Monday, July 13, 2015


"Ignorance is the parent of fear, and being completely nonplussed and confounded about the stranger, I confess I was now as much afraid of him as if it was the devil himself who had thus broken into my room at the dead of night."
—from chapter 3 of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, "The Spouter-Inn"


This chapter is rich. A lot happens.


It opens with Ishmael as "art critic." Then we meet Jonah the bartender. Foreshadowing and more foreshadowing.


We meet Bulkington. I understand that Bulkington is a favorite character of many readers, although I've never understood why. ("...for some reason a huge favorite with them...") In fact, I know that he will appear later, and Melville tells us as much, but I never seem able to remember him. I guess the question to myself is: Why?


We meet Queequeg, which is a great scene, and gives us a couple of great quotes.

"It's only his outside; a man can be honest in any sort of skin."

"[H]e has just as much reason to fear me, as I have to be afraid of him. Better sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken Christian."

No comments: