Sunday, April 7, 2013

2012 Penguin English Library Moby-Dick

We ordered this book directly from the UK, from West Sussex to be exact, because, well, to be honest, we love love love the cover.  Its become increasing apparent by comments and traffic to this blog, that, for those who don't care so much for the text, the covers are their jam. 

We have no real desire to touch this book, the cover being so crisp and the binding fresh. But to read a few facts about the publication we had to peek inside. Gingerly, we opened it to ascertain the publication date, peeking in between the pages we were not too surprised to see printed on the bottom of the reverse of the title page that Penguin is committed to a sustainable future for their business, their readers and "our" planet. Phew, that means that no polar bears were harmed in the production of the series. Good for them. And we certainly hope they mean that, but not too strongly, because if you take that position to the extreme, it may make sense, to save the planet, to stop printing books and only provide e books, and that makes us uneasy, queasy really, a bit of spit up just came to our mouths.

Chapter LXXIX  The Praire

Has the Sperm Whale ever written a book, spoken a speech? No, his great genius is declared in his doing nothing particular to prove it. 

So Melville ascertains that the genius of the Sperm Whale is that he needs to do nothing to prove it. "do nothing to prove it."  Just because something can be done, accomplished, manufactured, engineered, or coded; just because some genes can be spliced, some car made with ridiculous amounts of batteries, or books can be published on tablets, that does not in and of itself mean it is genius. Penguin is right to worry about the planet, but we should worry about each other as well.  We don't need to prove to each other how genius we are.

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