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M. Gallagher's picture

A note on comedy-

So far my favorite thing about Moby Dick, far above the "organic form" and the gorgeous writing, has to be the ample servings of wit, irreverence, and humor. I suppose I still don't expect to giggle my way through 19th century works, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary.

My former roommate, current roomate, and I read to each other at night- and I find myself stopping mid-sentence, quite amused by what humorous insight I've just read. I said in class that I went into reading the novel with as few pre-conceptions (or as many contradicting ones- so as to cancel each other out) that I could manage. While I still hold this to be true, I'm pretty sure no one had ever told me that Moby Dick was funny, even though plenty of people had told me how dull and drearily boring it was (as they would humorously take on the woebegone and histrionic habit of the very Victorian feel they had been complaining about).

I also mentioned in class that one of the few true associations to Moby Dick I had was through a website that parodied "The Bible Code", which while entirely irreverent, seems to fit what we discussed of Moby Dick on Tuesday. Not only is Moby Dick in "conversation with" the Bible (okay, so I'm making a jest there, but it's still making a commentary on the Bible as an authoritative source), but the website furthers the spirit of Moby Dick to give up questionable meaning to those questing. I suppose, I saw it as one-upping the "multiple choice" answers and making a mockery of the whole inevitable process of searching for meaning, which the novel also does.

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