augury doggerel

Thursday, May 30, 2002


I hesitate and read other things (A Midsummer Night's Dream, a book of essays), and I am forced to hunt for an apartment, but I have decidedly signed on again with Ahab. We are, however, still, still dawdling ashore. I am struck again by how profoundly gay the opening is. Gay carefree even as Ishmael explains each portent he trips over, and gay homosexual, boy meets savage. After sharing a bed with the large purple man-eater with the big harpoon, admiring every inch of his fabulous body, and kissing his pagan idol, Ishmael is absolutely in love with Queequeg. And so they marry.

"How it is I know not; but there is no place like a bed for confidential disclosures between friends. Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. Thus, then, in our hearts' honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg -- a cosy, loving pair."

I am of course reading something into this that the author did not intend. There were no homosexuals in 1851.


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