Moby Dick is probably the most famous American novel. It is about an egomaniacal whaling captain and his rabid pursuit of a giant white whale as told by a guy named Ishmael. It is considered to be one of the best books ever written about the sea. As with all great art it has had many generations of critics pouring on layers of meaning and symbolism. And it is held in far higher esteem and has enjoyed far more success in the 20th and 21st century than it ever did in Herman Melville’s time.It is amazing to me how critics and professors are actually the people who create great art by agreeing to work together to shape public opinion with generations of analysis and interpretation. They are carving out a job for themselves by worshiping some dead collection of ornate, convoluted and impenetrable words that some guy wrote a long time ago. To me the whale represents chaos, the certainty of death and other stuff. Prove me wrong. Give me a well crafted and easy to read and grok novel written by Hemingway any day.
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