Whales, and Melville, at the American Museum of Natural History

“They hang in undulating poses over a dais of shiny black plastic, appearing like a pair of monstrous wraiths cresting the surface of forsaken waters. Melville provides a warning of this physical dissonance in Moby-Dick—“For it is one of the more curious things about this Leviathan, that his skeleton gives very little idea of his general shape.”—but that is poor preparation for just how alienating these skeletons can be.”

— Jason Z. Resnikoff, from “Hunting the Whale,” in the daily Paris Review

photo credit: Paris Review, 2013

 

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