Just finished Moby Dick for the second time. The first time I read it was 23 years ago, in the summer/fall of 1988 while I was fighting fire in Yellowstone. What a long time ago. I was such a different person then, though I remember loving the book at the time. I love it more now. And to be able to teach it, ah! I’m convinced that this guy, Nathaniel Philbrick is right:
For me, Moby-Dick is more than the greatest American novel ever written; it is a metaphysical survival manual—the best guidebook there is for a literate man or woman facing an impenetrable unknown: the future of civilization in this storm-tossed 21st century.
It takes me back to the reasons I got fired up about this work in the first place.