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  • From Cetology

The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever

"But I now leave my cetological system standing thus unfinished, even as the great Cathedral of Cologne was left, with the cranes still standing upon the top of the uncompleted tower. For small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the copestone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draft - nay, but the draft of a draft. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!"


Musing: In this rather odd chapter, I feel the voice of Melville rather than Ishmael. First of all, hardly anyone, even Melville fans, like this chapter. It categorizes whales. When people complain that this book is boring, this is the chapter they refer to. I can't really argue that this is scintillating prose, but if you can wade through it, you get the lines above. It's such meta-fiction, really: The writer who fears the book is not complete and never will be. The call for money as one of the muses. And the line that races down your spine - grand things are never finished by their architects. Who are they finished by? Readers, perhaps?

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