I accept and acknowledge that I have posted little to not at all in the last few months. I have been working on a TV pilot, one in which characters who have given up on meaning go forth in drunken confusion to comment with despairing erudition on a life they neither understand nor approve. They strive only to despair elegantly. To stuff their suffering into masks of beauty.
I last read the whale book in, like 2002, so I remember it only sparingly. And I'll tell you what--which you may not believe--it's #@$#@ amazing. I mean….it's like, this guy, Melville, he could write! Cetology!
I'm also transcribing a lot of passages, nowadays, thanks to the Kindle, which makes transcribing so easy. I'm coming more and more to believe that the rote copying of other people's words is the only way to learn to write. In the past, in Austen's time, e.g, such rote copying was widely accepted as a valid learning method. Nowadays, not so much. But it should be.
Anyway, here's a passage I bring forth to you all. It made me think vividly of Johannes, that criminal guitarist. The bit at the end is the bit of note, obviously.
I mean, what crown gives a porpoise-grant? God I want to know THAT story!
It is upon the record, that three centuries ago the tongue of the Right Whale was esteemed a great delicacy in France, and commanded large prices there. Also, that in Henry VIIIth's time, a certain cook of the court obtained a handsome reward for inventing an admirable sauce to be eaten with barbacqued porpoises, which, you remember, are a species of whale. Porpoises, indeed, are to this day considered fine eating. The meat is made into balls about the size of billiard balls, and being well seasoned and spiced might be take for turtle-ball or veal-balls. The old monks of Dunfermline were very fond of them. They had a great porpoise grant from the crown.