I want to read and learn all I can, write thoughtfully and truthfully, live according to reason and ever more mature wisdom, and savor every wonderful little gift of life.
Well, I tried. I really did. But I just couldn’t finish reading Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.
My best friend advised me that life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy, even if they are major titles in the canon of Western literature. This was a very convincing argument, and my decision was sealed when she added that in her opinion (having read the book herself), the highlight of the whole book is at the beginning, when Ishmael and Queequeg become friends. I was long past that scene and hanging on through some incredibly boring ship scenes, trying to stifle curses at the narrator for his maddeningly in-depth discussions of tedious details, and desperately hoping the story would get interesting soon. But apparently it doesn’t, and anyway it’s no good to grit my teeth through a book when there are so many others to really enjoy.
So, now I’m jumping ship. Cliff notes will do for the rest of the story.
For final words of eulogy to this somehow-classic work of literature, I share a quote that touched me, from when Ishmael begins to see Queequeg in a friendly light: “Yet see how elastic our stiff prejudices grow when love once comes to bend them.”