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Day 20

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 87-88

April 8, 2022 by Yiyun Li

“There is no folly of the beasts of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of men.” Truer words have never been spoken—so rarely does one get a chance to resort to a cliche like this to express one’s awe.

“If you cannot kill them all at once, you must wing them, so that they can be afterwards killed at your leisure.” This optimism is the same one with which I sometimes make a list of stories and novels to be written later at my leisure.

“Amid the tornadoes Atlantic of my being…while ponderous planets of unwanting woe revolved round me, deep down and deep inland there I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy.” Setting this as an unreachable goal: to aspire is to already have it.

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