My name is Evan! I've made a huge series of illustrations for Herman Melville's Moby-Dick , and I'd like to publish the entire illustrated text of the novel in a classy and carefully-designed hardcover edition. This Kickstarter is a way for you to preorder the book and help make it happen. Thank you for having a look! Moby-Dick is the second public-domain book I've illustrated and self-published , and it's one that I am uniquely obsessed with.
Fiction Ideas. Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach? The poetry of his language echoes the humour of Dickens, the richness of Shakespeare and the cadences of the Bible. This process should be pretty smooth, but delays can Moby dick illistrations in book production and I'll let backers know if anything comes up! Limited 21 backers.
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- My name is Evan!
- Words by Steven Brower.
It was Oct. Today, because the work is in the public domain, it is easier to read the original than ever before; it can be found online in countless places.
Here, get started with the first chapter. Call me Ishmael. Some years ago—never mind how long precisely—having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen and regulating the circulation. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
There is nothing surprising in this. There now is your insular city of the Manhattoes, belted round by wharves as Indian isles by coral reefs—commerce surrounds it with her surf. Right and left, the streets take you waterward. Its extreme downtown is the battery, where that noble mole is washed by waves, and cooled by breezes, which a few hours previous were out of sight of land.
Look at the crowds of water-gazers there. Circumambulate the city of a dreamy Sabbath afternoon. What do you see? Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep.
But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster— tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks. How then is this? Are the green fields gone? What do they here? But look! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling in.
And there they stand—miles of them—leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues,— north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither? Say you are in the country; in some high land of lakes. There is magic in it. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor.
Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever. But here is an artist. What is the chief element he employs? Deep into distant woodlands winds a mazy way, reaching to overlapping spurs of mountains bathed in their hill-side blue.
Go visit the Prairies in June, when for scores on scores of miles you wade knee-deep among tiger-lilies—what is the one charm wanting? Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it? Why did the poor poet of Tennessee, upon suddenly receiving two handfuls of silver, deliberate whether to buy him a coat, which he sadly needed, or invest his money in a pedestrian trip to Rockaway Beach?
Why upon your first voyage as a passenger, did you yourself feel such a mystical vibration, when first told that you and your ship were now out of sight of land? Why did the old Persians hold the sea holy? Why did the Greeks give it a separate deity, and own brother of Jove? Surely all this is not without meaning. And still deeper the meaning of that story of Narcissus, who because he could not grasp the tormenting, mild image he saw in the fountain, plunged into it and was drowned.
But that same image, we ourselves see in all rivers and oceans. It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all. Now, when I say that I am in the habit of going to sea whenever I begin to grow hazy about the eyes, and begin to be over conscious of my lungs, I do not mean to have it inferred that I ever go to sea as a passenger. For to go as a passenger you must needs have a purse, and a purse is but a rag unless you have something in it. I abandon the glory and distinction of such offices to those who like them.
For my part, I abominate all honourable respectable toils, trials, and tribulations of every kind whatsoever. It is quite as much as I can do to take care of myself, without taking care of ships, barques, brigs, schooners, and what not. It is out of the idolatrous dotings of the old Egyptians upon broiled ibis and roasted river horse, that you see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids.
No, when I go to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloft there to the royal mast-head. True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow. And at first, this sort of thing is unpleasant enough.
The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from a schoolmaster to a sailor, and requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it. But even this wears off in time. What of it, if some old hunks of a sea-captain orders me to get a broom and sweep down the decks? What does that indignity amount to, weighed, I mean, in the scales of the New Testament? Do you think the archangel Gabriel thinks anything the less of me, because I promptly and respectfully obey that old hunks in that particular instance?
Tell me that. Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of.
On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. But being paid ,— what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven.
Finally, I always go to sea as a sailor, because of the wholesome exercise and pure air of the fore-castle deck. He thinks he breathes it first; but not so. In much the same way do the commonalty lead their leaders in many other things, at the same time that the leaders little suspect it.
But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way— he can better answer than any one else. And, doubtless, my going on this whaling voyage, formed part of the grand programme of Providence that was drawn up a long time ago.
I take it that this part of the bill must have run something like this:—. Chief among these motives was the overwhelming idea of the great whale himself. Such a portentous and mysterious monster roused all my curiosity. With other men, perhaps, such things would not have been inducements; but as for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote.
I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts. Not ignoring what is good, I am quick to perceive a horror, and could still be social with it—would they let me—since it is but well to be on friendly terms with all the inmates of the place one lodges in. Dive in Right Here.
Nineteenth-century illustration for Herman Melville's 'Moby-Dick'. By Herman Melville October 18, Loomings Call me Ishmael. Related Stories.
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