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Moby-Dick by Herman Melville: first published in 1851, considered to be one of the Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature, one of the great epics in all of literature. The story tells the adventures of wandering sailor Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that Ahab has one purpose on this voyage: to seek out Moby Dick, a ferocious, enigmatic white sperm whale. In a previous encounter, the whale destroyed Ahab's boat and bit off his leg, which now drives Ahab to take revenge...
D. H. Lawrence's critique of Moby-Dick: Lawrence's opinions earned him many enemies and he endured official persecution, censorship, and misrepresentation of his creative work throughout the second half of his life, much of which he spent in a voluntary exile which he called his "savage pilgrimage." Lawrence is now valued by many as a visionary thinker and significant representative of modernism in English literature. In his Studies in Classic American Literature, D. H. Lawrence reads Moby Dick as a peculiarly American work. The Pequod, containing "many races, many peoples, many nations, under the Stars and Stripes," is the ship of America's soul; it can be no accident that the ship is governed by a mad captain embarked upon a fanatic's hunt. Moby Dick is the "deepest blood-being of the white race," hunted by the "maniacal fanaticism of our white mental consciousness."