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Moby Dick Chapter 14 Nantucket 
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Post Moby Dick Chapter 14 Nantucket
Chapter Link http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/270 ... m#2HCH0014

Quote:
Nantucket! Take out your map and look at it.

http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&q=nantucket

Quote:
so shut up, belted about, every way inclosed, surrounded, and made an utter island of by the ocean, that to their very chairs and tables small clams will sometimes be found adhering, as to the backs of sea turtles. But these extravaganzas only show that Nantucket is no Illinois.
Living on a rough island where the sea intrudes into the house, with clams growing on tables, we get this stormy image of Nantucket as belted about by the ocean.
Quote:
these Nantucketers, ... peeped in at Behring's Straits; and in all seasons and all oceans declared everlasting war with the mightiest animated mass that has survived the flood; most monstrous and most mountainous! That Himmalehan, salt-sea Mastodon, clothed with such portentousness of unconscious power, that his very panics are more to be dreaded than his most fearless and malicious assaults! And thus have these naked Nantucketers, these sea hermits, issuing from their ant-hill in the sea, overrun and conquered the watery
This vivid poetic image of the whale as a Himalayan ocean elephant, overrun by human ants. Hard to imagine Noah taking two of each species of whale on his ark, especially since they could swim...
Quote:
... two thirds of this terraqueous globe are the Nantucketer's.
actually 71%, never seen the word terraqueous before. Carl Sagan uses it in the introduction to Pale Blue Dot

We were hunters and foragers.
The frontier was everywhere.
We were bounded only by the Earth, and the ocean, and the sky. The open road still softly calls.
Our little terraqueous globe as the madhouse of those hundred thousand millions of worlds.

http://theastronomist.fieldofscience.co ... globe.html


What I don't get about Sagan's use of Melville's line here is that Melville sees the sea as a frontier, and somehow Sagan wants to skip the sea as the next frontier and go to outer space, almost like in a beam me up rapture. My view is that we have barely scratched the surface of human engagement with the ocean, which is the necessary next frontier for us to stabilise the global climate.
Quote:

With the landless gull, that at sunset folds her wings and is rocked to sleep between billows; so at nightfall, the Nantucketer, out of sight of land, furls his sails, and lays him to his rest, while under his very pillow rush herds of walruses and whales.

Pure poetry


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Last edited by Robert Tulip on Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:16 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:13 am
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