View Single Post
Old 12-07-2010, 03:25 AM   #7
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.gmw ought to be getting tired of karma fortunes by now.
 
gmw's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,226
Karma: 69173465
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Australia
Device: Sony650
lilac_jive: Yes I think the lack of popularity at the time it came out, especially from an author that had enjoyed earlier success, does say something - about the book and about its reasons for becoming ... acclaimed, later.

Ralph Sir Edward: I've felt that way about more "literature" before, but for this one I had built up hopes or expectations that were quite disappointed.

foreverjuly: I did try with this book, I came to it with positive expectations, but felt almost as if Melville was working against me. It was the issue of Ahab's obsession that I found most disappointing. Ahab is brought on stage, as it were, with his obsession already extant and, it seemed to me, with little tangible exploration. There is that wonderful quote: "He piled upon the whale's white hump the sum of all the general rage and hate felt by his whole race from Adam down; and then, as if his chest had been a mortar, he burst his hot heart's shell upon it." But other than saying the same thing in several different ways I never felt as though he really added any depth beyond that one wonderful phrase. Starbuck, I felt, had more substance than Ahab.

pwalker8: There were times when I felt has though Melville gave me a reasonable "window into a different sort of world" but then another digression would follow and I would lose my place again. Authors like Dickens, Austen and H.G.Wells (to name some I like) I find will take me some pages or chapters to adapt to their style, so I do know what you mean, but with Melville I felt as though he never gave me much chance because his style kept moving around. (Well, that's they way I felt about it. As you say, different strokes etc.)

jgray: I agree. I felt as though I could go back though and simply drop half the chapters and suddenly get a much better book. Then go through again and drop half the paragraphs from what remained and I think I might get a book I could sit down and possibly even enjoy. I've never seen Moby Dick on film, having read the book now I cannot imagine any film being much like it. (I doubt if I could watch Patrick Stewart without expecting the whole scene to transform into the holodeck .
gmw is offline   Reply With Quote