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Source from LOA
The Hollywood blockbuster In the Heart of the Sea failed to make waves, as it were, this past holiday season, but Library of America fans have reason to be grateful for it nonetheless. The film’s release in December prompted late-night TV host Stephen Colbert to invite LOA Trustee Andrew Delbanco onto his program to explain how the real-life events chronicled In the Heart of the Sea helped inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.
Moby Dick, Chapter 1
having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world.
Moby-Dick rejects male sexual destiny, which Romanticism portrays as servitude to female power. Melville declares: I shall revive the chthonian but in masculine form. The novel subtly hermaphroditizes the great whale without genuinely diluting his masculinity... Like Pym, the book honors a subterranean or submarine deity, a mute, amoral counter conception to talkative, lawgiving Jehovah.