Patrick E. McLean : Just what it says on the tin.

Captain Ahab, Old-School Badass

I’m re-reading Moby Dick. Happened to pick it up this weekend and it sucked me right in.

Here is one of my favorite passages:

That’s more than ye, ye great gods, ever were. I laugh and hoot at ye, ye cricket-players, ye pugilists, ye deaf Burkes and blinded Bendigoes! I will not say as school-boys do to bullies, – Take some one of your own size; don’t pommel me! No, ye’ve knocked me down, and I am up again; but ye have run and hidden. Come forth from behind your cotton bags! I have no long gun to reach ye. Come, Ahab’s compliments to ye; come and see if ye can swerve me. Swerve me? Ye cannot swerve me, else ye swerve yourselves! Man has ye there. Swerve me? The path to my fixed purpose is laid with iron rails, whereon my soul is grooved to run. Over unsounded gorges, through the rifled hearts of mountains, under torrents’ beds, unerringly I rush! Naught’s an obstacle, naught’s an angle to the iron way!

I wonder if that “iron way” phrase is the part of what reason George R.R. Martin drew on to make the Iron Islands? Strangely fitting.

Yes, he is picking a fight with the gods. Bragging that they cannot swerve him from his path to his fixed purpose. The only way you’re gonna stop me from killing this whale is if you come down here yourself and kill me.

Man, that’s one tough old salt.

Posted via email from PatrickEMcLean’s Posterous



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