Catching up with Herman Melville

Consider this from a teacher at Fairfield U., a Jesuit institution:

Taking the thesis seriously, Sealey said, means “to acknowledge that any critical investigation of race should devote some time to the problem that is whiteness.”

She should look up Moby Dick and the pursuit of the white whale seen as dangerous.

It is little wonder that Ahab’s demonic pursuit of the White Whale has become an arch metaphor for our distrust of the other, from racial purity to global terrorism.

“Pondering all this, the palsied universe lies before us like a leper,” as Melville concludes, “and like wilful travellers in Lapland, who refuse to wear coloured glasses upon their eyes, so the wretched infidel gazes himself blind at the monumental white shroud that wraps all the prospect around him. And of all these things the Albino whale was the symbol. Wonder ye then at the fiery hunt?”

I’d take a class that took a Melvillian approach. Otherwise, no.

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