In another thread I mentioned that I was wading my way through Moby Dick. "Wading", indeed.

Moby Dick is one of that group of books that many people think they have read, but actually have not. Last of The Mohicans; Uncle Tom's Cabin; most people have not actually read those books.

But I have some knowledge of history, interest in whaling and such, so I assigned myself the task of reading - from cover to cover - Moby Dick.

What was I thinking!!??

Here's a sample, and will illustrate the reason that no sane high school English teacher ever assigned the book. It is simply incomprehensible by today's standards. This is one sentence:

But, though, to landsmen in general, the native inhabitants have ever regarded with emotions unspeakably unsocial and repelling;though we know the sea to be an everlasting terra incognita, so that Columbus sailed over numberless unknown worlds to discover his one superficial western one; though, by vast odds, the most terrific of all mortal disasters have immemorially and indiscriminately befallen ten and hundreds of thousands of those who have gone upon the waters; though, but a moment's consideration will teach that, however baby man may brag of his science and skill, and however much, in flattering future, that science and skill may augment; yet for ever and for ever, to the crack of doom, the sea will insult and murder him, and pulverize the stateliest, stiffest frigate he can make; nevertheless, by the continual repetition of these very same impressions, man has lost the sense that the full awareness of the sea which aboriginally belongs to it.

I have a sense - I think - for what Melville is trying to say. What is your sense?