Instead, I can't stop thinking about how reading Moby-Dick is like eating a whale. That and the obvious sexual innuendos, but, ahem, you don't really need me to explain those for you.
At first you a presented with this giant whale of a book. It's huge. It's dense. It doesn't look like a lot of fun. It's so large, it's overwhelming, and you think, "Nah, maybe I'll just skip it."
But you gotta do. You just have to start.
So at first, it's not too bad. You decide to start with the tail it's smaller than the head, and it seems doable. And for a little while you're like, "Hey, this isn't bad at all! Look at me, I'm eating whale!"
And then the whale starts to get a little thicker, and your pace slows a little. You're not quite as sure as you once were. You realize whales are HUGE. And you're tired. What you really want to do is go outside in the sun, or go watch the new episode of Suits in air conditioning. But you can't give in.
A little before you're halfway there, you might feel like you're at your breaking point. You'll call your best friend and tell her that you're really sick of whale, and can you just ditch it and go to the beach? And she'll tell you to suck it up and keep going, but it's okay because soon your roles will be reversed and you can be the one screeching at her to NOT GIVE UP.
And then...you'll hit the halfway mark. And it feels AMAZING. Look at all you've eaten! One half of the giant whale is completely gone, and the second half no longer looks as daunting as it did earlier. You totally got this.
Your progress might be slowed a little when the halfway euphoria wears off, but you just keep eating whale. And before you know it, you're about to hit another milestone--the 2/3 mark! And it's rough, but you're prepared to five in and go for the most challenging part.
Okay, that'll be the end of what is probably the grossest metaphor for reading literature ever.
Somewhere in my dark moments, I did ponder the flow of the narrative, and how frustrated I was that Melville can't really tell you anything without showing you snippets of a scene and injecting them with random bits of history and other philosophical asides. I contemplated charting the flow of these chapters, but there are 185 of them, and I was busy eating whale, so I made this pie chart to send to HB instead:
See, every time I try to think about this book in a mature way, I get distracted by the ridiculous. Story of my life.
Until next time...