Thursday, July 9, 2015

Melville and Frost

Ishamel ponders whiteness, “the intensifying agent in things most appalling to mankind”:

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)

In a poem from 1936, Robert Frost, too, ponders “a dumb blankness, full of meaning, in a wide landscape of snows”:

Frost’s poem also suggests Blaise Pascal: “Le silence éternel de ces espaces infinis m’effraie” [The eternal silence of these infinite spaces frightens me]. Frost’s better-known “Design” depicts a scene in white and white and white, a design, if it is a design, “of darkness to appall.”

Appalling whiteness, of the whale and other things, seems like a good note on which to end these Moby-Dick posts.

Also from Moby-Dick
“Nothing exists in itself” : Nantucket ≠ Illinois : Quoggy : “Round the world!” : Gam : On “true method” : “A certain semi-visible steam” : Ishmael, dictionary user : A Sheffield contrivance

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