Yi Shun reacts to Moby-Dick
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WhereThe Notable ThingWhat Went Through My Head
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Page 46, Chapter 11"There is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast." Aww, that's nice. And probably spot-on.
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Page 47, Chapter 12"It is not down on any map; true places never are."This is adorable and means utterly f*** all.
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Page 104, Chpater 32
"For small erections may be finished by their first true architects; grand ones, true ones, ever leave the capstone to posterity. God keep me from ever completing anything. This whole book is but a draught--nay, by the draught of a draught. Oh, Time, Strength, Cash, and Patience!"This just made me mad. It's a startling confession to find in a book that's already rife with a bunch of extraneous crap that contributes nothing to the plot or the forward motion. Did Melville have an editor? (Serious question. I poked around a bit but couldn't find anything.)
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Page 105, Chapter 33
"Never mind how much like an old Mesopotamian family these whalemen may, in some primitive fashion, live together."Good gravy, what the hell does this even mean? Is this something contemporary readers of this book would understand? Who would know how a Mesopotamian family lives, anyway??? (I keep on trying to add new syllables to "Mesopotamian." Not that it needs any.)
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Chapter 42Nearly all of this chapter is dedicated to the superiority of whiteness: "Though in many natural objects, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if imparting some special virtue of its own...and though various nations have in some way recognized a certain royal preeminence in this hue...and though the pre-eminence in it applies to the human race itself, giving the white man ideal mastership over every dusky tribe..."utterly disgusting. read all of this chapter with my mouth open, although I tried to read it with some kind of historical lens on. 
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Chapter 50..."the Oriental isles to the east of the continent---those insulated, immemorial, unalterable countries, which even in these modern ays still preserve much of the ghostly aboriginalness of earth's primal generations, when the memory of the first man was  distinct recollection, and all men his descendants, unknowing whence he came, eyed each other as real phantoms, and asked of the sun and the moon why they were created and to what end; when though, according to Genesis, the angels indeed consorted with the daughters of men, the devils also, add the uncanonical Robbins, indulged in mundane amours."I really liked this, for some reason. I liked the acknowledgement of something mysterious about "the Oriental isles," especially at the end of a chapter that discussed a fearsome person from that region. (I won't argue the weird "aborginalness" phrasing.)
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Page 212, Chapter 70
"An intense copper calm, like a universal yellow lotus, was more and more unfolding its noiseless measureless leave upon the sea."This is just bad writing.
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Page 213, Chapter 71
"A small, short, youngish man, sprinkled all over his face with freckles, and wearing redundant yellow hair."Hunh? He was wearing a wig? Is that why it's redundant hair? I'm so confused.
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