dying for them. Come hither! bury thyself in a life which, to your now equally abhorred and abhorring, landed world, is more oblivious than death. Comber hither! put up thy gravestone, too, within the church yard, and come hither! till we marry thee!"
Hearkening to these voices, East and West, by early sunrise, and by fall of eve, the blacksmith's soul responded, Aye, I come! And so Perth went a-whaling."

-Chapter CXII. The Blacksmith


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