Quote notes (#99)

In Chapter 70 of Moby Dick, Ahab addresses the severed head of a whale:

“Speak, thou vast and venerable head,” muttered Ahab, “which though ungarnished with beard, yet here and there look hoary with mosses, speak, mighty head, and tell us the secret thing that is in thee. Of all divers, thou hast dived the deepest. That head upon which the upper sun now gleams, has moved amid the world’s foundation. Where unrecorded names and navies rust, and untold hopes and anchors rot; where in her murderous hold this frigate earth is ballasted with bones of millions of the drowned; there in that awful water-land, there was thy most familiar home. …”

(No reason for this beyond indulgence.)

July 31, 2014admin 15 Comments »


15 Responses to this entry

  • Mark Yuray Says:

    Melville knows what vivid imagery is.


    Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 5:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • RorschachRomanov Says:

    Since we’re being indulgent and all, and since the quoted bit could as well have been penned by Lovecraft, I’ll share perhaps the best representation of Gnon I’ve ever encountered, and that most humanist of reactions that, when Gnon reveals itself, through the civilizational sloth in all his/its majesty and horror, one option is recoil…all the way to embracing the void.

    This is from Thomas Ligotti:



    Zerg Reply:

    Explain “O intelligent life of a fool’s future … hear this song” (someone A addresses someone B in this way, apparently taking B to be an “intelligent life of a fool’s future”; B is therefore thought to be someone C’s, the fool’s, intelligent future life, the fool being about to live intelligently?) and I’ll continue to the third line.


    Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 6:08 pm Reply | Quote
  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    Wow. I wouldn’t have thought Brits had ever heard of Moby Dick


    S.C. Hickman Reply:

    :)) That’s like saying: “Wow. I wouldn’t have thought Yanks had ever heard of the Pickwick Papers… still the greatest comedy written of all time! haha


    Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 8:02 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote notes (#99) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 8:38 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:



    Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 10:17 pm Reply | Quote
  • E. Antony Gray (@RiverC) Says:

    “Lift up your heads, O Ye ancient gates, that the Lord of Glory may enter in.”


    Posted on July 31st, 2014 at 11:55 pm Reply | Quote
  • Kgaard Says:

    The thing about Melville is that he describes states of being that we can’t even access anymore because our minds are so fractured by constant stimulation. His four years on a boat at sea were like one gigantic meditation. When I first read The Encantadas I was mesmerized. It is a beautiful depiction … no, wait … that’s not right … it was an evocation of the sleepiness of a calm sea and calm islands. Dude was a master. I don’t even know if I could get through five pages of Melville now without checking my blackberry. Very sad. Something needs to be done!


    Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 2:57 am Reply | Quote
  • Bill Says:

    This is wonderful, thanks.


    Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 4:35 am Reply | Quote
  • Alex Says:

    Ahab is suffering from severe PTSD from losing his leg to an earlier whale encounter. Even with intense suffering beauty can be found. It may be that suffering and pain are part of being willing to let it all hang out, as in talking to a whale head. This may be why America hasn’t had its necessary revolution, we are still too comfortable, gotta go detail my suv. Alex


    Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 12:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Shalmaneser Says:

    A Gnon-relevant Robert Anton Wilson essay on Melville and art:
    “The Doctor with the Frightened Eyes”


    Posted on August 1st, 2014 at 3:54 pm Reply | Quote
  • Wyrd Says:

    As mist and sun are both the same
    We look on as pawns of their game
    They move to testify the day
    Inside out, outside in
    Inside out, outside in
    All the way
    -Yes, “Perpetual Change”


    Posted on August 2nd, 2014 at 6:42 am Reply | Quote
  • Wyrd Says:

    Merlin: Shall I tell you what’s out there?

    Arthur: Yes, please.

    Merlin: The Dragon. A beast of such power that if you were to see it whole and complete in a single glance, it would burn you to cinders.

    Arthur: Where is it?

    Merlin: It is everywhere. It is everything. Its scales glisten in the bark of trees. Its roar is heard in the wind. And its forked tongue strikes like… Whoa, like lightning, yes, that’s it!

    Arthur: How can I? What must I?

    Merlin: Do nothing. Be still. Sleep. Rest in the arms of the Dragon. Dream.

    (the next morning)

    Arthur: Excalibur. It’s part of the Dragon, too.

    Merlin: Oh, yes. You learn quickly.


    Posted on August 3rd, 2014 at 2:08 am Reply | Quote
  • sviga lae Says:

    Just going to leave this here:



    Posted on August 24th, 2014 at 1:36 am Reply | Quote

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