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Authors, Architects and Astute Observations

December 14, 2009

(Alternately titled: Why do we ALWAYS end up discussing Moby Dick?!)

Me: Someone told me the other day that Moby Dick was actually not very well written.  I couldn’t fairly comment because I’ve yet to read it.

Aaron: Well, I wouldn’t say it’s poorly written.  It’s not fantastic.  The 86 paragraph tangent on the fact that whales are mammals and not fish was actually quite astute for its day, but that doesn’t make it any more interesting or terribly relevant to the story.

Me: So are you telling me I should read it, or not?

Aaron: Let’s just put it this way, if writers were architects, Melville would be no Frank Lloyd Wright.

Me: HA.  So who would he be?

Aaron: Courtney, I don’t know anything about architecture.

Me: Oh! I know!

Aaron: What?


7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 14, 2009 11:30 pm

    hahahah! I just finished watching “How I met your Mother” and then read your blog post…I love that show…

  2. December 15, 2009 12:17 am

    LOL I just finished watching it too. Too funny.

  3. December 15, 2009 2:01 am

    If you slapped three or four wooden shanty-rooms onto the back of the Taj Mahal, would you consider the whole building poorly built? Moby-Dick is a spectacular book with long digressions that could easily have been cut. It is very, very well written despite this and I would consider it one of the most powerful works I’ve ever read. There are books everyone says you need to read, and this is one of those books on which those people are right.

  4. December 15, 2009 8:20 am

    Are you saying Melville Tedded-up Moby Dick?

    I’ve never read the book either, but digressions are the best part of, say, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Catcher in the Rye. I’m a digression fan.

    Not everyone can match the literarily-linear genius of greats such as Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling, or… Beatrix Potter?

  5. December 15, 2009 8:36 am

    I love HIMYM. Husband and I are almost done with season one!

  6. Courtney permalink*
    December 15, 2009 12:08 pm

    Ha. Oh, boys.

    Obviously my Ted Mosby line was a joke, and give the brother a break. He’s an electrical engineering student. Obviously he’s a little clueless. :)

    I mean, the REAL joke here is that both of us are so UNversed in architecture that we know two names: Frank Lloyd Wright and Ted Mosby.

    • December 15, 2009 12:15 pm

      Hahaaaha. That’s a funny one. :-P

      I like HIMYM, too.

      I know a handful of architects; they come in handy when you really want to sound intelligent and cool by saying something like, “When Melville wrote Moby Dick, he was being the Le Corbusier of literary drama, you know, during his Brutalist period.”

      You could throw something in there about Louis Kahn, too, using phrases such as “heavy functional rationalism” and “complex but monolithic”.

      But I’ve never read Moby Dick.

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