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  1. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    Moby Dick, quite simply, is what happens when you don't know the meaning of the words "cut your losses". In the end, Ahab is so blinded by vengeance that it not only inevitably costs him his own life, but the Pequod, and all of those serving aboard. As for how it reads, it's the sign of the times. Read Dickens, same kind of reading.
    That's about it, but there is more...
    Not all the sailors went along with Ahab's crazy desire to enact revenge. Starbuck didn't. Starbuck alone was the man able to stand aside and let everyone else cheer the gold piece nailed to the mast. Starbuck saw the danger. But it didn't help him; he was still aboard the Pequod.

    A sign of the times?...................Could be. Who is Ahab? And Starbuck? And are we all on the Pequod?:)
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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ABC in Georgia View Post
    Hmmm ... Yes and no. Sorry, I have to disagree just a tad. :)

    Is not all that hard to grasp the full meaning of the words that I quoted.



    I really do think the inclusion of the word "insult" used in the author's personification of the mighty sea itself's feelings toward man, in Melville's opening ... covers it. Did for me anyway.

    ~ ABC
    I was talking about the entire passage. I went through it in detail (above).

    The breakdown and translation of the entire passage goes thus:

    Even though the inhabitants of the land have always regarded the ocean with emotions that they can't talk about in polite society

    Even though the sea is such a great unknown that it dwarfs Columbus's discovery of the "New World"

    Even though the most deadly disasters have always happened on the sea, which does not discriminate in who it kills

    Even though the sea will always destroy the most advanced technology of the human race

    Nevertheless, because these impressions of the sea are repeated over and over again, man has lost the sense of what the sea really is in all its primitiveness.



    In other words, the fear of the sea, its unknowability, its deadliness to humans and their advanced technology, have all been dulled by repetition to the extent that humans have really no idea what the sea really is.
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  3. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJCardFan View Post
    Moby Dick, quite simply, is what happens when you don't know the meaning of the words "cut your losses". In the end, Ahab is so blinded by vengeance that it not only inevitably costs him his own life, but the Pequod, and all of those serving aboard. As for how it reads, it's the sign of the times. Read Dickens, same kind of reading.
    Those sentences are decipherable. (I can see no one really looked at my breakdown right after the OP.) You have to be willing to do the work to get the reward.
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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by TruckerMe View Post
    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?

    Seems like I have been humbled in my ability to concoct a run-on sentence.
    I long for the days when our President actually liked our country.
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  5. #15  
    Senior Member Constitutionally Speaking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elspeth View Post
    Famous 19th century sentence structure. Reads like legal language and needs to be diagrammed.




    The 19th century writers studied poetry as well and used language in a multidimensional way. We have lost the knack for reading prose in several dimensions at once.


    So, what you are saying is that I would be considered a genius writer back in the 19th Century! :D
    I long for the days when our President actually liked our country.
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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Constitutionally Speaking View Post
    So, what you are saying is that I would be considered a genius writer back in the 19th Century! :D

    In how many dimensions can you write? :)
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