Apocalypse Moby
February 6, 2011 7:36 PM   Subscribe

"CIA OFFICER PELEG: Your mission, Ishmael, is to travel up the Nung river and find Colonel Moby. When you find him... you are to retire Colonel Moby. ISHMAEL: You mean... harpoon Moby. CIA OFFICER PELEG: Harpoon... with extreme prejudice." Yes, it's the script for Apocalypse Moby, described by Bruce Sterling as "a very deft piece of writing".
posted by storybored (25 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
This better be about the techno guy and not the whale.
posted by Avenger at 7:39 PM on February 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


The end is a bit of a letdown. Moby gives Ishmael his sweatshirt and bids him a good evening.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:43 PM on February 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


This "novel", it has a dark heart?
posted by orthogonality at 7:43 PM on February 6, 2011


"CAPTAIN ISHMAEL (VOICE OVER, CONT.)
[The Pequod] was a ship of the 'old
school', made for a crew of seven;
long seasoned and weather-stained,
her masts had been cut somewhere
near the coast of San Diego. Her13
ancient decks were worn and
wrinkled, like the
pilgrim-worshiped flagstones in
Canterbury Cathedral where Beckett
bled. Also, she had twin inboard
motors, and fifty-caliber machine
guns fore and aft."
posted by storybored at 7:49 PM on February 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was really hoping it would fade to black.
posted by vidur at 7:50 PM on February 6, 2011


"Cassock... Shit. I'm still only in the Cassock."

Done, I promise.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:51 PM on February 6, 2011


I love the smell of scrimshaw in the morning...
posted by .kobayashi. at 7:54 PM on February 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does the author know about Heart of Darkness? It's not a coincidence that AN is similar to Moby Dick.
posted by Miko at 8:06 PM on February 6, 2011


Nay, you've gone too far, Ahab, with
talk of bung and blowhole!


Ye Bastards! Now ye criticize my recipes?

The horror..
posted by Ahab at 8:11 PM on February 6, 2011


Let Ahab beware of Ahab.
posted by storybored at 8:26 PM on February 6, 2011


Was Conrad inspired by Moby-Dick in writing Heart of Darkness?
posted by stbalbach at 8:30 PM on February 6, 2011


Does the author know about Heart of Darkness?

I'n guessing yes but couldn't find a definitive answer. The reason why the script struck me is because ApocNow is one of my favorite movies (I loved HofDarkness too) and I am just now 450 pages into Moby Dick...
posted by storybored at 8:31 PM on February 6, 2011


"Oh, no, I didn't write it," laughed Ivan, and I've never written two lines of poetry in my life. But I made up this poem in prose and I remembered it. I was carried away when I made it up. You will be my first reader—that is listener. Why should an author forego even one listener?" smiled Ivan. "Shall I tell it to you?"
"I am all attention." said Alyosha.
"My poem is called The Great Cornholio..."
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 9:43 PM on February 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's not a coincidence that AN is similar to Moby Dick.

still like to know why it's not a coincidence... where's the connection between MD and HoD? Did Conrad read MD and write HoD with it in mind?
posted by stbalbach at 12:03 AM on February 7, 2011


In other Moby Dick related news.. There's a complete reading of the novel starting this this Friday evening in Portland.
posted by Ahab at 2:47 AM on February 7, 2011


Francis might not sue him but the ghost of Conrad should come visit him every night, sit at the end of his bed and just look at him until he figures out where he slipped up.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:53 AM on February 7, 2011


I love the smell of seaweed in the morning. Smells like a quest in vein for victory.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 6:18 AM on February 7, 2011


Besides the unavoidable generalities resulting from the fact that both Conrad and Melville were nineteenth-century (basically) writers who drew on their own first-person maritime labor experience and the traditions of existing maritime literature to create dramatic, moralistic and philosophical fictional works about men and the sea, Conrad left a small trail of interaction with Melville's work that makes it legitimate to see Moby-Dick, and more importantly some of Melville's other works, as a specific influence for him.

Conrad read Moby Dick but claimed to dislike the book (as revealed when he declined to write an introduction for a new edition of the book). However, his critique is thoughtful and idiosyncratic enough to suggest that he could hardly ignore its precedent or that of Melville's other maritime writing (he also mentions reading Typee and Omoo and I'm sure he also read Billy Budd). I tend to agree that part of his dislike was likely a resistance to being labeled as just another maritime genre writer.

As for Moby-Dick reading marathons: If you can wait until August, Melville's birthday, one of the greatest experiences of that book is to attend the 24-hour Moby-Dick reading marathon that takes place at Mystic Seaport, aboard the last wooden whaleship in existence, the Charles W. Morgan, a vessel not terribly dissimilar to Melville's whaleship the Acushnet. You can sign up to read a chapter yourself, or just listen while you sleep on deck under the stars. It ends at noon with a birthday party for Melville (with cake).
posted by Miko at 7:08 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


P.S. you can imagine the fodder for dissertations on Heart of Darkness and Moby Dick: quest for the impossible, blackness/whiteness, leadership and power, etc. It's been written about a lot. A lot of people may not know that Apolcalypse Now is a retelling of Heart of Darkness. But in a large large sense, they're all retellings of the Odyssey. Which was probably a retelling of something else. "I left home, and strange events happened to me" - one of humanity's oldest tales.
posted by Miko at 7:10 AM on February 7, 2011


It's taken me a year to (almost) finish Moby Dick so it's really funny to hear that people are doing it in 24 hours!
posted by storybored at 8:35 AM on February 7, 2011


Miko: you can imagine the fodder for dissertations on Heart of Darkness and Moby Dick: quest for the impossible, blackness/whiteness, leadership and power, etc. It's been written about a lot. A lot of people may not know that Apolcalypse Now is a retelling of Heart of Darkness. But in a large large sense, they're all retellings of the Odyssey. Which was probably a retelling of something else. "I left home, and strange events happened to me" - one of humanity's oldest tales.

This is what Campbell called the Monomyth.
posted by spaltavian at 8:53 AM on February 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Should have called it "Dark Heart of the White Whale."
posted by Eideteker at 10:39 AM on February 7, 2011


It's seems like a pretty loose comparison, although comparing Brando to a great white whale isn't totally off the mark.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:07 PM on February 7, 2011


It's seems like a pretty loose comparison

Which comparison? Conrad to Melville, or Apocalypse Now to Heart of Darkness? And why?
posted by Miko at 7:25 PM on February 7, 2011


(Because AN is most definitely based on Heart of Darkness - that's not at all speculative).
posted by Miko at 7:29 PM on February 7, 2011


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