Blogue d'un québécois expatrié en Angleterre. Comme toute forme d'autobiographie est constituée d'une large part de fiction, j'ai décidé de nommer le blogue Vraie Fiction.
Friday, 3 May 2013
Call me Ishmael.
I know, I already used the first sentence of Moby Dickfor the title of a post. All the same, I am using it here, because I don't think I gave it proper thought on this blog. I wrote it on my Facebook wall, my old friends from cégep all liked it (I am barely exaggerating). We read it in second year, although I had already read it at... 12. In French of course, but still. Moby Dick (or Moby-Dick or The Whale as it was originally titled), may be the greatest novel in English language. It might also have the greatest first sentence in English literature history. I am serious. It is an intriguing one. "Call me Ishmael". Not "My name is Ishmael". From the first sentence (although it is not quite the first sentence of the novel), you know the narrator is giving you an alias. He is telling you it is an alias. One asks himself: why is he not giving me his real name? Why is he saying his name is not his real one? Is Ishmael hiding something with this pseudonym, or is it an alias that reveals something about him? I think his real name is unimportant, even to himself. But what his name means, and why Ishmael, I am still wondering about it.