November 23, 2009

split your lungs

I found this while looking for more images of Rockwell Kent's brilliant illustrations* for Moby Dick (which are preserved in the the Modern Library edition I have been reading), and this is another way to put it:

It is a tribute to Melville's genius that he managed to make such a boring book so compelling. In the hands of a lesser author, the seemingly endless digressions and meditations on whaling and life at sea would be intolerable. But Moby Dick is like a long, utterly mad, epic poem…

*To illustrate future posts, of course.

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