Sunday, June 3, 2012

1996 Quality Paperback Book Club MOBY-DICK

1996 Quality Paperback Book Club, Book of the Month Club, Inc. Printed in the United States of America.  This book is pristine, brand new, never read. Perhaps this book was printed at the beginning of the end of the Printing Age. 1996 marks the beginning of the internet boom.

William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the last half of the nineteenth century, was a Homer scholar. It was he that first noted that the color blue never appears in Homer's works. He speculated that Homer was color blind.

Using Gladstone's logic we wanted to note if Melville was color blind.  We searched the text and found the following: Yellow is mentioned 21 times, Red is mentioned 38 times, Blue is mentioned 46 times, Black is mentioned 82 times and White is mentioned 208 times. But none of the uses of blue are anything but references to the color and not the meaning: melancholy.

Chapter 135 The Chase 3rd Day

...all the past is somehow grown dim. Mary, girl! thou fadest in pale glories behind me; boy! I seem to see but thy eyes grown wondrous blue. 

Melville, it can be assumed was not color blind by his accurate uses of the words. Homer, however, it is agreed uses color in an odd way. The explanation is not that Homer was color blind but that man has become gradually aware of the colors around over time. And why not? In our own short lives we too become aware of the things in front of us as time goes by. 

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