Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moby-Dick Reading

With the reading of Moby-Dick completed, I thought this blog needed a better table of contents to help someone stumbling upon it read it in and order that is more useful than reverse chronological. I learned much as I went on; these are in rough (but not perfect) chronological order of writing, so if you read through, you will learn with me. Also note this table of contents doesn't contain my postings on Melville subjects other than Moby-Dick or on a few tangential or procedural things that came up during the read.

Here we go:

The Preliminaries, for reading prior to tackling the book, to give you some notion of the world you are about to enter:

1. Why People Don't Finish Moby-Dick: My general head's up on approaching the book.

2. Some Background Research: a bit of humor

3. Some critical background:
a. Bruce Franklin, Vishnu and Melville's Humor: Some words on and with one of my favorite critics
b. Melville and My Critics
c. Of Useful False Dichotomies
d. A book to be read, not decoded
e. The Americans before the great revival
f. The revival
g. Review of "Why Read Moby Dick"

4. A few bits of color on Melville's world, including some suggestions for background reading:
a.Prelude to a Ship
b. Hawthorne's World
c. Some reading before reading
d. The Wide World (written about 1/3 of the way along in the book)

Introductions to Key Characters:

1. "Comical Obligations: The religions of the characters
2. Enter Ahab
3. Notable savage: Queequeg
4. The Cadet: Ishmael
5. The Harpooners
6. The Whale:
a. The Whale and how to know it
b. The Whale and what it is not

The Book itself:

1. Random thought or two on etymology
2. Loomings
3. Massachusetts' First Gay Marriage
4. The Try-Pots: food fit for a beast
5. Fanciful Reality: The Pulpit
6. Sermonizing, Literature and Currency
7. The Ramadan: a Hindu interpretation
8. Primordial Divinity
9. A break
10. The Pipe
11. Of Cetology and chaos
12. Head well, ye Pantheists
13. The stage, the storm, enter: Pip
14. Whiteness
15. Filling bottomless bellies
16. The voice of the whale
17. Ishmael and cetacean foreskin
18. Homeric visions
19. True religion
20. Song of the Typhoon: first verse
21. Song of the Typhoon: second verse
22. Identity of Job; other courses to sail


My review

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