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Melville White Whale Quotes & Sayings

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Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

A gentle joyousness-a mighty mildness of repose in swiftness, invested the gliding whale. Not the white bull Jupiter swimming away with ravished Europa clinging to his graceful horns; his lovely, leering eyes sideways intent upon the maid; with smooth bewitching fleetness, rippling straight for the nuptial bower in Crete; not Jove, not that great majesty Supreme! did surpass the glorified White Whale as he so divinely swam. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

Judge, then, to what pitches of inflamed, distracted fury the minds of his more desperate hunters were impelled, when amid the chips of chewed boats, and the sinking limbs of torn comrades, they swam out of the white curds of the whale's direful wrath into the serene, exasperating sunlight, that smiled on, as if at a birth or a bridal. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

As, blind and deaf, the whale plunged forward, as if by sheer power of speed to rid himself of the iron leech that had fastened to him; as we thus tore a white gash in the sea, — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

Hark ye yet again,--the little lower layer. All visible objects, man, are but as pasteboard masks. But in each event--in the living act, the undoubted deed - there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask! How can the prisoner reach outside except by thrusting through the wall? To me, the white whale is that wall, shoved near to me. Sometimes I think there's naught beyond. But 'tis enough. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

I do not know where I can find a better place than just here, to make mention of one or two other things, which to me seem important, as in printed form establishing in all respects the reasonableness of the whole story of the White Whale, more especially the catastrophe. For this is one of those disheartening instances where truth requires full as much bolstering as error. So ignorant are most landsmen of some of the plainest and most palpable wonders of the world, that without some hints touching the plain facts, historical and otherwise, of the fishery, they might scout at Moby Dick as a monstrous fable, or still worse and more detestable, a hideous and intolerable allegory. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Laurie Anderson

Every book is an alchemical creation, and I'm thinking back to 1857 when Herman Melville arrived in Greece and saw the Parthenon for the first time sitting there like a great beached whale, its big white bones exposed to the winds. But how can this happen? How can a whale turn into a building? Or into a book? In what way can words be alive? — Laurie Anderson

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

Come aboard, come aboard!" cried the gay Bachelor's commander, lifting a glass and a bottle in the air. "Hast seen the White Whale?" gritted Ahab in reply. "No; only heard of him; but don't believe in him at all," said the other good-humoredly. "Come aboard!" "Thou art too damned jolly. Sail on. Hast lost any men?" "Not enough to speak of - two islanders, that's all; - but come aboard, old hearty, come along. I'll soon take that black from your brow. Come along, will ye (merry's the play); a full ship and homeward-bound." "How wondrous familiar is a fool!" muttered Ahab; then aloud, "Thou art a full ship and homeward bound, thou sayest; well, then, call me an empty ship, and outward-bound. So go thy ways, and I will mine. Forward there! Set all sail, and keep her to the wind! — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Jorge Luis Borges

The great American writer Herman Melville says somewhere in The White Whale that a man ought to be 'a patriot to heaven,' and I believe it is a good thing, this ambition to be a cosmopolitan, this idea to be citizens not of a small parcel of the world that changes according to the currents of politics, according to the wars, to what occurs, but to feel that the whole world is our country. — Jorge Luis Borges

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating them, till they are left living with half a heart and half a lung. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

Hast seen the white whale? — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

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. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

I see in him outrageous strength, with an inscrutable malice sinewing it. That inscrutable thing is chiefly what I hate; and be the white whale agent, or be the white whale principal, I will wreak that hate upon him. — Herman Melville

Melville White Whale Quotes By Herman Melville

Small reason was there to doubt, then, that ever since that almost fatal encounter, Ahab had cherished a wild vindictiveness against the whale, all the more fell for that in his frantic morbidness he at last came to identify with him, not only all his bodily woes, but all his intellectual and spiritual exasperations. The White Whale swam before him as the monomaniac incarnation of all those malicious agencies which some deep men feel eating in them, till they are left living on with half a heart and half a lung. — Herman Melville