Friday, July 23, 2010

Hast seen the white whale?

Yes, and I have beaten it!

I finished. Just now. I finished reading Moby Dick. I did it.

After lying about it in the seventh grade to my teacher who made me read it--as a seventh grader!--I finished the book that has dogged me.

There was always a sense in me of something unaccomplished. Now, that whale has been killed. I did it.

Admittedly, the last 30 or so chapters, of course with some that could be deleted with extreme prejudice, were actually quite good. Lots of formal speeches, I like those. And action, real action, near the end. When Ahab looks up into the rigging that is still hanging on Moby from the days of chasing and sees the crewmember they thought lost at sea still tied into the rigging, still looking open-eyed at Ahab, that was a really cool scene. When Ahab spits out his famous "To the last I grapple with thee!" and then gets a noose of rigging around his own neck and yanked off the boat, that was a really cool scene.

I did it.


MegDC said...

Congratulations!!!! I knew you could do it!

Steve Whitt said...

Congratulations! I felt much the same way when I finished. I did it! It is an accomplishment.

I found the last chapters a letdown after Ahab's great speech in "The Candles." So much a ripoff of Macbeth, so predictable, so much a failure of the individual will. Oh, well. There's always Huck Finn, the truly Great American Novel.