a reply to: zosimov
Very good! So that's his "pseudonym", and, as I suspected an implied lineage to the "black sheep" in the family.
I think it has to do with who's he's addressing in the readership, and that's a definite hint to let them know, but don't we then also have in
Ishmael, the black sheep in the family, the most lovable among us?
That's funny. A good prank.
I see that you see in it, a rebellion, even a diabolical one, but this is the man telling us the story about
the tendencies in man both for a
heartfelt Civility, as Queegueg the savage shows, and the diabolical desires and motivations and obsessions of men like Ahab.
He's doing everyone a favor really, including the Christians, to point out their hypocrisy in matters of the heart and soul.
So have story told by one "Ishmael" is a tell, you're right.
He says CALL me Ishmael.
Thank you. That's very helpful and will be for my upcoming reading. The subtle hint needs to be implied very subtly in the opening line itself,
something else that all intrepid narrators and audio book readers would surely miss.
Soon, I'll be ready to read and record the first five chapters, but I think I'll allow the book study exercise to first inform me before I do the
So the purpose of the upcoming thread can then serve to aid in the understanding required for the best reading that's capable of picking up on these
subtleties of nuance and meaning, both implied and rendered explicit in the text.
Call me Ishmael!
That's hilarious! Good to know. Thank you!
Edit to add: The idea might also be, not one of reliability, but to protect his anonymity
, so to speak (as a literary device), while also
offering a clue as to his true nature and identity, as one orphaned from the general understanding of his fellow "civilized" man, who, once
"enlightened" by the discourse, might take it into his head to do a certain "Ishmael" much harm, if he could but locate him according to his Christian
birth name and proper address as a landsman, leading to yet another hunt of sorts, as if he committed a sort of blasphemy, not against God, but
against civilized men and "pillars of society".
Moby Dick is like a white stone in the sling of a little David.
It's noble, not ignoble. There's no devil in Ishmael, as much as he wishes to fire a type of cannon into a line of unsuspecting savages and beasts of
prey including many a "good" Christian and civilized Statesman.
edit on 4-12-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)