Itinerant Men

Itinerant Men

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Author: Deborah Meadows

Publisher: Krupskaya (2004)

Thinking of the 19th century as a jumble of contradiction—free social experiment and slavery, revolution and charisma, rational enquiry and racial construction—Deborah Meadows has written a book that takes Moby Dick one chapter at a time and performs a reading-through of the novel that combines chance operation with philosophical investigation.

In Itinerant Men various words, phrases, and extended quotations are from Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville—the Penguin edition of 1992.

Penetrating further and further into the heart of the Japanese cruising ground, the Pequod was soon all astir in the fishery. Often, in mild, pleasant weather, for twelve, fifteen, eighteen, and twenty hours on the stretch, they were engaged in the boats, steadily pulling, or sailing, or paddling after the whales, or for an interlude of sixty or seventy minutes calmly awaiting their uprising; though with but small success for their pains.

At such times, under an abated sun; afloat all day upon smooth, slow heaving swells; seated in his boat, light as a birch canoe; and so sociably mixing with the soft waves themselves, that like hearthstone cats they purr against the gunwale; these are the times of dreamy quietude, when beholding the tranquil beauty and brilliancy of the ocean's skin, one forgets the tiger heart that pants beneath it; and would not willingly remember, that this velvet paw but conceals a remorseless fang.