ebookclassics

Still reading … Moby Dick (Chapters 16-30)

mobydickreadalongbuttonBook, hyphen; whale, no hyphen.

Today I learned Moby-Dick should actually be hyphenated. How did I miss this? Sure enough, the hyphen appears in millions of search results, but not the cover of my Kobo ebook (or the text in my ebook it would seem). Apparently, when you refer to the book it should be hyphenated, but it you refer to the whale leave it out. Huh? What? Melville!

American Icon

So how will I read Moby-Dick as a Canadian? The book is considered the greatest American novel of all time, a reflection of the social and moral struggles of an America in transformation that is still relevant today. We share a continent, but developed so differently as nations during this period. The U.S. gained independence and Canada remained a collection of colonies under British rule, each country with a different destiny to pursue. Although this is true, I think the themes in Moby-Dick are universal and will resonate no matter where you were born. We all have dreams and stars to chase.

Ship Terminology

Quarter-deck, rigging, forecastle, bulwarks? Neither the Star Trek Enterprise nor the annual work booze cruise adequately prepared me for all the shipping terminology in this book. I will need to find a ship diagram to use as a reference. Any suggestions?

How are you enjoying the book?

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16 comments on “Still reading … Moby Dick (Chapters 16-30)

  1. Risa
    June 6, 2013

    I don’t think I’ve ever come across a hyphenated “Moby-(?)Dick”. This is the first I’ve heard/read of it!

    As for the ship terminology…so far it isn’t exactly greek and latin to me. I’ve read a few books where the action takes place on the sea, so while I don’t have first hand experience, I do have a fairly vagie idea of what these might be.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      June 6, 2013

      Not sure how I missed the hyphen either since I’ve been reading the book and researching online for weeks. I must have lazy eyes!

      This is my first sea adventure, if you could call it that, but I do have some Jack London books on my list and I think one of them is on a ship. Have you read any of his books?

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  2. lauratfrey
    June 6, 2013

    I noticed the hyphen thing a while ago, but I’m already committed to no hyphen, so too bad.

    “Huh? What? Melville!” might end up being a pretty good assessment of the book as a whole 🙂

    With the shipping terms and other archaic words, I’m using the dictionary on my Kobo. I’ve noticed dictionaries still have definitions for words that are way out of popular usage. Good thing they move so slowly!

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    • ebookclassics
      June 6, 2013

      I think I need to get my eyes checked. If I didn’t read an article that specifically highlighted the whole hyphen issue I probably wouldn’t have caught on. I probably should be looking up all those ancient words, but for now I’ve just been letting them sail on by! Perhaps you could summarize some of your favourites …

      Like

      • lauratfrey
        June 7, 2013

        That’s a really good idea. I may do that for my next post… which I should probably start drafting soon…

        Like

  3. Mabel
    June 6, 2013

    No, no, no. Gone With the Wind. is the greatest American novel of all time. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      June 6, 2013

      Ha ha, I’m just regurgitating what’s out there. But what do they know, right? Ooh, I love that book too! It’s been so long since I read it.

      Like

    • lauratfrey
      June 13, 2013

      Two wildly different books, I would think? Still need to read GWTW!

      Like

  4. greenpete58
    June 7, 2013

    You may also want to check out Melville’s first book, “Typee.” Much easier to digest than “Moby-Dick,” but there’s still a lot of deep insight (as well as humor). Yeah, actually the title when originally published (1851) was “Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.” When Melville died in 1891, he was practically forgotten, and the NY Times obit spelled it “Mobie-Dick” (!!!).

    As for Mabel’s comment about “Gone With the Wind,” I’ll just say “Shiver me timbers.”

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    • ebookclassics
      June 8, 2013

      I didn’t know about “Mobie-Dick”. Poor Melville couldn’t catch a break, could he? I read he made very little money from the publication of Moby-Dick and was depressed about all the criticism it received. Are you a fan of any of his other books?

      Ha ha, no fan of fiddle dee dee? Mabel is incredibly romantic … and I guess so am I!

      Like

      • greenpete58
        June 8, 2013

        Re “romance,” many of the early reviewers of “Moby-Dick” called it a “sea romance.” But the word had a much different meaning back then. Until I guess the mid-20th century, the term “romance” seemed to be used synonymously with anything fictional.

        It looks like you’re Canadian…you might be interested in knowing that one of the only book reviewers of the 19th century to recognize Melville’s genius was a Canadian writer, named Archibald MacMechan. He actually met Melville not long before he died. By then Melville was a forgotten man, and MacMechan said he just did not want to talk about his books.

        I’ve read all of Melville’s sea books except “Mardi,” which even latter-day scholars dismiss. Besides “Moby-Dick,” you can’t go wrong with “Typee,” “Redburn,” and “White Jacket.” Another favorite is the novella “Benito Cereno,” which is a weird, ironic, and powerful look at slavery and the vacuousness of some men’s souls.

        Good luck with your reading, and I admire your goal (and blog)!

        Like

    • lauratfrey
      June 13, 2013

      Ha! Such odd title, to my ears anyway.

      Like

  5. ebookclassics
    June 13, 2013

    I may need to add Gone With The Wind and Typee to a list of the next 100 classic books I’m going to read.

    Like

  6. Brie @ Eat Books
    June 21, 2013

    How did we all miss the hyphen? My physical copy is even hyphenated! Someone actually pointed this out to me on twitter too, about how they were glad to see that goodreads has hyphenated Moby-Dick. I never noticed it until then. Now I’m obsessed about it! Do I go back and change all my non-hyphenated Moby Dicks?! 😉

    I’m a little bit behind in the readings than you guys, but I am not enjoying this third section as much as the first. I want to get back to the main story and I want Ishmael to narrate again. And I want to read more about Ishmael and Queequeg! I’m finding it hard to get myself to pick up the book knowing the next chapter I read isn’t going to be about the main story (although I’m hoping that’s about to change soon!).

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      June 21, 2013

      Missing the hyphen still throws me too. Obviously my powers of observation are non-existent. I also wondered if I needed to correct my non-hyphenated Moby Dicks. Would this be an automatic fail on an exam?

      I’m deep into the book, but mostly because I want to get to the end. I’m enjoying it and get why it’s considered brilliant, but it does require some extra effort.

      Like

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