Definitions for Moby-Dick

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Wiktionary

  1. Moby-Dick(ProperNoun)

    A work originally titled The Whale in 1851 by Herman Melville, a highly symbolic story about a whaling ship led by Captain Ahab, which begins u201CCall me Ishmael.u201D

  2. Moby-Dick(ProperNoun)

    The elusive white whale hunted in this novel.

Freebase

  1. Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

    Moby-Dick; or, The Whale is the sixth book by American writer Herman Melville and an epic sea story of Captain Ahab's voyage in vengeful pursuit of Moby Dick, a sperm whale who bit off Ahab's leg at a previous encounter. The book received mixed reviews and became a contemporary commercial failure. Out of print at the time of the author's death in 1891, its reputation rose during the twentieth century. D.H. Lawrence called it "the greatest book of the sea ever written." Jorge Luis Borges praised the style: "Unforgettable phrases abound." Today it is considered one of the Great American Novels and a leading work of American Romanticism. Melville's achievement, in scholar Robert Milder's words, was that "[i]n elevating his materials to match the grandeur of his theme, Melville overcame the absence of a native tradition of heroic literature by infusing Old World models with New World color and spirit." Melville began writing the book in the spring of 1850, and proposed its publication that autumn. The book finally appeared a year later, not because Melville interrupted the writing but because his conception of the book evolved in ways still unknown.

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