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With an Introduction and Notes by David Herd- Lecturer in English and American Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury and co-editor of Poetry Review.Moby Dick is the story of Captain Ahabs quest to avenge the whale that reaped his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic.But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahabs appalling crusade- it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands- each individual responsible for the security of each.Among the crew is Ishmael- the novels narrator- ordinary sailor- and extraordinary reader. Digressive- allusive- vulgar- transcendent- the story Ishmael tells is above all an education:in the practice of whaling- in the art of writing. Expanding to equal his mighty theme - not only the whale but all things sublime - Melville breathes in the worlds great literature. Moby Dick is the greatest novel ever written by an American....
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