Monday, March 2, 2009

The Life and Opinions of Moby Dick, Whale, Mon.

The strangest thing happened today. Well, ok, so it wasn't that strange, but I just love when this happens, and it fascinates me every time. Maybe I can turn it into a research paper... Anyhow, so there I was checking Recently Banned Literature for anything new, and generally if I have a bit of time Ill pick a blog link at random and check it out. Tristram Shandy caught my eye, and I moseyed on over there to check it out. (Btw, did you know that "mosey" either means to stray leisurely or to leave quickly... love words like that, especially since in this case, being the internet and all, it works perfectly both ways! Anyway, back to the happening...) So, I read a bit, skip around, not really familiar with this work, but I know Defoe so I have a general idea of time frame and all that, checked out William's poem, dusted off a place for it in my mental library-- trying to pseudo familiarize myself with the work. After all if it's "most hated", I'm bound to run across it at some point. So you're probably wondering what is so awesome about this -- well, nothing yet because I realized mid-mosey that I have a paper on Melville due soon and I should probably be thinking about it. So off I go (no wonder I never get anything done...) So off I go to Melville's Marginalia, which my prof. told us about the other day in class. I'm thinking about doing my Moby Dick paper on Moby Dick and Pop Culture (don't ask, I really have no idea yet, except the little nugget of knowledge that Starbucks company name comes from Moby Dick...I'm nervous about that getting me ten or so pages though). Anyway, this Marginalia is awesome! Basically it's a catalogue of books borrowed and owned by Melville, and his inscriptions/marginalia. So obviously I can't search current pop culture for marginalia within Moby Dick as that would be backwards and wouldn't garner any results. So randomly I just type in "music" into the keyword search. Wouldn't hurt to see what Melville knows about music, plus it could always make a nice paper topic if I happened to find any music connections in Moby Dick. (Don't worry, I'm almost to the awesome part...) So I'm reading through the works that Melville owned or borrowed with music in the title or something like that. Most of them are books his father-in-law borrowed while Melville was visiting --hmmm, I wonder what Melville's father-in-law was so interested in music for. So I quickly scroll to the bottom, because by this time I'm remembering that I have a midterm History exam this afternoon, and I should probably go study. There at the bottom of the page what do you think I find?! Sterne, Laurence, 1713-1768 "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gent."

The very last entry. Weird! I mean of course it makes perfect sense that Melville would have read/owned this book since it was pretty popular. But really, how random that I run across it today and while searching a keyword like music. Now how cool (and anticlimactic) is that!!!! :)


William Michaelian said...

Great entry! I suggest you publish these rambling write-ups under the title The Mini Papers of Cassandra LaMothe. Meanwhile I think I’ll change the name of my blog to Recently Blamed Literature.

MegDC said...

Very random indeed. If you want to see a bunch of random evidence of Moby-Dick's influence on current pop culture, check out Cartoons, videos, songs, etc. Good luck with your paper!

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