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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Textual Inspiration #5 & DailyLit Follow-Up

If you may recall from this post, I am testing out the site DailyLit, a website that sends daily portions of books to subscribers' inboxes. I chose Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Perhaps not the wisest choice, however, I'd never read it before, and it being an American classic, it felt important to tuck it under my belt.

I confess to being only on portion number eight of 260. It's gonna be a long read. However, very early on, this passage struck me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I have bolded my favorite phrase. It's the first paragraph:

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago--never mind how long precisely--having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off--then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me.


stu said...

How are you finding the daily-lit site? It doesn't sound as much fun as just going to the nearest library.

Stephanie said...

Stu, I'm still sort of feeling my way through the DailyLit site. At the moment, I'm not that comfortable with it, but I'm determined to give it a chance. I'll post a follow-up in a few more weeks maybe.