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Day 26

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 113-119

April 14, 2022 by Yiyun Li

“How can’st thou endure without being mad?” Only a mad man—Ahab or Lear—puts his bet on being mad. The saner, calmer, braver, more irreverent and more irrelevant ones among us: we endure.

“All this mixes with your most mystic mood; so that fact and fancy, half-way meeting, interpenetrate, and form one seamless whole.” This sentence brings me back to Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and its watery world.

To every Ahab and every Ishmael there is a Starbuck, the pragmatic believer: “Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I look deep down and do believe.”

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