Jeremy Felt

A few things about Moby-Dick

This is my 3rd or 4th attempt at reading Moby-Dick and I’ve made it far enough this time that I’m pretty confident I’ll finish. While I still have quite a bit to go, I keep thinking of observations that I want to share now.

So; so; so; there are so many semicolons. And! I had not noticed until today that even the book’s full title has a semicolon in it—“Moby-Dick; or, The Whale.”

I love the use of exclamation points as emphasis in the middle! of sentences. According to numbers sourced via internet search and not verified, there are 1683 exclamation points in the book. Here’s a graph of those exclamation points as a percentage of all characters used by chapter.

I can imagine how I would film the movie and it would be absolutely wonderful—for me, at least. I’m looking forward to watching the 1956 version with Gregory Peck (and screenplay by Ray Bradbury!) to see if it’s anywhere close.

Bonus: for a general representation of punctuation used in the book, check out this visual of Moby-Dick without words by Nicholas Rougeux.

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