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American Icons: Moby-Dick
"This episode of Studio Three Sixty is sponsored by how to raise a parent a new podcast from dairy pure in collaboration with slate studios dairy pure believes is that the world would be a better place if we reconnected to what's pure and innocent in ourselves and each other. That's what host Mallory Kasdan explores in how to raise a apparent throughout the series she talks to parents and experts about how our kids can teach us to shift our perspectives conqueror fears and become more open to all all the exciting things the world's got to offer make sure to listen and subscribe to how to raise a parent wherever you get your podcasts. This is Kurt Andersen today in studio three sixty. We're heading out on a chase after Moby Dick through movies music painting and other books in which he's left his traces traces ever since Herman Melville released him back in eighteen fifty one it is the strangest book ever ready so weird we'll hear from some of the most creative and interesting people in America who have been inspired by this American icon like performance artists. Laurie Anderson did the artist Frank Stella thought he'd make a few pieces about moby Dick but then spent more than ten years obsessed with the book it was against everything that I never thought about what paintings should be and Tony Kushner who was an impressionable young playwright who hadn't yet written angels in America when he read Moby Dick of any work of literature literature. It had the single greatest impact on my writing. It's American icons moby Dick from P._R._I.. 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Explore our hotels around the world at Hyatt Centric Dot Com studio threes sixty Herman Melville was a fascinating writer who published one absolute masterpiece when he was thirty two a a big slightly insane book so far ahead of its time it keep showing up in the work of all sorts of storytellers and artists this week is Melville's two hundredth birthday which seem like the perfect pretext for rebroadcasting our peabody award winning our okay if I call it a deep dive all about the making A. and meaning and Enduring Influence of a truly great and deeply American novel. Please enjoy American icons Moby Dick Thank you so I'm sitting in a starbucks sipping my usual triple Grande latte thinking about on how weird it is that it's named after the first mate in Melville's Moby Dick starbucks I mean not the Grand Allante and then I think what an an enduring brand here I am one hundred and fifty years after it was written still thinking of Herman Melville's big rolling difficult novel you ought Total Look White and I start remembering scenes from when I first read Moby Lovie Dick thirty years ago the Harpoon Chase at night the sailor who falls into a dead whales head at sea plummeting toward the bottom Intel at the last second quake the tattooed South Sea islander dives in to haul his fellow crewman out. I remember captain have swearing vengeance at God and Moby Dick with Saint elmo's fire flickering white flames on the yard arms of his ship the peak while in I remember all those digressing chapters that really we had nothing to do with the plot at all regarding the sperm whales head as a solid oblong you may on an inclined plane sideways devote ones that filled about half the book where Melville Meditates Lanc on the shape of Wales forehead and on the Whiteness of the whale it's broad forward end forming the expanded vertical apparent for head of the way so what makes a philosophical comic tragic adventure tale still matter so much after one hundred and fifty years I decided to find out moby Dick begins with one of the most famous I lines in literature. Call Me Ishmael some years ago never mind how long precisely having little or no money in my purse and nothing particular to interest me on shore. I thought I would say about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the speed and regulating circulation whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth whenever it is a damp drizzly November in my soul whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet and especially whenever my High Pos hose get such an upper hand of me that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street and methodically knocking people's hats off then I accounted high time to get to see as soon as I can. That's the actor Edward Herman who is our reader for Moby Dick Today. ISHMAIL ISHMAIL seizes the stage with his first three words and then seduces us with what follows but Laurie Anderson says the opening sentence is one of the most deceptive in the book call Me Ishmael you've got <hes> well then only works for about three pages and then he starts talking about other stuff so this Guy Ishmail is deciding to ship out and he's telling you why in the first few pages of the book I could go as an officer if I wanted to you go as Harper near or I could go as a cook but <hes> and you know there's nothing like a really good broil chicken and do you know the Egyptians loved Broil Chicken twos you could tell from their the mummies of roasted Rupert River Horse and ibis that you find in their giant bake houses the Pyramids and you're going wait what kind of book he's he is the master of the jump cut you know which I just love his he can and the cool thing about this book. Is You know you can it's tiny little chapters and each in because they're he's interested in so many different things thank polar bears and you know theories about the beginnings of the world and <hes> in how deep is the ocean kind of thing and you just you're you you just drift around in this book and you can read it in little chunks because there is no plot. I mean you know the plot. The ships GONNA go down. That's it and maybe by <music>. ooh Laurie Anderson was so taken with Moby Dick that she spent the nineteen nineties writing an opera she called songs and stories from Moby Dick. We'll hear more from it it later in the show aw get on the boat you can kind of feel his juilliard art university in New York City for actors musicians and dancers. The writer Stanley crowd taught a seminar there on jazz in American culture and in that course these included a section on Moby Dick even though the novel was written half a century before jazz was born one night before professor crouch arrive for a seven thirty class. His students had a chance to vent a little bit about the book in like two weeks. There's no way I'm reading is basically about nothing. What does it look at that point? Stanley crouch gave the students the hairy eyeball and walked up to a corner of the room opened up the wall cabinet to get to the stereo and pressed play uh-huh <music> another reason I wanted to play that was because it seems to me that in this piece of James P dances who's often considered the bothering stride piano is that it has to me that same kind of feeling that we get in moby big which is that you have had these motifs but they keep changing <hes> moby Dick is likely an improvisation in which you observe you've Herman Melville following his ear through the book that is that <hes> Moby Dick is probably about as close to a spontaneous ridden book as you're GONNA counter. He gets the end of a chapter and says okay what now Oh okay. I'll try hi there and then he goes with it. It's like the thing that's amazing about. It is forum wise. The book is an extraordinary <hes> Exhibition of absolute salute fearless <music> now his objective is to break down the single perspective chapter can start all right off and the first person and it's I- Ishmail I'm telling you X Y and z then can suddenly switch too dramatic form that is in the style of theatre piece and characters leave and come come in on the basis of stage instructions that are written in parentheses and to this day. That's still very unusual. In eighteen fifty. It was actually revolutionary long though it may be nothing is in there <hes> purely to be there. I mean it's all connected active and it all Folk foil for what two birds few lights there there that'll do so these lamps that lit these people's homes that made it possible for them to see after sundown fueled by this whale so then again we have another one of those mel billion ironies ironies which is that slaughter leads to light. The slaughter leaves delight now at any questions questions ooh. I'm curt Anderson Anderson Studio three sixty where today were chasing moby Dick that great American icon now. I know that unlike professor crouches students since you know the book perfectly okay. Maybe you've forgotten just a little of what happens or maybe like some of those students. You've oh you've never even read it well to get us all up to speed on what happens in Moby Dick we asked playwright David is to reduce its mammoth. If book to Handy Short attention span size we proudly present Moby Dude starring Marc Price as a Contemporary Young readers surfing through what is arguably the greatest American novel in two minutes Flat Call Me Ishmael did it s midst but Gorski. I did read Moby Dick over the summer like I was supposed to. It was birthday Shis. Actually you know Oh it's Moby Hyphen Dick titles got a little hyphen before the deck ways them meaning of this dash before the Dick. Oh awesome American masterpiece appear this allegorical saga of moral courage metaphysical ambiguity a maniacal obsession session way Miss Gerski either believe I really read Herman Melville's Moby Dick or the whale five hundred sixty two pages fourteen ounces published. I eighteen fifty one totally tanked its first weekend released in the nineteen twenties as one of the world's gnarliest works of art. You think I copped all this like off the the back of the thome or by watching that Crappy Nineteen fifty-six film starring Gregory Peck Miss P.. You've been on my tail since Middle School. Do I get all testy testy. Do I say where is the plot and under two minutes besides Waylon Hyphen Movie Day in two minutes her okay okay cool. Let's rip fading Boonies Massachusetts Eighteen something young dude possibly named Ishmael like the Bible meets with Tara Quick Wag Chaussee Cannibal with heart of gold. Maybe they're gay or maybe they represent some eastwest Pagan Christian duality action anyway anyway to newfound Bros.. Go to mass here about Joan. People tie in then ship out on Christmas Day could be symbolical aboard the U._S._S.. P Quad with its mysterious various wacko Captain Ahab. Do backstory is goofy third because the equally mysterious Mambas Lloyd White Whale Moby like the singer singer Dick bit his leg off Freudian Castration action. I mean he's big. He's got sperm and his last name is Dick. Ri- mobis Also Metaphor for God Nature Truth Obsessive the World Path and white people checkout pit the Negro Cabin boy who by a fluke goes Wacko to Ahab says bring me the Great White Win. This cruise stoked but not thirst mate like the coffee starbuck Ahab wants the big. One and starbuck wants the whale Jews idealism versus Capitalism Radical Creek egg tells the carpenter to build him a coffin shaped like a canoe foreshadowing shadowing then lots of chapters. Everybody's skips about the scientology away sales cat to five hundred twenty three the Pacific Ocean Surf. Stop Sites Dick. He's totally amped the boards hit the waves cream snakes dick but three whole days bottom of the third food habits Tinto's on the knows he's agro. Nobody goes aerial ads in zone. He fires his choices Harpoon. The rape does fused sixty round his neck back Ahab crushes out moby total declawed everybody except are faithful narrator Ishmail to safety on quake's coffin and I only escaped alone to tell the row file credits the end so you say Ms Pod Gorski you WanNa like hang and catch a cup of starbucks sometime to be alert <music> mark price in Moby dude which the playwright David is very kindly created just for this show. I'm curt Anderson and I'm sitting here now. With Elizabeth Schultz who is a deeply educated Melville scholar and that's a fabulous three minute summary he really catches just about not all of the point he he does indeed and also with obviously <hes> a sense of humor but of fairly deep reading of the book as well absolutely and let me tell you that many of the opening passages are hysterically funny so it's <hes> humor is altogether appropriate. Well you know that's funny that the I think people don't know about Melville is that he was at the time well known as a humor writer yeah he was and he knew every brand brand of humor that was going and he was radical satirical. He was just loaded down with puns. He could do all the voices <hes> just like the reader of the play did <hes> <hes>. Let's hope let's hope the Melville would appreciate this this bit of Oh my gosh oh I think he would <hes> you taught English and art history at the University of Kansas to those sorts of tubular guys and girls for many years. How do you find they react to this novel? I would say that Moby Dick Illicit fabulously wide diverse unpredictable range of responses. There are those who find nine that the novel is dumbing numbing and there are those who don't hesitate to compare moby Dick to the Bible. It's the book that they have close close by to open at any moment in any place and it continues to inspire their lives <music> like hamlet. It's one of the few works of art that is truly inexhaustible. Everything thing that's conceivable exists in one form or another and it's so full of incredible delight the playwright Tony Kushner was a graduate student when he fell fell in love with Moby Dick and he says the novel is the greatest single influence on his own writing. I found it set kind of voice free and May I am fell completely overwhelmed by the excessiveness of it and these sentences that go on and on and on and on and on forever are within each sentence I mean let alone the each chapter each book but each sentence risks collapse by extending itself longer longer than it could possibly go and I became interested as a playwright in in sort of reading these passages out loud and beginning to think about dramatic language that the did that how wonderful is it then except after explanation that this great monster to whom corporeal warmth warmth is as indispensable as it is to man how wonderful that he should be found at home immersed to his lips for life in those Arctic waters. Here's where when seaman fall overboard they are sometimes found months afterwards perpendicularly frozen into the hearts of fields of ice as a fly as found glued and amber but more surprising is it to know as has been proved by experiment that the blood of a polar whale is warmer than that of a Borneo or Neo Negro in summer it does seem to me that here in we see the rare virtue of a strong individual vitality galaxy and the rare virtue of thick walls and the rare virtue of interior spacious nece. Oh man admire admire and modeled myself after the Wale do thou to remain warm among ice do thou to live in this world without being of it be cool at the equator keep tie blood fluid at the poll I the Great Dome of Saint Peter's and like the great whale retain retain. Oh man in all seasons a temperature of line on I love that it it shatters the form of the novel. It seems to offer a license for complete indulgence but <hes> now that I've read a lot of Melville I know it's something that he repeats over and over again. It's better to make a terrible mistake. It's better to make utter fool of yourself and to risk catastrophe than to be safe as an artist the playwright Tony Kushner. I'm curt Anderson in studio three sixty and just ahead the artist Frank Stella talks about his twelve year long moby Dick Concession and he created a work of art for every chapter in the book all one hundred and thirty five of them. My son Michael said now you just have to do a few and then I got got so mad at him for saying you know. You don't really have to do them all that then. I said Oh I'm going to do them all. That's up next in studio three sixty from P._R._I.. In Association with slight studio the three sixty I'm curt Anderson in studio three sixty where we're chasing the white whale today along with with Ishmail and quick and starbuck Captain Ahab. He sees a flash into easing the composer and performer. Laurie Laurie Anderson was inspired by the novel to write a strange cool modern opera her songs and stories from Moby Dick premiered in nineteen ninety nine and here's a taste stop it and I'm thinking about two well known epic American stories that are at work and control and they're both stories stories about teams of people working in ships and the stories are star Trek and Moby Dick and their ships the enterprise and the Quad God and these stories are separated by almost one hundred and fifty years and although they have a lot in common very long voyage powerful careful captain dangerous encounters with wild adventures couldn't be more different in the Star Trek series. The ship is Pretty Hi Tech and the immaculate workers are endlessly typing commands into their computers and talking into their headsets presumably affecting the course of the ship somehow but the person who's really in charge is This control of the ship losing controls the worst thing that could happen and the whole plot of the story is how the captain regains control of the ship and it's no coincidence that the whole drama happens in the control room now in Moby Dick ship is also pretty high tech. It's a kind of floating factory at least by nineteenth century standards it is and there's the hardworking crew and the captain except in the ship the captain is completely crazy <hes> but what finally happens moby Dick is pretty horrendous. The captain goes more or less insane. The ship is snapped in half the crew drowns and the captain is dragged to the bottom of the ocean by the whale. He's been phonetically hunting the end and there aren't even any little little epigrams like in King Lear when at the end the king learns that he can love some people just a little bit in Moby Dick it all just and and it's such an incredibly dark story I mean you can't imagine telling a story like that. Now for example the enterprise explodes in a huge accident and all the debris from the wreck get sucked into a black hole and in the last shot. There's a single spaceman turning around swinging around in a row alone in space in the end this would never happen even if it was the very last episode and the series was slated to go permanently off the air but what I'm trying to say is that here we are the late twentieth century and we're designing our own personal control and the stories we tell ourselves are about how to get more and more perfect more and more in control. We've we've been listening to Laurie Anderson from her project songs and stories from Moby Dick and in fact Melville's Moby Dick does appear in a number of star trek movies in first contact. The Borg that enemies cyborg race have hurt the starship enterprises Captain Picard and Picard considers risking the welfare of his whole all crew to get back at the board but a woman from Earth's past confronts him. Hey I'm sorry I didn't mean to interrupt your little quest captain. They have has to go hunters whale. You do have books in the twenty th century this is not about revenge. This is about saving the future of humanity up that damn ship Captain Picard Smashes Che's all the models shifts around here on a hat and he piled on the way it it was right all the rage eight ISO chest cannon. It would've shot his heart on it but we did <hes> actually I never read it back. In the day. The ban led Zeppelin and also rift on the Great White Whale Miss Song called moby today's in the painters when they tried to depict the white whale are really defying Melville's own words anyway anyway. You may look at it. You must needs conclude that the Great Leviathan is that one creature in the world which must remain unpainted to the last true two one portrait may hit the mark much nearer than another but none can hit it with any very considerable degree of exactness so there is no earthly way of finding finding out precisely what the whale really looks like the great illustrator Rockwell Kent try it at anyway and the depression era of nineteen thirty with his melancholy black and white white line engravings of to the Wales and Nantucket Swazis and terrifying Captain Ahab if you prefer Your Art More Abstract Act and ambitious there's also something for you. The sculptor and painter Frank Stella has been star since the nineteen sixties burst for his black paintings and then his geometric abstractions with bright colors then he visited Rome and saw Kara Vaduz pictures of saints and Martyrs and their sacrifices aces and ecstasy's EEE came to feel in the nineteen eighties that modern abstract artists like himself needed to try to match the power of the great great narrative paintings of the old masters Frank Stella was looking for a story and he found it by accident spending some time with his kids. When I was in my second marriage I had two boys in <hes> you know we spent a lot of time for one reason or another going to the aquarium in in Brooklyn and in order to get in you have to go walk by those Beluga Whales in the tank and they started prey on my mind and then I thought I might really just use the titles from Moby Dick that was discussing it with my son Michael and I said well you know I like moby addicted? It's kind of interesting and I'm working on these pieces but you know I can't come up with one hundred and thirty five images in my son Michael said you just have to do a few and then I got so mad at him for saying you know. You don't really have to do them all do that. Then I said Oh I'm going to do them all obsession anyone for the next twelve years from nineteen eighty five to nineteen ninety seven Frank Stella produced two hundred sixty six moby Dick art works when he started ended the series he was basically a painter and print maker but the moby Dick Works grew into huge painted and unpainted metal reliefs and sculptures and collages and prints and a block long mural and a model for a building that is yet to be built. I was taken with the book as a whole I'm not trying to illustrated copier and I'm trying to create a an action at the level that the action takes place in the book his Moby Dick Sculptures are install all over the world now but one of them is still mounted on the wall of his studio in Lower Manhattan. It's just over eight feet tall and nearly that wide right like a lot of his work it blurs the boundaries between painting and sculpture a tall ridged chunk of metal draws the eye and the waves in the metal are highlighted by stripes of fluorescent pink and orange and Magenta and overlaying all of that in the center is a separate br sharp right angled piece. It's called the quadrant quadrants in an instrument that you used to locate yourself in in space or on the sea or whatever and and that was in response to the <hes> The Sun on the Sea of Japan which was the unblinking Sun and the brightness of it so the thing that's in the background is the wave or the whale and this is about you know what's out there and what's the what how beautiful it is on the sea and everything and the vividness of the experience now in that Japanese see the days in summer are as freshers Soviet focuses agencies that unblinking vivid Japanese son seems the blazing focus of the glassy oceans immeasurable burning glass the this guy looks lacquer clouds. There are on the horizon floats. This nakedness of unrelieved radiance is as insufferable rebel splendors of God's throne well that they have quadrant was furnished with colored glasses through which take sight of that solar fire mainly. It's about the momentum which is I suppose something like the voyage Ahab was going to go around and get going to make the trip trip one way or the other and did you feel at the end that unlike Ahab you had succeeded in doing what you intended. I succeeded about as much as they they have to destroy myself but so when you jokingly say destroyed me. How is that true? If that's half true well I think that it took kind of energy out of me and it was against everything that I've ever thought about what paintings should be and I prove to myself. It could be another way the movement mm-hmm and the wave shape of the curve is just different alot. Most of the things have kind of rigid structure. I mean a pretty rigid aged personality. They still manage to move and loosen up a little bit. Now I never know if this change of pace is a lack of progression or whether it's really a progression and from what I should have been doing so. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or not. As you look back on it as a finished series do do gain say yourself second. Guess yourself anything. You did mainly just <hes> you know. I still feel a little bit about you know trading Melville. I didn't mean to do that but the titles are such good titles as if nothing else that the group is a whole I you know that's it. I think it stands on its own. Actually I feel you'll feel free from. It and I don't think I can that I did or could do anything that I don't know that intense again. I urge you to defined one of Stella's Moby Dick Works a museum or installed in an office building somewhere and experienced the complicated power in person as we were leaving Frank Stella Studio in Lower Manhattan out on the street on Fourth Avenue. I realized we were just a two minute. Walk around the corner from where Herman Herman Melville lived when he started dreaming up Moby Dick in a minute the great fantasy and science fiction master Ray Bradbury will tell us how he channeled Herman Melville to adapt his huge novel for the screen for one day. I was Herman Melville. It was in my bloodstream. It came out I- fingertips. That's next in American icons moby Dick from P._R._I.. In Association with Sleet in <music> studio three sixty imagine imagine trying to adapt moby Dick for the movies just turning its adventure story into a decent screenplay would be hard enough. let alone all the philosophical acids and social commentary and Digression on the Zoology of Wales but in the early nineteen fifties ray Bradbury who at the time was a young writer not yet the world famous master of fantasy and science fiction was asked to adapt moby Dick for the movies. This is what you ship Japan chase that white will both sides of land over all sides of talk about rolls what see I call Ray Bradbury at his home in Los Angeles Angeles and I asked him what he thought of Moby Dick Before the director John Houston got in touch with him when he said will you come and write the And come back tomorrow and tell me if you help me kill the white whale so I went home that night and I said to my wife pray for me. She said why I said head because I've got to read a book tonight and do a book report tomorrow so I could only read about one hundred and fifty pages but then I scan through the rest and I saw that the metaphor is enticed me that I was a metaphor vision myself and didn't know it so you were obviously <music> out to sort of capture the nuance and the metaphor that Melville was trying for in the middle of the nineteenth century. Well what you try to do when you adapt anything is getting get in your bloodstream. Get it in his years sub-conscious. You can't intellectualize about it that will work but if you read a book eighty or ninety times which I did in some sections a hundred and twenty times and you put that all into your bloodstream and then you ignore it in levick comes to the surface emotionally passionately. No you become the chaser chase. Did you see great snow. Hill Ways Slides Majesty for Foyer. Don't look for here. You have to be as impassioned writing the screenplay they have was chasing the whale well and you've written about that. I guess jokingly but not but also seriously that that this screenplay trying to crack the code of the screenplay from Moby Dick was effectively your own white whale. Oh in many ways yes of course and finally after eight months of reading and rereading I looked in the mirror and I cried. I pride myself and I said I am Herman. Melville and I rushed to the typewriter and for eight hours I type passionately and wildly and hotly and at the end of eight hours I had had thirty five pages of the ending of the screenplay and I ran across London and I threw the screen play pages in John Huston's lap he read the thirty five pages is my God you've done it. Let's start the cameras. He said what happened. I said Behold Herman Melville's stands before you and I said but but look quickly because he'll be gone in five minutes so for one day I was Herman Melville it was in my bloodstream and it came out nice fingertips. That's how it happens in the movies. I didn't know what happened in real life ever though Oh oh God it's Yanni way what was the hardest thing for you to capture from the novel that you wanted to have in the film just <hes> <hes> putting all the metaphors together so they encircle each other so the interlocked with each other and connected the first thing I did when I got to Paris and I had my first meeting with John Huston and newer walking along the shot so these Zeh and I turned to him. I said Mr Houston agents. Can we do one thing before I started work on the screenplay. He said what I said. At the end of the book it's Fidel who's pulled overboard award by Moby Dick. We'll come on should be Ahab so when you see the screenplay that's my addition. That's not Belleville I eliminated limited Fidel and allowed moby Dick to come in direct contact with they have it's a half was bulled over board found to the side of the whale by Hampton ropes and he's dead he goes down into the water up and when he comes comes up the role of the tight causing the wheel to turn from side to side makes Ahab that arm gesture it looks like he's beckoning the men on the follow you see and the Mansi Beckons and the white wheel to doom well. That's not the book but I put it in the screenplay. I'm very proud of that. I'd like to think that Melville if he Taua film would approve of Ahab being undecided the whale and gesturing to the man Ray Bradbury. Thank you so much for for joining me in studio three sixty today to talk about Moby Dick Pleasure. Thank you bye bye now Tom. We're going to end today's exploration with Elizabeth Schultz who we talked to at the beginning of the program program. She's devoted a long career to introducing new generations to the book at the University of Kansas. Beth Schultz is absolutely passionate about moby Dick. She even admits to being obsessed with it. I asked her to tell me her favorite scene. In the book <hes> Kurt How many there are well depending on the day depending on the weather. I can think of a passage that would be right but yes there are good number of passages. Tell me one given today's weather well. Let me refer to a passage in the Grande armata chapter. This is a chapter in which <hes> the P. Quad enters into a <hes> a part of the world part heart of the ocean where there are circles upon circles of Wales and it is at this moment when <hes> we see the Wailing Endeavor at its most horrific at its greediest edits most exploitive because the whale boats go out one after another and they shoot shoot countless <hes> harpoons into the bodies of Wales. It is a terrible bloody scene in about three minutes time quick Puig's Harpoon was flung the Stricken Fish Darts at blinding spray in our faces and then running away with us like light steered straight for the heart of the I heard though such a movement on the part of the whale struck under such circumstances is in no wise unprecedented and indeed is almost always more or less anticipated yet. Does it present one of the more perilous vicissitudes of the fishery for as the swift monster drags you deeper and deeper into the Frantic Shoul- you bid due to circumspect act life and only exist in a delirious throb and it is in the midst of this <hes> mayhem this bloody operation Shen that they enter into a circle of Wales they go through what is called a living wall. That's Melville's phrase phrase a living wall of Wales and in the middle of this pod they look down into the water is very clear and they're they see Wales. <hes> making love they see mother whales with their with their Babes. <hes> they see a way L. A. Baby whale that has just been born and is still in the shape of <hes> AH AH turned fetal shape as if it has just come from it's it's mother's womb but far beneath this wondrous world upon the surface another and still stranger world met our eyes as we gazed over the side for suspended in those watery vaults floated the forms terms of the nursing mothers of the whales and those that by their enormous girth seemed shortly to become mothers. The lake is I've hinted was to a considerable depth exceedingly exceedingly transparent and as human infants while suckling will calmly and fixedly gaze away from the breast as if leading to different lives lives at the time and while yet drawing mortal nourishment be still spiritually feasting upon some unearthly reminiscence even so did the young of these whales seem looking up towards us but not at us as if we were but a bit of Gulf weed in their newborn site it is a moment when ishmail believes that it is possible to recognize the chaos and the cruelty of the world on the one hand and yet still I believe in domesticity in <hes> a mysterious and wondrous and incomprehensible continuity tatum life itself and thus those surrounded by circle upon circle of Consternation Zenda frights did these inscrutable creatures at the center turn freely and fearlessly indulging all peaceful concerns serenely revelled in doubts and delight but even so amid mid the Tornado Atlantic of my being do I myself still forever Centrally Desportivo Mute calm and while ponderous planets Savan Waning Whoa revolve around me deep down and deep inland there. I still bathe me in eternal mildness of joy the adventure the mystery the the terror the philosophy that ugliness and all that beauty all of this is what's made moby Dick Singular and made it last last but don't take my word for it. Go read the book. I'm curt Anderson in studio three sixty and I thank you for coming along on this journey since we first at this hour which won the peabody award ray Bradbury and Edward Hermann who was our narrator have died this edition of studio three sixties American icons was produced by Julie Bursting Peter Clowney and low tom ally with Ave correo. Oh Kerrie Hillman David Krosno Edward Lipson Sarah Lilly Jonathan Mitchell and Michelle Siegel. Thanks to K._C._R._W.'s morning becomes ECLECTIC for the recording of Laurie Anderson. Three sixty is produced by P._R._I.. Public Radio International in association with Slate Studio Three Sixties American icons project is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the humanities this great ideas brought to life and by an award from the National Endowment for the arts artworks and mm-hmm our Public Radio International next time on studio three sixty you go into a room but is a world ser- Oregon. How a new exhibit turns the work of Leonard Cohen into Interactive Art? You'd press one of the keys of lowly mostly came to the place of Song every key he on the Oregon is a poem spoken in his own voice. which is this amazing deep baritone when art inspires other