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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale (English Edition)
 
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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Herman Melville
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Avec Moby Dick, Melville a donné naissance à un livre-culte et inscrit dans la mémoire des hommes un nouveau mythe : celui de la baleine blanche. Fort de son expérience de marin, qui a nourri ses romans précédents et lui a assuré le succès, l'écrivain américain, alors en pleine maturité, raconte la folle quête du capitaine Achab et sa dernière rencontre avec le grand cachalot. Véritable encyclopédie de la mer, nouvelle Bible aux accents prophétiques, parabole chargée de thèmes universels, Moby Dick n'en reste pas moins construit avec une savante maîtrise, maintenant un suspense lent, qui s'accélère peu à peu jusqu'à l'apocalypse finale. L'écriture de Melville, infiniment libre et audacieuse, tour à tour balancée, puis hachée au rythme des houles, des vents et des passions humaines, est d'une richesse exceptionnelle. Il faut remonter à Shakespeare pour trouver l'exemple d'une langue aussi inventive, d'une poésie aussi grandiose. --Scarbo

Extrait

Call me Ishmael. This resonant opening of Moby-Dick, the greatest novel in American literature, announces the narrator, Herman Melville, as he with a measure of slyness thought of himself. In the Scriptures Ishmael, a wild man sired by the overwhelming patriarch Abraham, was nevertheless the bastard son of a serving girl Hagar. The author himself was the offspring of two distinguished American families, the Melvilles of Boston and the Gansevoorts of Albany.

Melville's father cast something of a blight on the family escutcheon by his tendency to bankruptcy which passed down to his son. Dollars damn me, the son was to say over and over. When he sat down in the green landscape of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to compose Moby-Dick he was in debt, the father of one son, and another to be born a few days after the publication of the novel in England.

Melville had published five novels previous to Moby-Dick; the first two did well, and then with the capriciousness of the public the subsequent novels failed to please. He was a known literary figure with a fading reputation. How he came upon the courage to undertake the challenging creation of the epical battle between a sea creature, a white whale called Moby Dick, and an old captain from Nantucket by the name of Ahab is one of literature's triumphant mysteries. Add to that, as one reads, that he was only thirty-two years old.

Ten years before, in 1841, he had signed up as a common seaman on the whaling vessel Acushnet bound for the South Seas. Young Ishmael was drawn by the lure of the sea and by the wonder of the whale itself, the Leviathan, the monarch of the deep, "one grand hooded phantom, like a snow hill in the air." Until the discovery of petroleum oil in 1859 and Thomas Edison's invention of the incandescent lamp in 1879, whaling was a major commercial occupation in New England. Fortunes were made, grand houses were built, often with a "widow's walk" on the roof that testified to the great dangers of the enterprise. For the crew, service on a whaler was a drastic life of unremitting labor; foul, crowded quarters; bad food in scanty servings; contractual terms for years at miserable wages; brutalized companions picked up from all the ports of the world; tyrannical captains practicing a "sultanism" which Melville abhorred. A ship afloat is after all a prison. Melville was on three whalers in his four years at sea and from each, as we read in Typee and Omoo, the struggle is to escape, as he did when the boats anchored near exotic islands. He wrote about the misery of the whaling life, but not about whaling itself until he came to Moby-Dick. His imaginary whaler, the Pequod, death bound as it is, would be called, for an ordinary seaman, an agreeable berth. Ahab has no interest left beyond his internal struggle with one whale.

Still, there is whaling, the presumption of it. When a whale is sighted small boats are detached from the main vessel and the men engage in a deadly battle to try to match, with flying harpoons, the whale's immense strength and desperation. If the great thing is captured, the deck of the main ship becomes an abattoir of blood and guts. The thick blubber is to be stripped, the huge head to be drained of its oils for soothing ambergris, for candles; the bones of the carcass make their way into corsets and umbrellas and scrimshaw trinkets. Moby-Dick is a history of cetology, an encylopedic telling of the qualities of the fin-back, the right whale, the hyena whale, the sperm whale, the killer whale, classified by size in mock academic form as folio, octavo, and so on.

Information about a vanished world is one thing, but, above all else, this astonishing book is a human tragedy of almost supernatural suspensiveness, written in a rushing flow of imaginative language, poetical intensity, metaphor and adjective of consuming beauty. It begins on the cobbled streets of New Bedford, where Ishmael is to spend a few days before boarding the Pequod in Nantucket. The opening pages have a boyish charm as he is brought to share a bed with a fellow sailor, the harpooner Queequeg, an outrageously tattoed "primitive" who will be his companion throughout the narrative. Great ships under sail gave the old ports a rich heritage of myth, gossip, exaggeration, and rhetorical flights. Ishmael, on a Sunday, visits a whaleman's chapel to hear the incomparable sermon by Father Mapple on Jonah and the whale, a majestic interlude, one of many in this torrential outburst of fictional genius.

As Ishmael and Queequeg proceed to Nantucket, the shadows of the plot begin to fall upon the pages. The recruits are interviewed by two retired sailors who will struggle to express the complicated nature of Captain Ahab. We learn that he has lost a leg, chewed off by a whale, and thus the fated voyage of the Pequod begins. Ahab has lost his leg to a white whale Moby Dick and is consumed with a passion for retribution. He will hunt the singular whale as a private destiny in the manner of ancient kings in a legendary world. However, Ahab is real and in command. The chief mate, Starbuck, understands the folly of the quest, the danger of it, and, as a thoughtful man longing to return to his wife and children, he will speak again and again the language of reason. "Vengeance on a dumb beast that simply smote thee from the blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous."

The necessity of Starbuck's human distance from the implacable imperative of Ahab's quest illustrates the brilliant formation of this harrowing tale. But it is Ahab's story, his destiny, and, if on the one hand, he is a shabby, sea-worn sailor long mesmerized by mercurial oceans, he too has a wife at home and a child of his old age. We learn, as the story proceeds, that on a time ashore after his terrible wounding, he had fallen and by way of his whalebone leg been unmanned. He has suffered an incapacity not to be peacefully borne by one who in forty years had spent only three on land. Ahab knows the wild unsuitability of his nature, his remove from the common life.


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 855 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 556 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 1456529463
  • Utilisation simultanée de l'appareil : Illimité
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B004TRXX7C
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
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0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 bien jouer auteur 18 février 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
bien jouer auteur,

bon livre pour passer le temps

merci pour le gratuit livre que j'ai addoré

je n'avait rien a faire chez moi alors j'ai commencé à lire ce livre j'ai bien aimé le début , après je n'ai pas trouvé comment se finir de lire,

bravo
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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5  430 commentaires
22 internautes sur 23 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A bizarre book, but with such wonderful language and imagery 15 novembre 2011
Par Audiobook Bandit - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
To say that Moby Dick is long, rambling, and weird, would be to understate the case. Many - perhaps most - of its 135 chapters are entirely extraneous to the plot. There are long unnecessary discourses on obscure whaling practices. Minor characters are introduced at length...and then promptly forgotten. Even the main character - the narrator - fades into obscurity as the book shifts from a first-person narrative to a more omniscient perspective. Apparently, more than one contemporary reviewer of Melville thought that the author had literally gone insane while writing the book...and perhaps he did.

But it's all really wonderful! Here's what I like about it: Often-brilliant prose with beautiful words, amazing extended metaphors, and vivid imagery. That's it in a nutshell. Even chapters that have nothing to do with the plot are fun to read when they're written well.

We live in a modern society that is often depressingly impatient. I think it's too bad that modern readers want their books to get started, move quickly, get to the point, and be done with it already! It's weird, isn't it? We read books because we (hopefully) want to read them; they provide an interesting diversion. Why, then, are we impatient for them to be over? Why not enjoy each chapter of Moby Dick for its own sake? Weird, rambling, but brilliant, they are enjoyable, if you suspend the need for instant gratification. I think it helps that I have a two hour commute in the car every day, and listened to this as an audiobook.

Oh, one other interesting side-note: The book has remarkable thoughts / insights / scientific questions about whales. One fascinating thing to think about is the visual system of whales. Whales have two eyes on either side of their enormous, massive heads. There's no way they can see directly in front of themselves... which means that means they almost definitely perceive two entirely-distinct visual fields. How are those disparate visual signals combined in the brain? How does a whale process spatial information? What a remarkable question Herman Melville posed in the 1850s!
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Man I was stupid in High School... 26 octobre 2011
Par mike996 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
Well, not really stupid but i just didn't have whatever it took to appreciate this novel. I tried to slog through it back then and I don't even recall if I actually made it; I certainly didn't remember any of it. But I just read it again for what felt like the first time and wow...

This book has more passages worth quoting on a variety of subjects than anything I have ever read. It's a wonderful story about whaling and about human nature. It brings alive an extremely important part of American history and the spirit that made this country what it is. I used to be amused that it was considered a "great American Novel." I thought a great novel was something like "Coma" or "Timeline." : ButI suspect that for other than the really intelligent and perceptive (of which I certainly was not as a youngster) the scope and feeling of this book may not be apparent until one has quite a few years under his/her belt.

An absolutely glorious work.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Speak not to me of blasphemy, man; I'd strike the sun if it insulted me 10 décembre 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
The white whale tasks me; he heaps me. Yet he is but a mask. 'Tis the thing behind the mask I chiefly hate; the malignant thing that has plagued mankind since time began; the thing that maws and mutilates our race, not killing us outright but letting us live on, with half a heart and half a lung. We all have so much in common with Captain Ahab, be it hate, fear, loathing or losses. Great book, classic which due to the old English is not read enough.

I
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Tough but worthwhile 29 juillet 2013
Par psycho1 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
It is done! Took me about 4 months but so glad I persevered. Sometimes we must learn to let our issues go.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Meet the magnificent white whale and improve your vocab in the process. 4 décembre 2013
Par Katya W. Mills - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Melville really captures life on the Northeast Atlantic seaboard, rugged and raw. The writing is clear and though the plot is not always driving forward on every page, such is the allowance for great writers anywhere. The characters are fascinating. I doubt I would have continued reading, if it weren't for Melvilles gift of characterization. Not unlike Charles Dickens, in his ability to draw up such a clear image in your mind. Television will never paint a picture so clear! One thing that is nice about reading this on a kindle was the ability to look up words. Melvilles vocabulary is huge and I found an interesting word I did not know, every few pages or less. And in between the lines, you can find a wonderful love of life and sense of humor. Man against the elements. Let Melville take you into his world for a while, and meet the magnificent white whale. You won't regret it.
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Passages les plus surlignés

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&quote;
In this world, shipmates, sin that pays its way can travel freely and without a passport; whereas Virtue, if a pauper, is stopped at all frontiers. &quote;
Marqué par 133 utilisateurs Kindle
&quote;
It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all. &quote;
Marqué par 113 utilisateurs Kindle
&quote;
Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Methinks my body is but the lees of my better being. In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me. &quote;
Marqué par 105 utilisateurs Kindle

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