Deborah Hauser

Self inflicted Gaunt spare laid bare

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 45

Chapter 45 The Affidavit  …boiling him down into a peculiarly valuable oil…be economical with your lamps and candles! blood was spilled for it.  Ishmael explains why the prior chapter was so important and lays out an argument to convince the reader that Moby Dick is distinguishable from other whales and acts with malice; and denies […]

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 43

Chapter 43 Hark!  A sailor named Archy  on the middle-watch  hears something and warns that there is someone down in the after-hold that has yet to be seen on deck.  Cue the spooky music. The sailors are filling the scuttle-butt.  Now most frequently used to mean rumor or gossip, scuttle-butt was originally a term for […]

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 42

Chapter 42 The Whiteness of the Whale  It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me. The whale is once again described numerous times as “mystical.” Ishmael examines what the Albino whale symbolizes and why its absence of color bothers him. He briefly touches on racism: “…the white man ideal mastership […]

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 41

Chapter 41 Moby Dick  Human madness is oftentimes a cunning and most feline thing. I’m almost at the one third mark of this voyage. Ishmael describes how Moby Dick is different from other whales in that he is ubiquitous and immortal. Moby Dick is infused with some mystic and malignant quality that invests him with […]

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 40

Chapter 40 Midnight, Forecastle  …the undeniable dark side… This chapter is written like a drama. It opens with the crew on deck. A love song gives way to a whaling song. The diversity of the crew is highlighted  Racist insults are directed at Daggoo. A found poem: oh, sentimental tambourine dance, dance, naked girls shake their […]

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 38

Chapter 38 Dusk  …my miserable office, to obey, rebelling…  Starbuck reconciles himself to helping Ahab reach his “impious end.” He speaks of his own soul with the feminine pronoun: “She’s overmanned;”

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 36

Chapter 36 The Quarter-Deck  Oh, my sweet cardinals!  Ahab reveals to the crew that the purpose of their voyage is to kill Moby Dick the great white whale. Starbuck objects and distinguishes killing Moby Dick for profit if they come upon him in the course of business from seeking vengeance on a dumb brute. Ahab […]

Reading Moby-Dick Chapter 35

Chapter 35 The Mast-Head  A found poem collaged from Chapter 35 exploring the (not so) subtle homoerotic subtext of sailors looking for sperm (whales).  my first mast-head came astronomical madly invoked domestic vortices small seductive compass romantic young man sings out ejaculates one pint of sperm loses his mast-head to the mystic sea