Evidently, today is the anniversary of the original publication of Moby Dick in 1851.  This article, discussing ways to get through its 200K+ word count and thirty eight chapters, thoughtfully distills the story down to twelve words: Sailor. Boat. Captain. Leg. Mad. Sail. Find. Whale. Chase. Smash. Sink. Float.

Yes, I suppose that about sums it up.

Every now and again I get the nagging feeling that I really ought to reread the book myself, now that I’m a reasonably sophisticated middle-aged man and not a loutish high-schooler like I was the last time I had a go at it.  The only thing I remember about my prior experience is that I tended to skim or skip the chapters that went into detailed technical discussion of  life at sea, whales and whaling and focused instead on the “action” parts and What It All Means.  I wonder if I would reverse this practice if I tried again?

I think so.  I think so.

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