After an aborted attempt to make some posters, I acquired two gerbils and their cage (they’re on loan from the second grade class, where the kids haven’t yet learned how to treat animals nicely), took a nap, and read the beginning of Moby Dick, up until the sermon. It’s a fabulous sermon, and I loved that Melville doesn’t even seem ironic about it, as a modern writer would. There was, however, a section perhaps three chapters long where I was fervently wishing I didn’t live in a culture so very sensitive to homosexual innuendoes. Ishmael has to share a bed with Queequeg (sp?), whom he does not yet know, and spends a lot of words musing on how he hopes that this unnamed “harpooner” is a good man, because it is an intimate thing to be bedfellows with someone. And then when he wakes up, Q. is hugging him like they’re married… which is just a bit much, really. I wonder if people reading that when it was written would be bothered by all that?


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