Geek Mythology

June 14, 2010

Moby Dick and the Spill

Filed under: Main — Mackanlee @ 11:06 pm

“In the weeks since the rig explosion, parallels between that disaster and the proto-Modernist one imagined by Melville more than a century and a half ago have sometimes been striking — and painfully illuminating as the spill becomes a daily reminder of the limitations, even now, of man’s ability to harness nature for his needs. The novel has served over the years as a remarkably resilient metaphor for everything from atomic power to the invasion of Iraq to the decline of the white race (this from D. H. Lawrence, who helped revive Melville’s reputation). Now, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, its themes of hubris, destructiveness and relentless pursuit are as telling as ever…Melville’s story “is certainly, among many other things, a cautionary tale about the terrible cost of exploiting nature for human wants,” he said. “It’s a story about self-destruction visited upon the destroyer — and the apocalyptic vision at the end seems eerily pertinent to today.”

– from the article The Ahab Parallax: ‘Moby Dick’ and the Spill By Randy Kennedy in the New York Times

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