Moby-Dick (Silent Press Classics) by Herman Melville

By Herman Melville

Essentially the most widely-read and revered books in all American literature, Moby Dick is the saga of Captain Ahab and his unrelenting pursuit of Moby Dick, the good white whale who maimed him in the course of their final stumble upon.

A novel mixing high-seas romantic experience, symbolic allegory, and the conflicting beliefs of heroic decision and timeless hatred, Moby Dick can also be respected for its old money owed of the whaling of the 1800's.

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Rather than explaining time as following a linear axis from past into present into future as in Hegel’s philosophy, Kierkegaard posits that we cannot experience time (including future time) except through a recollection of past events and that therefore our whole life is a repetition: “When the Greeks said that all knowledge is recollecting, they said that all existence, which is, has been; when one says that life is a repetition, one says: actuality, which has been, now comes into existence. If one does not have the category of recollection or of repetition, all life dissolves into an empty, meaningless noise” (149).

Twenty-¤ve years ago I both envied him and despised him for this framework. But there are alternative frameworks. The tangible framework of forgery presents Wyatt a context for accomplishment, a tradition of delimited and delineated perfection in painting. Forgery makes him feel safe, and con¤dent, and able to accomplish his work. The difference is that Stanley is not taking a risk. With the writer Gibbs in J R, there’s no framework whatsoever. He takes the risks, but is destroyed because he has not pursued his work to the end.

WG: I would like to think so. The architecture of The Recognitions puzzled readers for ten years or so. If one reads J R with care, one can see it as a complicatedly structured ¤ction. The characters’ language may not be elegant, but it expresses who they are. TL: How did you keep straight the intricacies produced by this method of composition? WG: I’ve used a large wall to plot relations. Also, voluminous notes and rewrites, putting pieces together, cutting and pasting, throwing half away, rewriting.

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