Herman Melville: Moby-Dick (Paperback, 2003, Penguin Classics) 4 stars

"Command the murderous chalices! Drink ye harpooners! Drink and swear, ye men that man the …

too smart? too soon?

4 stars

  1. So thoroughly about whales and whaling and the pre-fossil-oil industry that trying to write a book about any of that without reference to this now feels impossible. Thankfully, I'm not writing a book of whale facts; its been done.
  2. "Blood for Oil!" (p291) This story echoes Don Quixote's wandering and precarity, but connects more immediately to the modern world's thirst for exploitation. Seriously relevant.
  3. Technical knowledge's belief it has overcome passions and the most inevitable, which gives justification for the huge bulk of whale and whaling facts, while also constantly and purposefully undercutting the worth of reading all that.