March 2011

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I’m taking a class focused on Moby Dick. The book is itself a Leviathan, an epic and a classic. It could be the greatest American novel. It’s one of my favorites and reading it sparks my creativity. But one thing people don’t know about Moby Dick is that it contains a lot of humor. I enjoyed this section:

[I]n common life we esteem but meanly and contemptibly a fellow who anoints his hair, and palpably smells of that anointing. In truth, a mature man who uses hair-oil, unless medicinally, that man has probably got a quoggy spot in him somewhere. As a general rule, he can’t amount to much in his totality.

So even back in 1850, when Moby Dick was written, people were mocking guys who put too much product in their hair.

Call me Willshmael.

Lately I’ve been reading some books on World War II as background research for my novel. But starting tonight and for the next couple months, I’ll be reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville. It’s my favorite American novel, a true epic. So in a few hours, at which time I’ll be reading in bed, I’ll be journeying across the 19th century ocean on a whaling vessel called the Pequod in search of the White Whale.

As I come across great passages, I’ll share them with you…