Moby Dick on the Brain: The Snow Whale
June 27, 2012 § 6 Comments
Soon after posting on Monday, I realized that I’d based my whole article on humor and subtext on the decidedly less than hilarious Moby Dick. I guess I shouldn’t say that about Mellville’s classic, since I read it when I was a precocious ninth-grader trying to impress people by the advanced level at which I read; I probably understood half of the book and wonder if I went back now, I’d clue into some hidden jokes. Or maybe not.
Regardless, I feel the need to explain that I had Moby Dick on the brain because I’d just finished John Minichillo’s The Snow Whale, a satire that uses Mellville’s familiar frame to humorously explore modern conceptions of race, consumer culture, and environmentalism. There are lots of great moments of the sort of humor I like to talk about on the blog, those jokes that make you think about how your laughing, so I hope to use it as an example in future posts, possibly on satire.
In any event, next week I’m planning on finishing up our discussion of humor and subtext with one last example from Leaving the Atocha Station, so you should have plenty of time for the assigned readings.