Literary Wandering

Literary Wandering

My review of Philip Hoare’s latest book, The Sea Inside, appeared recently in The National, Abu Dhabi’s English-language newspaper. It bore the headline “Deep connections: Philip Hoare’s seminal encounter with a blue whale,” and you can...
Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 136

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 136

And so, finally, we reach the end. When Moby-Dick was published in London by Richard Bentley on October 18, 1851 (using Melville’s original title,┬áThe Whale), it seemed to end with the haunting final words of Chapter 135: Now small fowls flew screaming over the...
Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 135

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 135

And so we reach the climactic confrontation between Ahab and the white whale, Moby Dick. It’s a beautiful morning, which prompts Ahab to meditate on the way that feeling often overrules thinking: “What a lovely day again! Were it a new-made world, and made...
Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 134

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 134

In “The Tail,” Ishmael refers to the phenomenon of breaching, when the whale bounds out of the water and elevates itself into the air before plunging down again: As in the ordinary floating posture of the Leviathan the flukes lie considerably below the...
Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 133

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 133

LIke a dog following a scent, Ahab detects “that peculiar odor, sometimes to a great distance given forth by the living sperm whale” as the chapter opens. As he is hoisted to his perch atop the main royal-mast head, he spies his prey: “There she...