I’ve been reading this book ‘Leviathan or, The Whale’ by Philip Hoare. I can’t agree with the review more:
It begins as memoir, then moves deftly through biography, literary criticism, social history and, finally, nature writing, in a muscular freestyle so compelling and all-encompassing that it cast a spell on me that endured for days after I had done turning its beautifully illustrated pages. Hoare has long been acclaimed as a brilliantly unconventional writer; WG Sebald was among his most devoted fans. This is the book he was born to write, a classic of its kind.
I love whales and whilst i’ve never read Moby Dick (in it’s entirety) I can say that I can identify with the authors other points of having firstly been terrified of the sea as a child and then morbidly fascinated by the breadth and depth of the oceans that surround my island home.
I too feel that any great city needs to be next to the coast, hence my fondness of cities such as Barcelona, Penang, Naples to name a few. I find the vastness of the oceans so intensely humbling and terrifying at the same time… who knows what lurks in the depths beneath you and how easily mankind is chastised by the magnitude of the waves and currents.
Whales are a whole other thing.
They are gargantuan. Larger than anything else. I really can’t find the words to describe them. And i’m shocked as to how little i know about them other than that they’re large, they eat krill and navigate via sonar. Where do they go to die? How do they mate? How do they maintain their massive bulk on the tiniest creatures in the water? These are questions i know i will find the answer to someday. But I will never truly comprehend the awesomeness of their bulk the way the author does in his book.
Surely in God’s wisdom He has created something so mysterious and alluring that I am just glad that He did so even if i cannot comprehend why.