“Moby Dick ye have seen—Moby Dick—Moby Dick!” (Moby-Dick)

Literature, Writers

“It’s a white whale, I say,” resumed Ahab, as he threw down the topmaul: “a white whale. Skin your eyes for him, men; look sharp for white water; if ye see but a bubble, sing out.”

All this while Tashtego, Daggoo, and Queequeg had looked on with even more intense interest and surprise than the rest, and at the mention of the wrinkled brow and crooked jaw they had started as if each was separately touched by some specific recollection.

“Captain Ahab,” said Tashtego, “that white whale must be the same that some call Moby Dick.”

“Moby Dick?” shouted Ahab. “Do ye know the white whale then, Tash?”

“Does he fan-tail a little curious, sir, before he goes down?” said the Gay-Header deliberately.

“And has he a curious spout, too,” said Daggoo, “very bushy, even for a parmacetty, and mighty quick, Captain Ahab?”

“And he have one, two, three—oh! good many iron in him hide, too, Captain,” cried Queequeg disjointedly, “all twiske-tee be-twisk, like him—him—” faltering hard for a word, and screwing his hand round and round as though uncorking a bottle—”like him—him—”

“Corkscrew!” cried Ahab, “aye, Queequeg, the harpoons lie all twisted and wrenched in him; aye, Daggoo, his spout is a big one, like a whole shock of wheat, and white as a pile of our Nantucket wool after the great annual sheep-shearing; aye, Tashtego, and he fan-tails like a split jib in a squall. Death and devils! men, it is Moby Dick ye have seen—Moby Dick—Moby Dick!”

From Chapter 36 of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.

About these ads

3 thoughts on ““Moby Dick ye have seen—Moby Dick—Moby Dick!” (Moby-Dick)

  1. A fine excerpt, almost as fine as the sinking of the Pequod, which in my opinion is one of the greatest endings in western literature and which I hearby request.

    1. I will sink the Pequod for you.

      No, seriously, I’ve been listening to the superb audiobook reading by William Hootkins and mentally underlining passages and then sharing them here. The book seems richer every time I read it.

  2. I must look out for that reading. Perhaps it will help me decide which is the greatest novel (that i’ve yet read) in the English language: Moby Dick or Vanity Fair. Since one of the greatest attributes of Moby Dick is the rhythm and lyricism of the language, maybe listening to a good audio book could be even more pleasurable than a personal read.

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s