Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BEDA 20: 4/20

Once again I have dropped the ball and missed a day of blogging, but I'm still writing it before I go to bed, so for me it's still 4/20/10.
And on this international (actually, it's probably more of a national thing. Maybe Canada too...) pot-smoking day, I think we all know what I'm going to talk about.

Moby Dick.
That's right. For the past few months I have been reading Moby Dick, and I can only compare the process to trying to climb a mountain that is make completely out of glass.
I say this because, normally, if I were to compare a book to climbing a mountain, each word and/or sentence would be another foothold, and slowly you would make your way through the novel one foothold at a time. However, the diction in Moby Dick is so elevated that I feel like I can never get a grip anywhere. I feel sort of shut out from the content of the book because trying to get a grasp on the vocabulary is like grabbing a pane of glass.
Does that make sense?
Note: If I were to apply this metaphor to Ulysses, it would be like climbing a mountain made of glass, then a mountain made of rock, then of alcohol, then realizing you were completely lost and possibly in another dimension.

Anyways, I'm 300 pages into Moby Dick and honestly I don't really see what the big deal is. I think this, like Ulysses, is a book that I would need to be taught or that I would need to read alongside some literary criticism to get the most out of it. Because right now it's just some dudes on a boat looking for a big whale.
Maybe as I continue to push through I'll start to understand why the book is considered by some to be the greatest American novel, but probably not.
Right now I'm stretched between four books, and Moby Dick is not winning that competition, so I don't expect to finish it anytime soon.
The four books in question are a collection of H.P. Lovecraft short stories, Nietzsche, the poetry of Pablo Neruda, and Moby Dick.
Lovecraft is winning by a mile. More on him later.

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