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  • Writer's pictureDenise Tolan

The Daily Dick: Day 86: Musings From a Sixth Reading of the Great Book

Chapter 82 The Honor and Glory of Whaling

“The more I dive into this matter of whaling, and push my researches up to the very spring-head of it so much the more am I impressed with its great honorableness and antiquity; and especially when I find so many great demi-gods and heroes, prophets of all sorts, who one way or other have shed distinction upon it, I am transported with the reflection that I myself belong, though but subordinately, to so emblazoned a fraternity.”




This is not my favorite version of Ishmael (or Melville). I feel like we are getting another boosting of the whaling industry to show what a tragedy the ending of this story really is.


Ish discusses Greek Gods and historical representations in art and lists a roll call of whalemen throughout history. He even gets religious invoking St George and lands contemporary by calling out Kit Carson.


All of this is basically leading to his next chapter about Jonah, which reminds us of Father Mapple’s sermon about Jonah, so we should be paying attention, right? Right!

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