Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Typee

Bought a 1923 Everyman Library's edition of Typee for 48 cents from the discount bin at the Strand. Just started reading it.

Why Melville is the shit:

"This item of information was imparted to us by a most extraordinary individual, a genuine South Sea vagabond, who came alongside of us in a whale-boat as soon as we entered the bay, and, by the aid of some benevolent persons at the gang-way, was assisted on board, for our visitor was in that interesting stage of intoxication when a man is amiable and helpless. Although he was utterly unable to stand erect, or to navigate his body across the deck, he still magnanimously proffered his services to pilot the ship to a good and secure anchorage.

Our captain, however, rather distrusted his ability in this respect, and refused to recognize his claim to the character he assumed; but our gentleman was determined to play his part, for, by dint of much scrambling he succeeded in getting into the weather-quarter boat, where he steadied himself by holding onto a shroud, and then commenced issuing his commands with amazing volubility and very peculiar gestures."

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