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Day 3

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Chapters 9-12

March 20, 2022 by Yiyun Li

Father Mapple “offered a prayer so deeply devout that he seemed kneeling and praying at the bottom of the sea.” I often wonder if this image led to this phrase in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping: “the lightless, aireless water below.”

“Content with his own companionship; always equal to himself.” “To be true philosophers, we mortals should not be conscious of so living and so striving.” Queequeg, early in the novel, already sets such a high standard for us mortals.

“Truly to enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself.” Ishmael, embodying Montaigne’s belief: “To philosophize is to learn to die.”

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