It was the whiteness of the whale that above all things appalled me.

Herman Melville

Herman Melville

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: American

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Queequeq, my fine friend, does this sort of thing often happen?

Let faith oust fact; let fancy oust memory; I look deep down and do believe.

when cruising in an empty ship, if you can get nothing better out of the world, get a good dinner out of it, at least.

How I snuffed that Tartar air!--how I spurned that turnpike earth!--that common highway all over dented with the marks of slavish heels and hoofs; and turned me to admire the magnanimity of the sea which will permit no records.

I have written a wicked book, and feel spotless as the lamb.

Now, in calm weather, to swim in the open ocean is as easy to the practised swimmer as to ride in a spring-carriage ashore. But the awful lonesomeness is intolerable. The intense concentration of self in the middle of such a heartless immensity, my God! who can tell it?

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.

Our souls are like those orphans whose unwedded mothers die in bearing them: the secret of our paternity lies in their grave, and we must there to learn it.

In a continuous line from that peninsula stretch the long islands of Sumatra, Java, Bally, and Timor; which, with many others, form a vast mole, or rampart, lengthwise connecting Asia with Australia, and dividing the long unbroken Indian ocean from the thickly studded oriental archipelagoes.

For this is one of those disheartening instances where truth requires full as much bolstering as error.

Talk not to me of blasphemy, man. I'd strike the sun if it insulted me. For could the sun do that, then could I do the other.

Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!

Even though white is often associated with things, that are pleasant and pure, there is a peculiar emptiness about the color white. It is the emptiness of the white that is more disturbing, than even the bloodiness of red.

I tell you, the sperm will stand no nonsense.