Need Advice: Book About Moby-Dick - "Read it if You Can"

Log in

SmokingPipes.com Updates

3 Fresh Tsuge Ikebana Pipes
60 Fresh Savinelli Pipes
New Cigars
84 Fresh Peterson Pipes
48 Fresh Ropp Pipes

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

PipesMagazine Approved Sponsor

Yadkin1765

Might Stick Around
Nov 28, 2022
83
340
Maine
This post maybe a bit hastily written, however long it turns out, as I've had a wee bit to drink, and am temporarily approaching my wit's end, so to speak.

I've written a book. I'd like to think it's an important book. I've dedicated a literal score of years to researching for it, the last six years spent forging it in the fiery womb of creativity.

It is born.

The book concerns one of the most read and scrutinized books in the English language: Moby-Dick. It is not really an academic work at all but more of a puzzle solution. Think: Di Vinci Code without all the numerology, esoterica, and speculative sciences, but keep all the puzzles and riddles.

Now, my book (and I) purport to do one thing which has never been done before--that is, reveal THE secret meaning pervading the entire novel. I recognize this claim bares innate aires of insanity, but bare with me.

For those of you that have actually read the novel, you know that the book is a curious construction singular among all works of literature. There is something going on with Melville, and it is either A) he is a little off his rocker, or B) he was up to something. It is probably both, but I choose B with reason. That reason being: he's a pipe smoker; crazy though he may have been, he was saner than the common rabble.

My very first reading of the novel, back in a senior seminar in 2002, revealed to me the faint vestiges of the reading which was to become the book I've written and, frankly, a life obsession (let me qualify this with: Moby-Dick is not my favorite book. I just long to have someone to talk with about what I have witnessed).

In the a handful of years following my initial reading, I both reread the novel countless times (probably some 50-100 times to date) and earned my Masters in literature. I did not pursue a PhD. because, well, frankly, F the politics, hoops, and agenda of higher academia today (I have my reasons--namely, that intellectual merit should speak for itself, not bureaucratic game playing).

Upon completing my masters, my thoughts turned to production in my area of expertise, but I had come to learn that it is not well accepted to claim discovery or higher knowledge amongst a gaggle of senior experts (not necessarily experts in H. Melville). So it was that the monkey firmly latched on to my back for the long haul.

Taking cue from conversations with professors in the field who never ever, EVER probed and always, ALWAYS stonewalled with uninformed skepticism, I put the project on the mental back burner with one specific aim, to rule out my own confirmation bias. I wanted to prove to myself I wasn't seeing what I wanted to see. That is to say, I wanted to see if the spell would wear off.

So, I waited ~6 years, every now and then (not obsessively) off and on perusing journals and publications to make sure no-one else had made the same discovery. When I finally picked up Moby-Dick again, I was more mature, more educated, more reasonable, more skeptical, wiser, smarter, &etc... But alas, the hidden image was still there, and whatismore, it was more clear than ever. Furthermore, quite literally everything now fell into place--absolutely every thing made sense because, well, I was smarter and wiser and more skeptical.

Now follow me on this: either, I am crazy (a la A Beautiful Mind), which is entirely possible; or, I am on to something. Let me spoil it for you, it is the latter. This is quite literally the only theory that explains every word and curious decision Melville made for his book. Otherwise, as Melville experts often argue, the book is regularly said to be flawed or ill conceived (possibly written and rewritten multiple times). This is not true at all. In fact the reading I put forward discovers a unifying impulse behind every word, from the dual titles to the two prefaces, all the way through the so-called encyclopedic elements to the "Epilogue." It explains everything, and oftentimes provides irrefutable and stunning quantitative evidence.

Fast-forward to now: here I am, today, having completed what I feel confident is an amazing book that (frankly) rewrites the history of American Letters and presents a new mode of logical analogy (applicable to metaphysics and computation logic), but I live in a time when, instead of seeking truth, people are obsessed with so-called personal truths and identity politics. I, myself am apolitical. But, this is a post-truth world, folks. And the humanities are rife with it. To even utter the word "truth" is to brand yourself with a scarlet A upon your chest. Today, Melville has been co-opted as a vehicle of ideology and identity--as people never really understood what he was doing in the first place, they've found reflections of themselves in his words. His works have become sorts of horoscopes--revealing the individuals' egos to themselves.

Now, I do not want to spend the time arguing or proving my reading, as I have written a book about it, and if you want to challenge or test my position, then you should just read my book (and Moby-Dick). Still, I am more than willing to share aspects of the reading with the curious. But what I am really here for is advice.

These twenty years, I have sought mentorship to no avail. One mention of the subject, and doors are shut. No probing is done. I have literally waited a month to have a phone conversation only to sit on the phone for thirty minutes listening to a so-called expert regurgitate bibliographical material (most of which I knew) after my being asked only one single question that the listener himself wasn't properly primed to hear the answer to. This, I believe, is because no one believes it is possible that a book a hundred million people have read could be hiding anything at all. But I ask you this, did not hundreds of millions look upon the sun and planets and miss the nature of their orbits? or the nature of lightning? or the capacity of salt to create batteries? or the potential of metallic ores? or see a microscopic world of cells, bacteria and viruses but think it all only blobs? This is another case of something simply being missed. At the very least, it deserves fair consideration.

I have had, to date, one reader, to whom I had no prior relation, whose response was a resounding "Holy Wow!" He is Oxford trained in literature to boot--but is long retired. He published before the internet era, and long ago moved into administration (becoming department chair then school dean then VP of a small university). His connections are old and spread thin.

I have sought publication via agents or traditional publishing houses for much of last year. I know it can take a long time with many rejections to be expected even in the best of cases. But I just wanted to throw this out there in this forum in particular because it represents a more intimate and cohesive population than any other forum--none of which I belong to. And, because you guys seem cool enough--like I'd like to sit on a porch and smoke a pipe with just chatting about this crazy thing called being.

I do tend towards the solitary life, though I am well socialized and sociable when called upon to be. Honestly, I post this in hopes that others might have some advice or recommendations moving forward. As you can imagine, one (such as myself) that might be concerned with such seeming trifles for a full score of years would undoubtedly not tend towards modern superficial modes of socialization--being fully literate and all. Thank heavens for pipesmag.

Honestly, any thought or suggestion will be well received and considered. I may not get to all responses (if there are any), and I may delay reply (forgive me ahead of time), as I tend to brood over things or be absent for brief stints, but rest assured, any thought beyond trolling will be thankfully received.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Should I post this thread? The rye aqua vitae says "yes."
 

bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
6,692
30,480
RTP, NC. USA
Had a long discussion with a charming young lady regarding comparative merits between Disney's "Sword in Stone" and T. H. White's "The Once and Future King" once. I was drunk, she was drunk, so it seemed like a good idea to get in her pant. But never finished reading Moby Dick. Just figured someone with lack of decent size dick wrote it as a joke. But I did like the opening line.
 
Jul 26, 2021
1,206
4,225
Metro-Detroit
This post maybe a bit hastily written, however long it turns out, as I've had a wee bit to drink, and am temporarily approaching my wit's end, so to speak.

I've written a book. I'd like to think it's an important book. I've dedicated a literal score of years to researching for it, the last six years spent forging it in the fiery womb of creativity.

It is born.

The book concerns one of the most read and scrutinized books in the English language: Moby-Dick. It is not really an academic work at all but more of a puzzle solution. Think: Di Vinci Code without all the numerology, esoterica, and speculative sciences, but keep all the puzzles and riddles.

Now, my book (and I) purport to do one thing which has never been done before--that is, reveal THE secret meaning pervading the entire novel. I recognize this claim bares innate aires of insanity, but bare with me.

For those of you that have actually read the novel, you know that the book is a curious construction singular among all works of literature. There is something going on with Melville, and it is either A) he is a little off his rocker, or B) he was up to something. It is probably both, but I choose B with reason. That reason being: he's a pipe smoker; crazy though he may have been, he was saner than the common rabble.

My very first reading of the novel, back in a senior seminar in 2002, revealed to me the faint vestiges of the reading which was to become the book I've written and, frankly, a life obsession (let me qualify this with: Moby-Dick is not my favorite book. I just long to have someone to talk with about what I have witnessed).

In the a handful of years following my initial reading, I both reread the novel countless times (probably some 50-100 times to date) and earned my Masters in literature. I did not pursue a PhD. because, well, frankly, F the politics, hoops, and agenda of higher academia today (I have my reasons--namely, that intellectual merit should speak for itself, not bureaucratic game playing).

Upon completing my masters, my thoughts turned to production in my area of expertise, but I had come to learn that it is not well accepted to claim discovery or higher knowledge amongst a gaggle of senior experts (not necessarily experts in H. Melville). So it was that the monkey firmly latched on to my back for the long haul.

Taking cue from conversations with professors in the field who never ever, EVER probed and always, ALWAYS stonewalled with uninformed skepticism, I put the project on the mental back burner with one specific aim, to rule out my own confirmation bias. I wanted to prove to myself I wasn't seeing what I wanted to see. That is to say, I wanted to see if the spell would wear off.

So, I waited ~6 years, every now and then (not obsessively) off and on perusing journals and publications to make sure no-one else had made the same discovery. When I finally picked up Moby-Dick again, I was more mature, more educated, more reasonable, more skeptical, wiser, smarter, &etc... But alas, the hidden image was still there, and whatismore, it was more clear than ever. Furthermore, quite literally everything now fell into place--absolutely every thing made sense because, well, I was smarter and wiser and more skeptical.

Now follow me on this: either, I am crazy (a la A Beautiful Mind), which is entirely possible; or, I am on to something. Let me spoil it for you, it is the latter. This is quite literally the only theory that explains every word and curious decision Melville made for his book. Otherwise, as Melville experts often argue, the book is regularly said to be flawed or ill conceived (possibly written and rewritten multiple times). This is not true at all. In fact the reading I put forward discovers a unifying impulse behind every word, from the dual titles to the two prefaces, all the way through the so-called encyclopedic elements to the "Epilogue." It explains everything, and oftentimes provides irrefutable and stunning quantitative evidence.

Fast-forward to now: here I am, today, having completed what I feel confident is an amazing book that (frankly) rewrites the history of American Letters and presents a new mode of logical analogy (applicable to metaphysics and computation logic), but I live in a time when, instead of seeking truth, people are obsessed with so-called personal truths and identity politics. I, myself am apolitical. But, this is a post-truth world, folks. And the humanities are rife with it. To even utter the word "truth" is to brand yourself with a scarlet A upon your chest. Today, Melville has been co-opted as a vehicle of ideology and identity--as people never really understood what he was doing in the first place, they've found reflections of themselves in his words. His works have become sorts of horoscopes--revealing the individuals' egos to themselves.

Now, I do not want to spend the time arguing or proving my reading, as I have written a book about it, and if you want to challenge or test my position, then you should just read my book (and Moby-Dick). Still, I am more than willing to share aspects of the reading with the curious. But what I am really here for is advice.

These twenty years, I have sought mentorship to no avail. One mention of the subject, and doors are shut. No probing is done. I have literally waited a month to have a phone conversation only to sit on the phone for thirty minutes listening to a so-called expert regurgitate bibliographical material (most of which I knew) after my being asked only one single question that the listener himself wasn't properly primed to hear the answer to. This, I believe, is because no one believes it is possible that a book a hundred million people have read could be hiding anything at all. But I ask you this, did not hundreds of millions look upon the sun and planets and miss the nature of their orbits? or the nature of lightning? or the capacity of salt to create batteries? or the potential of metallic ores? or see a microscopic world of cells, bacteria and viruses but think it all only blobs? This is another case of something simply being missed. At the very least, it deserves fair consideration.

I have had, to date, one reader, to whom I had no prior relation, whose response was a resounding "Holy Wow!" He is Oxford trained in literature to boot--but is long retired. He published before the internet era, and long ago moved into administration (becoming department chair then school dean then VP of a small university). His connections are old and spread thin.

I have sought publication via agents or traditional publishing houses for much of last year. I know it can take a long time with many rejections to be expected even in the best of cases. But I just wanted to throw this out there in this forum in particular because it represents a more intimate and cohesive population than any other forum--none of which I belong to. And, because you guys seem cool enough--like I'd like to sit on a porch and smoke a pipe with just chatting about this crazy thing called being.

I do tend towards the solitary life, though I am well socialized and sociable when called upon to be. Honestly, I post this in hopes that others might have some advice or recommendations moving forward. As you can imagine, one (such as myself) that might be concerned with such seeming trifles for a full score of years would undoubtedly not tend towards modern superficial modes of socialization--being fully literate and all. Thank heavens for pipesmag.

Honestly, any thought or suggestion will be well received and considered. I may not get to all responses (if there are any), and I may delay reply (forgive me ahead of time), as I tend to brood over things or be absent for brief stints, but rest assured, any thought beyond trolling will be thankfully received.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Should I post this thread? The rye aqua vitae says "yes."
I shall call you Ishmael.
 

ashdigger

Lifer
Jul 30, 2016
10,139
62,166
59
Vegas Baby!!!
This post maybe a bit hastily written, however long it turns out, as I've had a wee bit to drink, and am temporarily approaching my wit's end, so to speak.

I've written a book. I'd like to think it's an important book. I've dedicated a literal score of years to researching for it, the last six years spent forging it in the fiery womb of creativity.

It is born.

The book concerns one of the most read and scrutinized books in the English language: Moby-Dick. It is not really an academic work at all but more of a puzzle solution. Think: Di Vinci Code without all the numerology, esoterica, and speculative sciences, but keep all the puzzles and riddles.

Now, my book (and I) purport to do one thing which has never been done before--that is, reveal THE secret meaning pervading the entire novel. I recognize this claim bares innate aires of insanity, but bare with me.

For those of you that have actually read the novel, you know that the book is a curious construction singular among all works of literature. There is something going on with Melville, and it is either A) he is a little off his rocker, or B) he was up to something. It is probably both, but I choose B with reason. That reason being: he's a pipe smoker; crazy though he may have been, he was saner than the common rabble.

My very first reading of the novel, back in a senior seminar in 2002, revealed to me the faint vestiges of the reading which was to become the book I've written and, frankly, a life obsession (let me qualify this with: Moby-Dick is not my favorite book. I just long to have someone to talk with about what I have witnessed).

In the a handful of years following my initial reading, I both reread the novel countless times (probably some 50-100 times to date) and earned my Masters in literature. I did not pursue a PhD. because, well, frankly, F the politics, hoops, and agenda of higher academia today (I have my reasons--namely, that intellectual merit should speak for itself, not bureaucratic game playing).

Upon completing my masters, my thoughts turned to production in my area of expertise, but I had come to learn that it is not well accepted to claim discovery or higher knowledge amongst a gaggle of senior experts (not necessarily experts in H. Melville). So it was that the monkey firmly latched on to my back for the long haul.

Taking cue from conversations with professors in the field who never ever, EVER probed and always, ALWAYS stonewalled with uninformed skepticism, I put the project on the mental back burner with one specific aim, to rule out my own confirmation bias. I wanted to prove to myself I wasn't seeing what I wanted to see. That is to say, I wanted to see if the spell would wear off.

So, I waited ~6 years, every now and then (not obsessively) off and on perusing journals and publications to make sure no-one else had made the same discovery. When I finally picked up Moby-Dick again, I was more mature, more educated, more reasonable, more skeptical, wiser, smarter, &etc... But alas, the hidden image was still there, and whatismore, it was more clear than ever. Furthermore, quite literally everything now fell into place--absolutely every thing made sense because, well, I was smarter and wiser and more skeptical.

Now follow me on this: either, I am crazy (a la A Beautiful Mind), which is entirely possible; or, I am on to something. Let me spoil it for you, it is the latter. This is quite literally the only theory that explains every word and curious decision Melville made for his book. Otherwise, as Melville experts often argue, the book is regularly said to be flawed or ill conceived (possibly written and rewritten multiple times). This is not true at all. In fact the reading I put forward discovers a unifying impulse behind every word, from the dual titles to the two prefaces, all the way through the so-called encyclopedic elements to the "Epilogue." It explains everything, and oftentimes provides irrefutable and stunning quantitative evidence.

Fast-forward to now: here I am, today, having completed what I feel confident is an amazing book that (frankly) rewrites the history of American Letters and presents a new mode of logical analogy (applicable to metaphysics and computation logic), but I live in a time when, instead of seeking truth, people are obsessed with so-called personal truths and identity politics. I, myself am apolitical. But, this is a post-truth world, folks. And the humanities are rife with it. To even utter the word "truth" is to brand yourself with a scarlet A upon your chest. Today, Melville has been co-opted as a vehicle of ideology and identity--as people never really understood what he was doing in the first place, they've found reflections of themselves in his words. His works have become sorts of horoscopes--revealing the individuals' egos to themselves.

Now, I do not want to spend the time arguing or proving my reading, as I have written a book about it, and if you want to challenge or test my position, then you should just read my book (and Moby-Dick). Still, I am more than willing to share aspects of the reading with the curious. But what I am really here for is advice.

These twenty years, I have sought mentorship to no avail. One mention of the subject, and doors are shut. No probing is done. I have literally waited a month to have a phone conversation only to sit on the phone for thirty minutes listening to a so-called expert regurgitate bibliographical material (most of which I knew) after my being asked only one single question that the listener himself wasn't properly primed to hear the answer to. This, I believe, is because no one believes it is possible that a book a hundred million people have read could be hiding anything at all. But I ask you this, did not hundreds of millions look upon the sun and planets and miss the nature of their orbits? or the nature of lightning? or the capacity of salt to create batteries? or the potential of metallic ores? or see a microscopic world of cells, bacteria and viruses but think it all only blobs? This is another case of something simply being missed. At the very least, it deserves fair consideration.

I have had, to date, one reader, to whom I had no prior relation, whose response was a resounding "Holy Wow!" He is Oxford trained in literature to boot--but is long retired. He published before the internet era, and long ago moved into administration (becoming department chair then school dean then VP of a small university). His connections are old and spread thin.

I have sought publication via agents or traditional publishing houses for much of last year. I know it can take a long time with many rejections to be expected even in the best of cases. But I just wanted to throw this out there in this forum in particular because it represents a more intimate and cohesive population than any other forum--none of which I belong to. And, because you guys seem cool enough--like I'd like to sit on a porch and smoke a pipe with just chatting about this crazy thing called being.

I do tend towards the solitary life, though I am well socialized and sociable when called upon to be. Honestly, I post this in hopes that others might have some advice or recommendations moving forward. As you can imagine, one (such as myself) that might be concerned with such seeming trifles for a full score of years would undoubtedly not tend towards modern superficial modes of socialization--being fully literate and all. Thank heavens for pipesmag.

Honestly, any thought or suggestion will be well received and considered. I may not get to all responses (if there are any), and I may delay reply (forgive me ahead of time), as I tend to brood over things or be absent for brief stints, but rest assured, any thought beyond trolling will be thankfully received.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Should I post this thread? The rye aqua vitae says "yes."
Now I’m not saying your prose isn’t pro, but I’d rather be adrift at sea considering cannibalism than read the whole thing.

Cliff Note - Moby Dick is pretentious and the only people who like it are afraid of being called pretentious.

The Heart of the Sea is much much better.
 

HawkeyeLinus

Lifer
Oct 16, 2020
3,023
19,778
Iowa
Picked up Moby Dick in fourth grade, maybe read 20 pages, never picked up ever again. Found The Man With The Golden Gun more interesting, even though it would become more interesting a few years later, lol. Not sure a puzzle book agents and publishers are passing on about the white whale would fare much better than the real thing with me, but I didn’t read most of the post. I have the utmost respect for writers - but not every tale finds an audience.
 

K.E. Powell

Starting to Get Obsessed
Aug 20, 2022
244
766
36
West Virginia
I'm not sure what advice you are seeking. Are you asking us on advice on how to get published? Are you asking us advice on how to get other people to acknowledge your genius? I understand you cannot divulge the thesis of your book, but you wasn't exactly clear on what kind of book this will be. You compared it to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, which at first made me think you were writing a novel. But the rest of your post suggests this is a more academic pursuit. So, is it a novel or something else?

Finally, and I understand you are frustrated with academia and you have enjoyed some libations prior to posting, but my brother in Christ, there is practically a cottage industry devoted to deciphering the meanings (both hidden and revealed) in Moby Dick. I say this to only suggest that perhaps the skepticism you have met with is not entirely unwarranted and may not be fairly categorized as being solely born of staid academic hubris. I would wager your knowledge of the topic at hand greatly dwarfs anyone here, myself especially included (I've only read the novel twice, and my knowledge of Melville overall is scant). But if people whose entire lives are devoted to understand the man and his work are of no use to you, what good are we likely to be?
 

Zack Miller

Part of the Furniture Now
Dec 13, 2020
515
1,511
Fort Worth, Texas
I have read Moby Dick at least three times. It is one of those works that needs to be dusted off periodically. There are so many layers to the book, it becomes difficult to keep track of everything Melville is trying to convey. The saddest chapter is near the end when Ahab reflects on the years spent away from his wife and child, a realization of the cost of his obsession.

Anyway, maybe you should consider self-publishing. Maybe the act of getting it “out there”, regardless of the size of your audience will provide a level of gratification. I have written two novels and am working on a third. I find the exercise cathartic.
By the way, there is actually a Moby Dick page on Facebook.

So where can one get your book?
 
Mar 13, 2018
32
80
I'd have to question the initial premise that Melville had secret, sneaky intentions with Moby Dick, vs just being a little off his rocker.

The line between genius and madness is famously blurry in writers. You've surely met Hemingway, Kerouac, Faulkner etc. Like them, Melville had widely documented mental and physical ailments, as well as substance abuse issues.

Simplest explanation usually being correct, isn't it more likely that Melville was just another troubled writer?
 

warren

Lifer
Sep 13, 2013
10,434
11,299
Herman simply took a real event involving a whale and whaler, expanded it into a book, a great yarn which high-school English teachers have enjoyed ruining for their students for many years. Herman smoked a pipe. Are you saying the smoking made him a better writer or person? Come on man! Really?

Next you'll be writing an apology for Stalin because he smoked a pipe. Moby Dick is simply a news story blown up into a book. It's a great yarn for kids of a certain age. Back in the day someone or another decided to make reading and enjoying it unacceptable. It became homework, requiring essays and such. My high-school teacher took all of the fun out of the tale.

I reread it years later, without all the psycho babble. It became a favorite of mine. A grand story, nothing to obsess over. It's bit like pipe smoking . . . some smokers obsess over it. I simply don't see the fun that. Some of us are wired for obsessing though. Different strokes I concede.
 

bullet08

Lifer
Nov 26, 2018
6,692
30,480
RTP, NC. USA
Herman simply took a real event involving a whale and whaler, expanded it into a book, a great yarn which high-school English teachers have enjoyed ruining for their students for many years. Herman smoked a pipe. Are you saying the smoking made him a better writer or person? Come on man! Really?

Next you'll be writing an apology for Stalin because he smoked a pipe. Moby Dick is simply a news story blown up into a book. It's a great yarn for kids of a certain age. Back in the day someone or another decided to make reading and enjoying it unacceptable. It became homework, requiring essays and such. My high-school teacher took all of the fun out of the tale.

I reread it years later, without all the psycho babble. It became a favorite of mine. A grand story, nothing to obsess over. It's bit like pipe smoking . . . some smokers obsess over it. I simply don't see the fun that. Some of us are wired for obsessing though. Different strokes I concede.
That's why I'm against merit badges in boy scouts, or should we say "scouts". Nothing against girls. Knew too many girls who wanted be in the boy scout. But crying out loud, keep boys and girls troops separate! We don't want to teach them certain things. And NO! No handing out condoms, nor hypodermic needles.
 

Briar Lee

Lifer
Sep 4, 2021
2,202
5,053
Humansville Missouri
My grandmother Myrtle “Ma” Cahow Agee was not only a published author, she’d gained a local reputation for it and not an insignificant amount of income from writing, as well.

Her Ma and Pa series written in weekly installments in The Index newspaper ran about sixty years, and inspired writers for the Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, and Petticoat Junction.

Still today as her grandson and literary executor I sometimes get questioned about why Ma Agee wrote her works.

Mostly she was vain. She loved to write and see the weekly column.

She also liked the money. She was never rich but she was well paid.

But in order to capture an audience she based every word she wrote on the greatest story ever told, that of Christ of Nazareth.

Moby Dick has been called the American Bible.

Ma Agee preferred the King James Version.:)
 

milk

Starting to Get Obsessed
Sep 21, 2022
221
465
Japan
This post maybe a bit hastily written, however long it turns out, as I've had a wee bit to drink, and am temporarily approaching my wit's end, so to speak.

I've written a book. I'd like to think it's an important book. I've dedicated a literal score of years to researching for it, the last six years spent forging it in the fiery womb of creativity.

It is born.

The book concerns one of the most read and scrutinized books in the English language: Moby-Dick. It is not really an academic work at all but more of a puzzle solution. Think: Di Vinci Code without all the numerology, esoterica, and speculative sciences, but keep all the puzzles and riddles.

Now, my book (and I) purport to do one thing which has never been done before--that is, reveal THE secret meaning pervading the entire novel. I recognize this claim bares innate aires of insanity, but bare with me.

For those of you that have actually read the novel, you know that the book is a curious construction singular among all works of literature. There is something going on with Melville, and it is either A) he is a little off his rocker, or B) he was up to something. It is probably both, but I choose B with reason. That reason being: he's a pipe smoker; crazy though he may have been, he was saner than the common rabble.

My very first reading of the novel, back in a senior seminar in 2002, revealed to me the faint vestiges of the reading which was to become the book I've written and, frankly, a life obsession (let me qualify this with: Moby-Dick is not my favorite book. I just long to have someone to talk with about what I have witnessed).

In the a handful of years following my initial reading, I both reread the novel countless times (probably some 50-100 times to date) and earned my Masters in literature. I did not pursue a PhD. because, well, frankly, F the politics, hoops, and agenda of higher academia today (I have my reasons--namely, that intellectual merit should speak for itself, not bureaucratic game playing).

Upon completing my masters, my thoughts turned to production in my area of expertise, but I had come to learn that it is not well accepted to claim discovery or higher knowledge amongst a gaggle of senior experts (not necessarily experts in H. Melville). So it was that the monkey firmly latched on to my back for the long haul.

Taking cue from conversations with professors in the field who never ever, EVER probed and always, ALWAYS stonewalled with uninformed skepticism, I put the project on the mental back burner with one specific aim, to rule out my own confirmation bias. I wanted to prove to myself I wasn't seeing what I wanted to see. That is to say, I wanted to see if the spell would wear off.

So, I waited ~6 years, every now and then (not obsessively) off and on perusing journals and publications to make sure no-one else had made the same discovery. When I finally picked up Moby-Dick again, I was more mature, more educated, more reasonable, more skeptical, wiser, smarter, &etc... But alas, the hidden image was still there, and whatismore, it was more clear than ever. Furthermore, quite literally everything now fell into place--absolutely every thing made sense because, well, I was smarter and wiser and more skeptical.

Now follow me on this: either, I am crazy (a la A Beautiful Mind), which is entirely possible; or, I am on to something. Let me spoil it for you, it is the latter. This is quite literally the only theory that explains every word and curious decision Melville made for his book. Otherwise, as Melville experts often argue, the book is regularly said to be flawed or ill conceived (possibly written and rewritten multiple times). This is not true at all. In fact the reading I put forward discovers a unifying impulse behind every word, from the dual titles to the two prefaces, all the way through the so-called encyclopedic elements to the "Epilogue." It explains everything, and oftentimes provides irrefutable and stunning quantitative evidence.

Fast-forward to now: here I am, today, having completed what I feel confident is an amazing book that (frankly) rewrites the history of American Letters and presents a new mode of logical analogy (applicable to metaphysics and computation logic), but I live in a time when, instead of seeking truth, people are obsessed with so-called personal truths and identity politics. I, myself am apolitical. But, this is a post-truth world, folks. And the humanities are rife with it. To even utter the word "truth" is to brand yourself with a scarlet A upon your chest. Today, Melville has been co-opted as a vehicle of ideology and identity--as people never really understood what he was doing in the first place, they've found reflections of themselves in his words. His works have become sorts of horoscopes--revealing the individuals' egos to themselves.

Now, I do not want to spend the time arguing or proving my reading, as I have written a book about it, and if you want to challenge or test my position, then you should just read my book (and Moby-Dick). Still, I am more than willing to share aspects of the reading with the curious. But what I am really here for is advice.

These twenty years, I have sought mentorship to no avail. One mention of the subject, and doors are shut. No probing is done. I have literally waited a month to have a phone conversation only to sit on the phone for thirty minutes listening to a so-called expert regurgitate bibliographical material (most of which I knew) after my being asked only one single question that the listener himself wasn't properly primed to hear the answer to. This, I believe, is because no one believes it is possible that a book a hundred million people have read could be hiding anything at all. But I ask you this, did not hundreds of millions look upon the sun and planets and miss the nature of their orbits? or the nature of lightning? or the capacity of salt to create batteries? or the potential of metallic ores? or see a microscopic world of cells, bacteria and viruses but think it all only blobs? This is another case of something simply being missed. At the very least, it deserves fair consideration.

I have had, to date, one reader, to whom I had no prior relation, whose response was a resounding "Holy Wow!" He is Oxford trained in literature to boot--but is long retired. He published before the internet era, and long ago moved into administration (becoming department chair then school dean then VP of a small university). His connections are old and spread thin.

I have sought publication via agents or traditional publishing houses for much of last year. I know it can take a long time with many rejections to be expected even in the best of cases. But I just wanted to throw this out there in this forum in particular because it represents a more intimate and cohesive population than any other forum--none of which I belong to. And, because you guys seem cool enough--like I'd like to sit on a porch and smoke a pipe with just chatting about this crazy thing called being.

I do tend towards the solitary life, though I am well socialized and sociable when called upon to be. Honestly, I post this in hopes that others might have some advice or recommendations moving forward. As you can imagine, one (such as myself) that might be concerned with such seeming trifles for a full score of years would undoubtedly not tend towards modern superficial modes of socialization--being fully literate and all. Thank heavens for pipesmag.

Honestly, any thought or suggestion will be well received and considered. I may not get to all responses (if there are any), and I may delay reply (forgive me ahead of time), as I tend to brood over things or be absent for brief stints, but rest assured, any thought beyond trolling will be thankfully received.

Thanks for bearing with me.

Should I post this thread? The rye aqua vitae says "yes."
I read it for the story - which is the only way I could get through it at the time. But that said, I very much enjoyed it too. That was a long time ago and you make me want to read it again. I might need to wait on that but I really do want to reread it. I don’t think it’s implausible that Melville had more than one thing going on in his head. I doubt he would have thought that his book couldn’t be enjoyed on different levels, it being the work of genius that it is. But there are academic books all the time that argue unorthodox, unique, even eccentric, theses. Or there used to be. This seems like it should be, or used to be, a feature of academia. Why not self-publish it if no one will have you? I know you may think you’re damning yourself to obscurity but 1. Academic houses don’t guarantee non-obscurity. 2. Self-publishing is becoming a real thing and 3. At least it will be, well, there, even if only in e-format. These days it’s possible to get a few people on Goodreads to review it and if it’s well-written and readable, you might get some fans. I don’t know how far we can get into politics here, and I don’t mean to get into it, I’m not very adamant but, anyway, I was going to say that there is a backlash to what’s gone on in universities over the last few years and you might find a willingness outside the world of parochial academia to embrace, or consider, your ideas. After all, we don’t really have to believe everything you say to be entertained by your notions. I’m sure it’s possible people may find it interesting without agreeing 100%?