Monday, April 20, 2015

Q is for Queequeg

Letter Q already?
Is this word is unfamiliar to you:  Pequod? Ahab…

These are words from the classic, possibly one of the best literary works of the 19th century:  Moby Dick, written by Herman Melville and published in 1851.

This post is about Queequeg, a startling and unusual man to be in the Massachusetts area: exotic, extremely tall, covered with tattooes, and fierce. 

Although Queequeg is not the main character, he is essential to the theme of diversity in the crew (no one else like him; in fact, everyone is scared of him).  His only friend is Ishmael: only to him is Queequeg loyal and protective. 

Ishmael is a young man, eager to go whaling. At a boarding house before sailing, Queequeg and Ishmael are forced to unknowingly share a bed with each other.

Richard Basehart, Friedrich (Frederick) von Ledebur, Moby Dick
Friends ultimately

After some nervous and possibly deadly moments, they develop a friendship; this friendship, coupled with pure luck, saves Ishmael’s life.

The most famous and exquisite opening words of any book are these:

Call me Ishmael.

Raise your pewter mug to Queequeg!

and to the letter "Q"


This video clip is about 12 minutes long, but Queequeg and Ishmael are introduced in the first minutes. Worthwhile minutes.

Please let me know if the video does not come up! This is the only one I was able to insert.

31 comments:

  1. And quaff the beverage of your choice to friends (however unlikely).

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  2. This is certainly a difficult letter to use. Well done, Susan.

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  3. Replies
    1. Here's to the Captain of the Pequod and its doomed crew.

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  4. Ah my first to hear of it! I remember when tattoos were considered fierce. My oldest son got a ton of them when he was in the military. I wish he hadn't, but he's grown, I just support and say nothing (on matters I can't do anything about anyway). ;)

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    1. Actually, I would like to get a tatto myself. Just one.

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  5. Sometimes the best friendships start as rivalries

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  6. Yes, the name was familiar - I need to reread the book, though. It has been a long, long time. I've never seen the movie.

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    Replies
    1. This movie, made in the 50s, is the best of all versions.

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  7. Absolutely! A wonderfully drawn character.

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  8. Second person to mention him today!
    Fortunate they formed a friendship.

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  9. Replies
    1. It popped into my head as the perfect Q.

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  10. You know, I've tried a couple of times to read Moby Dick but just haven't been able to get very far... However I do think Queequeg is one of the more interesting characters.

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    Replies
    1. Melville did go a bit heavy in ship lingo and described the workings of a ship.

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  11. he is a great character and one of my favs

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    Replies
    1. ..and successful in his own country, either Germany or.??

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  12. I still have not read Moby Dick.

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    Replies
    1. Be sure to put it on your read list! There are long sections on sea life and such, but you'll know when the interaction appears.

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  13. I had forgotten Queequeg. Quite a character wasn't he?

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    1. Capt. Ahab, 1st mate Starbuck, and QueeQueb were my favorites.

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  14. Great post! I tried and failed several times to read Moby Dick in my teens. I finally got through it in my late twenties and I must have re-read it five times since. I've never seen any film adaptations of it though, I'd be too worried that they'd ruin it as so often happens.

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    1. There is a 1930s version, and this 1950s version, plus two others. The 1950s is, in my opinion. the best version. Ahab's insanity and the revenge of the White Whale are excellent.

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    2. ...Oh, and thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  15. I haven't read Moby Dick, but it's on my kindle so I will get to it eventually, but I'm in no hurry.

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  16. I read Moby Dick so long ago, I don't remember Queequeg! Thanks for this post and the video. Wonderful and makes me think I should reread it!
    Donna
    AtoZ Challenge
    Mainely Write

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!