Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Classic" on the Reading Night Table

One of the things I'm trying to do over the course of the year is to turn to some of the classic literature that I should have already read long ago, but never got around to doing. The choice of the moment is Herman Melville's Moby Dick. I've read a very abridged version of this story as a child, but I've never read the real, massive thing. It's such an American classic that it would be a shame to go through life not having read it. In fact, it's pretty pathetic that I haven't read it yet. So, I'm doing it -- reading the thing slowly -- two to three chapters per week -- and squeezing it in between the other novels that I have going right now. And so far, I've really enjoyed what I read. One of the most pleasant surprises for me is Melville's erudition and knowledge of classical mythology. I was expecting detailed knowledge of seafaring and whaling terminology, but not so much of an extensive vocabulary and historical knowledge outside of this realm. As I said, very enjoyable a read so far.

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