Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:25 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn. 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
Chapter link: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0003

The boggy, soggy, squitchy picture in the entrance to Mr. Coffin's welcoming though spare establishment, the Spouter Inn of New Bedford Massachussets, has some strange allegorical meaning. What could this besmoked defaced painting be? By diligent study and a series of systematic visits to it, and careful inquiry of the neighbors, Ishmael looks for any way to arrive at an understanding of its purpose.

Perhaps New England hags had endeavored to delineate chaos bewitched? And what was that long, limber, portentous, black mass of something hovering in the centre of the picture, with its indefinite, half-attained, unimaginable sublimity? By oath, Ishmael had to find out what that marvellous painting meant. Could it be the breaking-up of the icebound stream of Time? Or maybe, maybe a whale?

Calling this smoky dark picture a portentous sublimity has perhaps a purpose, quietly introducing the main character. Ishmael shares with the curious reader "a final theory of his own, partly based upon the aggregated opinions of many aged persons with whom he conversed upon the subject." Perhaps it is the exasperated fish, able to crush a sailing vessel with his very size.

Past the whale painting, an array of strange and rare flotsam includes a harpoon that entered a whale at the tail and was found in its neck after migrating a full forty feet like a needle in the flesh. Sounds painful.

The bar may have been an inspiration for Star Wars, manufactured from the head of a right whale and dispensing poison. A little withered old Jonah, who, for their money, dearly sells the sailors deliriums and death in carefully made swindlers' tumblers. Bedarned and ragged, their beards stiff with icicles, the obstreperous whalers at the bar seemed an eruption of bears from Labrador.

So, when Mr. Coffin invites Ishmael to share the bed of a harpooner, there being no other room at the inn, it comes as no surprise that Ishmael made up his mind that "if it so turned out that we should sleep together, he must undress and get into bed before I did". Shades of Mr. Churchill's famous deprecation about naval tradition. Who could this suspicious harpooner be? Mr. Churchill's comment rears again when Mr Coffin explains the harpooner is "out a peddling, you see, and I don't see what on airth keeps him so late, unless, may be, he can't sell his head."

All of course is explained in a way that would avoid unwelcome enquiries from the censor, but you may wish to read the explanation yourself.

Image

Ishmael examines the painting: http://www.timothyvermeulen.com/portfol ... terInn.jpg


_________________
http://rtulip.net


The following user would like to thank Robert Tulip for this post:
DWill
Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:23 am
Profile Email WWW
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Almost Comfortable


Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 15
Location: France
Thanks: 5
Thanked: 10 times in 7 posts
Gender: Female
Country: United Kingdom (uk)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
To continue with the Proust comparison - here Ishmael makes as much to-do about his getting to bed as Marcel, and just as the latter's good night kiss allowed Marcel to sleep, so Queequeg's benediction does the same for Ishmael.



The following user would like to thank Chris27 for this post:
DWill, Robert Tulip
Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:33 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
Proust, damn his infernal soul, was mentioned in the context of chapter one and chapter two of Moby Dick, with regard to his Melvillian eye for detail. This is a conversation topic best ignored by those like me whose knowledge of Proust is entirely third hand, so please forgive my mistakes.

It was DWill, with that seemingly innocuous madeleine biscuit, best forgotten, who compared the puissant Mystic clam chowder* to some possibly urinary French tract by Proust. Apart from the inherent confusion emerging from all remembrance of things past, there is something very perplexingly French about Marcel kissing himself goodnight.

Ishmael had a perfect excuse for his fear of Queequeg, given the appalling build up of trepidation and quake-in-boots expectation that Melville subjected us to.

* http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/puissant


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:17 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Doctorate


Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 508
Thanks: 48
Thanked: 123 times in 102 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Gambia (gm)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
The connection between ‘Star Wars’ and the ‘Spouter Inn’ is a good one. The crew of the Grampus head straight for the bar ‘Enveloped in their shaggy watch coats, and with their heads muffled in woollen comforters, all bedarned and ragged, and their beards stiff with icicles, they seemed an eruption of bears from Labrador.’
I could (and have) read this chapter over several times, and still enjoy the comedy.
Ishmael is already very nervous about sharing a bed with a stranger, after being told by the landlord that ‘the harpooner is a dark complexioned chap …..he eats nothing but steaks, and likes ‘em rare’. He decides to sleep on a bench so the landlord obligingly planes a wooden bench for him ‘…the while grinning like an ape’.
When he decides to share a bed after all the landlord casually mentions that the harpooner sells heads. He seems to enjoy goading Ishamel into fits of rage –‘I’m not green’ he rages, but the landlord obviously has a different opinion.
Melville keeps us in delighted suspense the whole chapter, as we watch Ismael first examine and puzzle over the harpooners belongings . He is even frightened by his own reflection in the mirror by now. The harpooner arrives, and Ishmael sees him by candlelight. Melville reveals the harpooners body piecemeal – first of all the dark, purplish yellow face, with tattooed black squares, then the bald head, with just a small scalp-knot twisted up on his forehead. ‘His bald purplish head now looked for all the world like a mildewed skull’, and finally his completely tattooed body. We are kept in suspense while the harpooner performs a religious rite. Ishmaela is frozen with fear, and when the harpooner finally puts out the candle and climbs into bed, Ishmaela cries out, and in the darkness and confusion the harpooner threatens to kill him.
‘Landlord! Watch! Coffin! Angels! save me!’
The landlord appears (rather too quickly) grinning ‘Don’t be afraid now;, said he ‘Queequeg here wouldn’t harm a hair of your head’.
It’s a lovely chapter. I’m going to watch the film again, because I don’t think it does justice to this chapter.


_________________
Life's a glitch and then you die - The Simpsons


The following user would like to thank heledd for this post:
DWill
Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:09 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Doctorate


Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 508
Thanks: 48
Thanked: 123 times in 102 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Gambia (gm)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
My Gutenberg version has an illustration of Queequeg that I love. I wanted to take a closer look, but could not find it online. It depicts a Queequeg totally naked, but with barely an inch not tattoed. He is holding a fan and perhaps what could be a harpoon?


_________________
Life's a glitch and then you die - The Simpsons


Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:12 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Doctorate


Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 508
Thanks: 48
Thanked: 123 times in 102 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Gambia (gm)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
The cover, I think is by Rockwell Kent


_________________
Life's a glitch and then you die - The Simpsons


Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:36 am
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Platinum Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 6361
Location: Luray, Virginia
Thanks: 1850
Thanked: 2037 times in 1542 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
I promise not to mention Proust again. It appears that Chris27 is the only one who knows anything about him anyway. That was a rip-roaring chapter. What I have to add to the commentary is trivia. Back when we were reading the Top 500 Poems, we came to John Crowe Ransom's "Bells for John Whiteside's Daughter. The line "It is no wonder her brown study Astonishes us all" gave us some trouble. I don't think we realized that "brown study" wasn't Ransom's invention, but had a long history, having come to mean by his time, being sunk in thought. I caught the phrase in the chapter after the landlord obligingly planes down the the bench for Ishmael's sleeping comfort (so accommodating). "So gathering up the shavings with another grin, and throwing them into the great stove in the middle of the room, he went about his business, and left me in a brown study."

If you have any interest in this detail, wiseGEEK can help. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-brown-study.htm

The poem is a good one, by the way.

Bells For John Whiteside's Daughter, by John Crowe Ransom

There was such speed in her little body,
And such lightness in her footfall,
It is no wonder her brown study Astonishes us all

Her wars were bruited in our high window.
We looked among orchard trees and beyond
Where she took arms against her shadow,
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,
Lying so primly propped.



The following user would like to thank DWill for this post:
lindad_amato
Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:16 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
heledd wrote:
My Gutenberg version has an illustration of Queequeg that I love. I wanted to take a closer look, but could not find it online. It depicts a Queequeg totally naked, but with barely an inch not tattoed. He is holding a fan and perhaps what could be a harpoon?


Here is one illustration of Queequeg scrimshawed on a sperm whale tooth from http://www.marinearts.com/Pages/rfweissqueequeg.htm

Image


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Last edited by Robert Tulip on Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Mar 03, 2012 12:31 pm
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Doctorate


Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 508
Thanks: 48
Thanked: 123 times in 102 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Gambia (gm)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
Yes that is very similar, but different to the one I have. The one I have shows him full body. But in essence it's the same. I was surprised at how many different film versions have been made. Which do you consider the best?


_________________
Life's a glitch and then you die - The Simpsons


Last edited by heledd on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:54 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Doctorate


Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 508
Thanks: 48
Thanked: 123 times in 102 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Gambia (gm)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
So do you think Queequeg is Polynesian? Also - was he really a cannibal? Because Ishamael calls him that before he has met him.


_________________
Life's a glitch and then you die - The Simpsons


Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:43 am
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

Gold Contributor

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 5831
Location: Canberra
Thanks: 2289
Thanked: 2216 times in 1675 posts
Gender: Male
Country: Australia (au)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
whoa there horsey. Queequeg introduces himself a few chapters hence. One thing at a time

Image


_________________
http://rtulip.net


Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:02 am
Profile Email WWW
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Intern


Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 155
Location: British Columbia
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 16 times in 12 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: Canada (ca)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
Does any one know what Skrimshander means? The landlord of the Inn calls Ishmael that.



Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:19 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Intern


Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 155
Location: British Columbia
Thanks: 1
Thanked: 16 times in 12 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: Canada (ca)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
heledd wrote:
So do you think Queequeg is Polynesian? Also - was he really a cannibal? Because Ishamael calls him that before he has met him.


It may be a little too early for me to tell. New Zealand is mentioned. Which is close to New Guinea where they had a thing for shrinking heads and cannibalism. With the mention of tomahawk he could be a Native American.



Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:28 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Doctorate


Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 508
Thanks: 48
Thanked: 123 times in 102 posts
Gender: Female
Country: Gambia (gm)

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
Sorry. Posted that in the wrong chapter. I was reading that a skrimshander is a sailor who makes things, eg. wood carvings.


_________________
Life's a glitch and then you die - The Simpsons


Sun Mar 04, 2012 10:55 am
Profile Email
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Official Newbie!


Joined: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: None specified

Post Re: Moby Dick Chapter 3. The Spouter-Inn.
I found this chapter pretty funny! Poor, Ishmael....i have a visual of Queeqoog that could scare the pants off of you...lol


BTW, do we have a spell check here?



Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:16 pm
Profile Email
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


Recent Posts 
• Naked Ambition: A Male Stripper’s True Account of Making Girls Behave Badly

Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:18 pm

stefandiamante

• The Depopulation Agenda - war on humanity

Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:19 am

DWill

• Seeking reviews for my adventure book called Truth Come to Light

Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:39 am

AuthorTaryn

• A Wintry Tale of Music, Adventure and Lost Love

Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:56 am

kl07-04

• promoting my ebook: Logic against Evolution

Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:28 am

person123

• The Coup against Donald Trump

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:36 pm

KindaSkolarly

• Science Fiction Reviewers Needed - Okuda!: A Dryden Universe Corporate Wars Novel

Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:06 pm

BookBuzz

• The Galaxy Series by Renee Steffan

Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:28 am

Steffanrenee

• "That Feeling When You Know You're Doomed" is now $0.99 on Amazon until Dec. 10.

Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:17 am

JamesGBoswell

• "It’s 2039, and Your Beloved Books Are Dead"

Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:37 pm

LanDroid

• When Dreams Come to Pass volume 1 & 2 available for $1 each on Amazon in US

Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:59 am

Dave

• Seeking Reviewers - Contemporary Holiday Romance - Snowflake Wishes, Christmas Kisses

Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:51 pm

josette

• Seeking Reviews for the YA Romance Novel - Street Magic By Taylor S Seese

Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:50 pm

josette

• 173 Declared Democratic Presidential Candidates

Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:57 pm

KindaSkolarly

• Children's Book Reviewers Wanted - Meeting Kaia (Kaia the Fairy in the Garden)

Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:18 pm

AdrianvAuthor


Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank