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/lit/ - Literature


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9159026 No.9159026 [Reply] [Original]

Has any book ever moved you to tears, /lit/?

I read Moby-Dick about two years ago on my own time, and the book left a powerful imprint on my mind. Now, I'm in a class that requires me to read it, so I'm reading it again. When I read "Loomings," and then "Call me Ishmael" again, I burst into tears. I felt like I was home, like I was back where I belonged.

Has a book ever made you feel that way? Or we can have a Moby-Dick thread. Whatever.

>> No.9159035

Ishmael awakening with Queequeg's arm around me makes me laugh, mostly because I am still reading the book, only just having finished Sermon

>> No.9159043

>>9159026
I can't wait to read this book again.

>> No.9159050

>>9159026
Most of the fiction I read is for the symbolism and understanding the theme and implications in the real world. The only books that have actually left me emotionally moved are shitty books (many children's books) with flawed characters I can relate to. Like Bridge to Terabithia for example.

>> No.9159065

>>9159026
Any advice for someone who hasn't read this book before?

>> No.9159077

>>9159065
Read slowly: the prose is dense and beautiful, though you won't miss the plot if you read fast. You will, however, stifle yourself of some of the best written scenes and most beautiful of images if your goal is to merely finish it. Yes, much like the great white whale, one musnt let pride interfere.

>> No.9159079

>>9159026
Loomings is great but don't get too hung up on it. Read it thru again and note the GOAT passages. There's some big-dick metaphysical shit going on in the novel that you might've forgot.

>> No.9159080

>>9159065
My advice: let it get to you. If it starts to mess with you, let it. Just let it take you on a ride. Decide what it means to your own specific life after you're done with it.

>> No.9159086

Stoner TBQHD, at the end when he asks for Dave Masters, I one teared hard

>> No.9159098

>>9159026
Moby-Dick is incredible. And yes, I teared up in my second reading in several places.

>> No.9159185

>Has any book ever moved you to tears, /lit/

That's how you know it was a good book. I'm not joking

>> No.9159192

>>9159050

Female detected. You've never appreciated good fiction because 1) You've never good fiction 2) You didn't understand what you were reading.

>> No.9159234

>>9159035
>better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunken christian

>> No.9159241

>>9159026
This book is so god damn good.

>> No.9159378

>>9159065
When in doubt: Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze!

>> No.9159457

>>9159065
Yes: read it.

Also I'd say an edition with notes is a good idea, though not essential. Actually I saw OP's gorgeous edition in a charity shop and was surprised to see it didn't have notes and had only a short introduction.

>> No.9159479
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9159479

>read opening paragraph of moby dick on a whim
>keep reading
>suddenly into the book

yeah it's actually a great adventure story which is the base foundation for the whole thing.

>> No.9159510

>>9159378

The joke is that he should pretend to work any time a superior looks his direction. Not even that funny, you only posted it because you don't understand. Stop reading the material of geniuses, pleb, it's pointless. For your sake and ours, it your thoughts contacting those cheapen the value of a masterpiece. Also, you don't get anything out of pretending to understand, middlebrow scum.

>> No.9159515

Keats moves me to tears regularly, but narrative fiction doesn't seem to do it to me for whatever reason. I got close with Lolita, but that's because the prose was so beautiful that the part of my brain that reacts that way to verse started activating.

>> No.9159942

>>9159026
I was going to contribute such a book but your preferences have made me embarrassed and so instead I'll just call you a fag and not associate with your faggotry further op.

>> No.9160074

>>9159026
My favorite scene in the entire novel is Armada, simply beautiful

>> No.9160078

>>9159026
several times during Infinite Jest, especially when i finished it for the 11th time

>> No.9160292

>>9159050
>for the symbolism and understanding the theme and implications in the real world
Then you're doing it wrong

>> No.9160366

>>9159026

Stoner. Don Quioxte.


>>9159065

Read the fucking book

>> No.9160684

>>9159026
Honestly hated the book soon after Ahab actually appeared. Did I learn alot? Yes. Is the book definitely good? Id say so. But its extremely hard to get invested in the book when there are hundreds of pages about menial whaling terminology and tasks. It feels like all the plot and interesting things happen in the first 100 and last 50 pages.

I can understand that good writing itself can hold up a book even if its not an action packed story but Moby Dick just fucking drags on. I also hate that they waste so much time "developing" characters like Starbuck or the timber fucker instead of keeping the story about Ishmael, Queequeg and then Ahab

>> No.9160882

>>9159026
To Kill a Mockingbird and Don Quijote.

>> No.9161457
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9161457

I spent hours yesterday looking for info on various translations of Moby Dick before realizing that it was originally written in English.

>> No.9161499

>>9160684
You missed the point.

>> No.9161529

>>9161457

5/10

Tone down the preposterousness or turn it all the way and be farcical. Straddling the line is an non-funny mix of deadpan and silly. Commit to one or the other and you will begin producing good work

>> No.9161531

The Iliad moved me to tears, yeah. I got misty when Patroklus's shade comes to Akhilleus when he passes out on the shore

>> No.9161546

>>9161529
would it have been better to say the truth?
I spent over ten minutes comparing the three different editions I found in the book store before googling "Moby Dick translation reviews" and realizing my mistake.

>> No.9161548

>>9161499
What "point"? The book is about consuming yourself with revenge, everything surrounding that, especially the whaling tutorials are simply fluff since Melville wanted to impart knowledge that at the time wasnt as readily at peoples fingertips. As a story and as a book knowing about certain tools or species only slows down the book to a crawl

>> No.9161749

>>9161548
Melville started writing the book as an adventure story about revenge, then he read the complete works of Shakespeare and completely reworked it. The adventure story is still the skeleton, but I don't think that's what the book is "about". I think it is more fair to say the book is about man's place in nature, our desperate struggle to separate ourselves from nature, and the all-consuming search for metaphysical understanding.

Those chapters about whaling terminology and methods... while based on reality, they are explained through the lens of an obsessed man who equates whaling with philosophy. For example, just pulled up one of those chapters at random and found this: (from "The Line", discussing the rope connected to the harpoon which surrounds the whalers in their boats):

>Again: as the profound calm which only apparently precedes and prophesies of the storm is perhaps more awful than the storm itself; for, indeed, the calm is but the wrapper and envelope of the storm; and contains it in itself, as the seemingly harmless rifle holds the fatal powder, and the ball, and the explosion; so the graceful repose of the line, as it silently serpentines about the oarsmen before being brought into actual play—this is a thing which carries more of true terror than any other aspect of this dangerous affair. But why say more? All men live enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realise the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life. And if you be a philosopher, though seated in the whale-boat, you would not at heart feel one whit more of terror, than though seated before your evening fire with a poker, and not a harpoon, by your side.

Another example, from the chapter "Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales":
>For all these reasons, then, any way you may look at it, you must needs conclude that the great leviathan is that one creature in the world which must remain unpainted to the last. True, one portrait may hit the mark much nearer than another, but none can hit it with any very considerable degree of exactness. So there is no earthly way of finding out precisely what the whale really looks like. And the only mode in which you can derive even a tolerable idea of his living contour, is by going a-whaling yourself; but by so doing, you run no small risk of being eternally stove and sunk by him. Wherefore, it seems to me you had best not be too fastidious in your curiosity touching this leviathan.

He's obviously not talking about literal whales here... And the fact that most of the novel is filled with these philosophical musings rather than the story further suggests that the story is secondary to the philosophy.

>> No.9161785

>>9161749
"Of Whales in Paint, etc" is probably my favourite "encyclopedic" chapter.
>Nor when expandingly lifted by your subject, can you fail to trace out great whales in the starry heavens, and boats in pursuit of them; as when long filled with thoughts of war the Eastern nations saw armies locked in battle among the clouds. Thus at the North have I chased Leviathan round and round the Pole with the revolutions of the bright points that first defined him to me. And beneath the effulgent Antarctic skies I have boarded the Argo-Navis, and joined the chase against the starry Cetus far beyond the utmost stretch of Hydrus and the Flying Fish.
>With a frigate’s anchors for my bridle-bitts and fasces of harpoons for spurs, would I could mount that whale and leap the topmost skies, to see whether the fabled heavens with all their countless tents really lie encamped beyond my mortal sight!

Compare with Ahab's "I'd strike the sun if it insulted me"

>> No.9161889

>>9159035
We are in the same track. I'm also reading it right now. What I find interesting the naturallity that Ishmael takes Queegueg's body approach after the 'wedding'. Is this a subtitled kind of homerotism or just a wild-like(weird) pure friendship manner?

>> No.9161896

>>9161889
The relationship between Queequeg and Ishmael has launched a thousand dissertations.

>> No.9162010

>>9159026
Moby Dick moved me

Malaparte's "the skin" shocked me into stunned silence

Zweig's "beware of pity" left me an emotional wreck for days and has been lingering in my mind for weeks since reading it

>>
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