stairwell conversation #44

A: So, what is everyone planning on reading this summer?

S: Well, I decided I had to read Moby Dick after I read the first few pages of it in your car* [gestures at me]. I also want to read some more of Coetzee and McCarthy.

Me: I’m going to read Moby Dick too — I’ve actually never finished it; I always get bogged down in the nautical sections, but since I’ll be living on an island I might be able to get really excited about whaling terminology.

A: I have to read War and Peace and Pilgrim’s Progress because I keep coming across references to them. And more Hannah Arendt — I find her fascinating so far.

Me: Oh, me too. Also, I’m going to read Derrida and Cixous after I finish with Kristeva and Freud. And I bought Of Human Bondage and Jude the Obscure. I’ll probably read those first.

A: And you, E?

E: I’m going to start with Macbeth. I need to brush up on my Shakespeare.


A: We are so fucking pretentious.


*I think everyone should keep a copy of Moby Dick in their car.


~ by Not Alice on May 10, 2007.

5 Responses to “stairwell conversation #44”

  1. Oh, how I WISH I had pretentious friends like you! I don’t get enough fo that sort of thing, and I really wish that I had people in my life who read things like Pilgrim’s Progress for the background information.

    I don’t keep a copy of Moby Dick in my car, but I do carry whatever I AM reading around with me all the time. For fiction, I’m almost through Sunshine by Robin McKinley and am working on The Anatomy of the Nuremberg Trials by Telford Taylor for nonfiction. Not exactly Freud or Plato…

  2. If you like Arendt, might also enjoy Karl Jaspers’ work.

    Also, for the full on Moby Dick experience, I can’t reccomend the Melville Marathon in Mystic Seaport, CT enough. Listening to *all* of Moby Dick being read aloud on a wooden whaling vessel is really somethisg you have to do at least once in your life (it takes 24 hours! You get to spend the night on the boat! And you can even take a turn reading, if you like).

  3. Hi, I’m sticking my nose in here on account of I go to mrschili’s blog so much and decided to go to her links.

    I once read a quip (I wish I could recall the source) about Moby Dick. “Moby Dick is the most famous book nobody you know has ever read.” So I finally read it.

  4. Mrs. C: Was the book on Nuremberg any good? I was very impacted by Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem and would be interested in reading more about Nuremberg.

    Nora: I will definitely have to look into Karl Jaspers, and O, how I wish I could go to the Melville Marathon! I’ll put it on my list of things I would love to do eventually — it sounds fabulous.

    Gerry: Did you like it? I actually think that that quip is more applicable to Joyce’s Ulysses, which was why I read that. Now if only I had understood any of it I would be several steps ahead of my english major peers…

  5. Yeah, I liked Moby Dick.

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