Saturday, July 23, 2005

Moby Dick, OBL & W

I took me a while, but I finally finished Melville's Moby Dick. What an ending. They certainly don't write tomes like that any more, or they come across only so often. I won't spoil the conclusion, but can soundly recommend the book to those wanting something a bit more dense than Harry Potter.

In the last pages, I got to thinking that Melville was particularly prescient and his work is a marvelous parable reflecting today's political situation. If Osama bin Laden is Moby Dick, that makes W Ahab. This begs the question, if this parallel can be drawn why is it that OBL has been reduced to a secondary or even tertiary concern for W while Ahab never relents. Perhaps it is because W read the book. No, that can't be. He doesn't read.

Here's the segments that got me thinking on this thread. From page 552 of my copy:

"Great God! but for one single instant show thyself, " cried Starbuck; "never, never wilt thou capture him, old man - In Jesus' name no more of this, that's worse than devil's madness. Two days chased; twice stove to splinters; thy very leg once more snatched from under thee; thy evil shadow gone - all good angels moving thee with warnings: - what more wouldst thou have? - Shall we keep chasing this murderous fish till he swamps the last man? Shall we be dragged by him to the bottom of the sea? Shall we be towed by him to the infernal world? Oh, oh, - Impiety and blasphemy to hunt him more!"

..."And as mechanical," muttered Ahab. Then as the men went forward, he muttered on: "the things called omens! And yesterday I talked the same to Starbuck there, concerning my broken boat. Oh! how valiantly I seek to drive out of other's hearts what's clinched so fast in mine! - The Parsee - the Parsee! -gone, gone? and he was to go before: - but still was to be seen againere I could perish - How's that? - There's a riddle now might baffle all the lawyers backed by the ghosts of the whole line of judges: - like a hawk's beak it pecks at my brain. I'll, I'll solve it, though!"

1 comment:

SheaNC said...

I recently read this one, about the incident which inspired Melville to write Moby Dick: It's a great story, too 8^)