In response to Dario's comment concerning yesterday's Highbrow post
, here is another passage in Moby-Dick
representing Melville's Gnostic speculations. This is from chapter 66, "The Shark Massacre". A number of sharks--which have been attacking and devouring a whale tied to the side of the ship--begin to devour each other:
They viciously snapped, not only at each other’s disembowelments,
but like flexible bows, bent round, and bit their own; till those entrails
seemed swallowed over and over again by the same mouth, to be oppositely
voided by the gaping wound. Nor was this all. It was unsafe to meddle with
the corpses and ghosts of these creatures. A sort of generic or Pantheistic
vitality seemed to lurk in their very joints and bones, after what might
be called the individual life had departed.
A shark is hoisted on board in order to skin it, and it nearly takes off Queequeg's hand. The harpooner responds:
no care what god made him shark,” said the savage, agonizingly lifting
his hand up and down; “wedder Fejee god or Nantucket god; but de god
wat made shark must be one dam Ingin.”
Clearly, an expression (however humorous) of the Gnostic worldview.
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