Speaking of Town-Ho’s … (I ask you: what other blog can gracefully segue from Britney’s hoohoo to Moby-Dick?)
Page reached: 254 of 522 (48.66%)
Status Report: Okay, now Melville is just taunting me.
In my last report, I said that I might someday cobble together an abridged version of this book. It turns out that Melville has beat me to the punch. Chapter 54: The Town-Ho’s Story is essentially a short story about another ship’s encounter with Moby-Dick. While long by the standard of most other chapters (it is twenty pages in length), it is considerably briefer than the 522 page account of the Pequod, and the author’s subtext appears to be: “Look at me! I can write tight, concise prose! When I feel like it! Which is never!”
It’s also entirely self-contained. So if reading Moby-Dick in its entirely doesn’t appeal to you, but you are curious to know what the book is like, you could read this chapter over a glass of wine or two and come away feeling like you’ve done “the Melville thing.”
Words looked up:
- Fuller: One who fulls cloth (full: To make a garment full, as by pleating or gathering). From the comments: “Your definition of full is the incorrect meaning in this case: in this context, fulling cloth is to clean and shrink cloth using heat and pressure.” INFORMED!
- Finical: Finicky
- Hove: Past tense and past participle of heave.
- Serried: Pressed or crowded together, especially in rows: troops in serried ranks.