December 26, 2008

TALK ABOUT ISLAMAPHOBIC:

Call me Bush: Moby Dick is an eerily prophetic allegory of 21st-century America. It should be named as the nation's epic novel (Stephen Kinzer, 8 December 2008, The Guardian)

From the revolutionary war to the present day, many of America's best ideas have come from the state of Massachusetts. Now a new one has emerged. The Massachusetts House of Representatives has approved a bill naming Herman Melville's Moby Dick as the state's "official epic novel".

Congress should follow. No book more deeply and revealingly explains the spasm of madness through which the United States has passed in recent years than Moby Dick. For generations, it has been considered a masterpiece of world literature, but now can it be seen as an eerily prophetic allegory about 21st-century America. It is now truly the nation's epic.

Consider the novel's plot, and how closely it parallels recent American history. A shocking and disfiguring crime is committed. The victim is unable to understand that the enterprise in which he is engaged helped provoke that crime. Instead of reflecting on his own responsibility, he flails out wildly at the diffuse force he believes must be held responsible.


Which casts the jihadis as unreasoning and unredeemable brutes for whom homicidal violence is just their nature?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2008 7:59 PM
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