The Daily Dick: Musings From the Greatest Novel Ever


"Now, with the subordinate phantoms, what wonder remained soon waned away; for in a whaler wonders soon wane. Besides, now and then such unaccountable odds and ends of strange nations come up from the unknown nooks and ash-holes of the earth to man these floating outlaws of whalers; and the ships themselves often pick up such queer castaway creatures found tossing about the open sea on planks, bits of wreck, oars, whaleboats, canoes, blown-off Japanese junks, and what not; that Beelzebub himself might climb up the side and step down into the cabin to chat with the captain, and it would not create any unsubduable excitement in the forecastle."

Musing: How to explain the five men who hid in the bowels of the ship until its first lowering? Be honest. Things that are strange only stay strange for so long. This passage always reminds me of how, in time, I grew used to the craziness of my father and only when a new person came into my life did I see in their face how things really were. We somehow get used to even the extraordinary. It's Melville's language I never take for granted - "what wonder remained soon waned away; for in a whaler wonders soon wane." Gah!

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