By Herman Melville, George Thomas Tanselle
"Moby-Dick," Melville's masterpiece, is among the nice epics in all of literature. Ahab's idolatrous hunt for the white whale drives the narrative at a continuing speed, whereas Ishmael's meditations on whales and whaling, the chic indifference of nature, and the dirty actual info of whale-oil extraction offer a reflective counterpoint. occasionally learn as a terrifying examine of monomania or as a serious inquiry into the sinister results of decreasing existence to symbols, "Moby-Dick" additionally deals colourful and comedian glimpses of lifestyles aboard a whaling send. This moment quantity of Melville's whole prose within the Library of the USA additionally comprises different tales of the ocean: "Redburn," which relates a tender man's initiation into the sailor's lifestyles, and "White-Jacket," a semi-autobiographical account of studies within the U.S. military. All 3 are offered within the authoritative Northwestern-Newberry texts.
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Extra resources for Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (Library of America)
Here I sat till I began to feel very hungry; and seeing some doughnuts on the counter, I began to think what a fool I had been, to throw away my last penny; for the doughnuts were but a penny apiece, and they looked very plump, and fat, and round. I never saw doughnuts look so enticing before; especially when a negro came in, and ate one before my eyes. At last I thought I would fill up a little by drinking a glass of water; having read somewhere that this was a good plan to follow in a case like the present.
Redburn," said I. " "Wellingborough," said I. "Worse yet. Who had the baptizing of ye? Why didn't they call you Jack, or Jill, or something short and handy. But I'll baptize you over again. D'ye hear, sir, henceforth your name is Buttons. And now do you go, Buttons, and clean out that pig-pen in the long-boat; it has not been cleaned out since last voyage. " Was this then the beginning of my sea-career? set to cleaning out a pig-pen, the very first thing? But I thought it best to say nothing; I had bound myself to obey orders, and it was too late to retreat.
And often I used to feel a sort of insane desire to be the death of the glass ship, case, and all, in order to come at the plunder; and one day, throwing out some hint of the kind to my sisters, they ran to my mother in a great clamor; and after that, the ship was placed on the mantle-piece for a time, beyond my reach, and until I should recover my reason. I do not know how to account for this temporary madness Page 13 of mine, unless it was, that I had been reading in a story-book about Captain Kidd's ship, that lay somewhere at the bottom of the Hudson near the Highlands, full of gold as it could be; and that a company of men were trying to dive down and get the treasure out of the hold, which no one had ever thought of doing before, though there she had lain for almost a hundred years.