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Title page of the first edition by Moby-Dick (1851)

Moby-Dick; or: The whale ( English Moby-Dick; or, The Whale ) is a novel published in 1851 in London and New York by the American writer Herman Melville . The narrative backbone of the novel is the fateful voyage of the whaling ship Pequod , whose captain Ahab hunts with blind hatred the white sperm whale Moby Dick , which has torn off his leg.

Along this narrative thread, which makes up almost half of the novel, Melville lines up numerous philosophical, scientific, art-historical and mythological excursions, to which there are also many subjective, sometimes lyrical, sometimes ironic considerations by the author. In this context, the world of whaling in the 18th and 19th centuries is shown in great detail. Melville dedicated his novel Moby-Dick to his friend, writer Nathaniel Hawthorne .


The eponymous whale is usually written Moby Dick with spaces, the book title is often Moby-Dick with a hyphen according to the American first edition. The reasons for the hyphen are not completely clear. This convention is not always followed, many editions of books are written by Moby Dick , as are works derived from books.

Plot and main characters

Moby-Dick begins with the sentence: “ Call me Ishmael. ”(German:" Call me Ismael. "). This is followed by the first-person narration of the sailor Ismael (his full name is never mentioned), who comes from a respected family and decides to go to sea as a sailor to escape his melancholy . He speaks of an irrepressible urge in him that comes over him when he is tired of the mainland. Ishmael has already made several trips on merchant ships, but now wants to hire a whaler .

With "one or two" shirts stuffed into his travel bag, Ismael is drawn to the island of Nantucket , where - according to Melville - originally "the first dead American whale stranded". First, however, Ismael makes a stopover in New Bedford on the American east coast, where whaling is almost monopolized and most young men hire on the whaling ships. He stayed at the inn of the ominous Peter Coffin and met the harpooner Queequeg, a South Sea islander who was tattooed all over his body and who might once have been a cannibal , but despite his initially terrifying appearance soon turned out to be the ideal image of the “ noble savage ”: “a George Washington in the guise of a cannibal ”. Ismael and Queequeg form blood brotherhood .

When they arrive in Nantucket, they both get on a bizarrely decorated whaling ship named after the tribe of the Pequod Indians that had been exterminated centuries earlier . Old Elias' warnings about the ship's captain are ominous omens.

The trip begins on Christmas Day. At first, Captain Ahab cannot be seen on deck. Only on the open sea does he get out of his cabin and explain the real destination of the journey to the crew in pathetic words : He wants to hunt and kill Moby Dick, the white whale that tore off his leg. He nails an Ecuadorian gold doubloon to the main mast, which is to be given to whoever sees the whale first. The team, which is made up of representatives from many different nations and symbolizes the world as a microcosm , lets itself be carried away by the charisma of its captain and swear to his goal.

Ahab's adversary is the first helmsman , Starbuck, a bold and experienced sailor who thinks soberly and rationally and stands out for his piety. As a result, there are several confrontations between Ahab and Starbuck; At one point, Starbuck even secretly considers killing Ahab, who becomes more and more fanatical in the course of the story, to protect the crew, but gives up at the last moment.

Illustration from an 1892 edition

After circumnavigating the Cape of Good Hope , whales are sighted, hunted and killed several times. The hunt for the animals and the processing of their bodies are described appropriately and in detail. The voyage is regularly interrupted when meeting other ships. Ahab always asks their captains about the white whale.

One day Queequeg falls seriously ill and feels his end is near. At his request a coffin is made for him. But Queequeg survives because, as he says himself, he still has various things to do, and his coffin is used as a replacement for the lifebuoy that has since been lost. After cruising through the Indian Ocean and the Indonesian islands , the Pequod, east of Japan, finally gets news of a sighting of the white whale. The hunt for him lasts three days and includes three confrontations. In the last collision, the Pequod is rammed by Moby Dick and made to sink. Ahab is caught in his whale boat by a bay of the outgoing harpoon line and pulled under water by the descending whale. Ishmael manages to stay afloat on Queequeg's coffin and is rescued by another whaler as the only survivor of the doom.

Main characters:

  • Ishmael, sailor - the narrator (in the original: Ishmael)
  • Queequeg, Polynesian , harpooner
  • Father Mapple, New Bedford Church minister
  • Captain Bildad, ship owner (partner)
  • Captain Peleg, ship owner (partner)
  • Elias, madman or prophet
  • Ahab, the captain
  • Starbuck, first mate
  • Stubb, second helmsman
  • Flask, third helmsman
  • Tashtego, gay head Indian, harpooner
  • Daggoo, African, harpooner
  • Fedallah, a Parsee , a harpooner
  • Pip, an African, cabin boy
  • The ship's carpenter
  • Perth, the blacksmith

Style and shape


The book Moby-Dick consists of a total of over 900 pages of 135 chapters with headings and an epilogue. The latter was missing from the original British edition. The novel is preceded by a section on the etymology of the word "whale" as well as a section with 81 quotations about the whale from literary, religious, scientific and other works.

Narrative form

The novel is told by the sailor Ismael in the first person. However, this narrative form is repeatedly broken through, interspersed with scientific and other excursions - which seem like inserted essays or treatises - and with dramatic scenes that contain stage directions like a theater play and are consistently designed in a dialogical manner.

As Armin Staats shows in his analysis, the narrator Ismael plays a double role that is decisive for the structure of the novel: first that of the naive, young sailor who is introduced to a new profession, and then that of the mature narrator who looks back reported and rich in experiences. This fact makes it possible to present the original experiences of Young Ishmael in a larger context and from an interpretative perspective.

In the narrative and essayistic sections there are often long, nested sentence periods with complex metaphors and numerous literary and biblical allusions. Melville makes use of a variety of stylistic means and combines several technical languages ​​- those of whaling, seafaring, religious, scientific and lyrical language - and a number of dialects and sociolects .

This style of the novel corresponds to the motley team of the Pequod: It is similarly disparate and multifaceted, but - like the team - is held together by the goal of the trip, the hunt for the white whale. The review of a new German edition speaks of the translation of a “fantastic bastard from an adventure novel, neo-baroque allegory and ' Great American Novel '”, a “both archaic and modern work”.


Ahab's hunt for the white whale contradicts the material interests of the crew and the owners. Ahab's vengeance against the unreasonable animal Moby Dick seems blasphemous to First Mate Starbuck.

The names of the characters in the novel combine mystical , historical and social motifs:

The name Ahab refers, among other things, to the eponymous ruler of the northern kingdom of Israel , who, according to biblical tradition, was a godless king. The prophet Elijah prophesied God's punishment to him; The figure of Elias in Moby Dick also predicts the same .

In the chapter "The Whiteness of the Whale", the first-person narrator Ismael first refers to the traditional associations such as beauty, innocence, honor, goodness and justice. For him, as Armin Staats explains, the color white symbolizes “the higher values ​​in religion, culture and politics: the true, the good and the beautiful”, and the white whale becomes the central symbol of the novel.

In contrast to the monomaniacal fixation of Ahab in his desperate, lonely campaign of revenge, Ismael understands Moby Dick "against the background of the whale world and the mythical cultural tradition"; he orients himself on the image of the inconceivable white whale as a concrete and abstract symbol of nature; Moby-Dick thus proves to be “the drama of a symbolic understanding of the world”.

For Cesare Pavese , the sea (as in Melville's story Benito Cereno ) is not just the setting, but "the only sensually tangible form [...] in which, according to Melville, the dark, ironic and demonic center of the universe can be embodied" , so not just allegory , but universal myth .

Real backgrounds

Herman Melville

The real backgrounds for the descriptions in Moby-Dick were Melville's own experiences as well as several events or stories he became aware of, which in turn are based on true events.

Own experience

On January 3, 1841, Melville was hired in Nantucket on the whaler Acushnet . The conditions on board on the fishing trip to the Pacific appeared to Melville unreasonable and he deserted in 1842 during the first stop on the island of Nukuhiva ( Marquesas ), where he and another sailor spent several weeks with one of the island companies as a kind of captive guest. He escaped on the Australian whaler Lucy Ann and made it to Tahiti . There he was hired as a boat helmsman on the whaler Charles and Henry from Nantucket and in April 1843 he was signed off again in Hawaii. He processed the experiences on the island mainly in his book Typee .

Shipwreck of the Union in 1807

The whaling ship Union, under the command of Captain Edmund Gardner, left Nantucket on September 19, 1807 for a fishing trip in the South Atlantic. On October 10, around 10 p.m., the ship was shaken by a ram, which caused a water ingress. The crew had to leave the ship and were able to reach the Azores in their boats after seven days . Captain Gardner suspected the encounter with a whale as the cause of the ramming. This event is briefly mentioned by Melville in Chapter 45 of Moby-Dick .

The sinking of the Essex

The whaling ship Essex from Nantucket was sunk on November 20, 1820 by a sperm whale ramming it. After the Essex was sunk, the crew of 20 fled in three whaling boats. Only five men in two boats were rescued after three months of odyssey through the South Pacific Ocean. The men only survived because they ate their way of starvation and a comrade who was shot. Three other men survived on the uninhabited island of Henderson, part of the Pitcairn Archipelago . Melville met the son of the then helmsman Owen Chase in 1841 and received from him his father's book about the events on the Essex . A year after Moby-Dick appeared , Melville also met then Captain George Pollard in Nantucket.

Mocha Dick

In May 1839, the New York magazine The Knickerbocker published the article "Mocha Dick: or The White Whale of the Pacific" by Jeremiah N. Reynolds. It describes the hunt for a white whale, which was particularly known among whalers for its ferocity, often appeared off the island of Mocha off the coast of Chile and was therefore called Mocha Dick . The details described therein are in part similar to those of Melville's novel. While “Dick” is viewed as a purely generic name like “Tom” or “Jack”, there is no evidence what prompted Melville to convert “Mocha” to “Moby”, perhaps he just wanted to anglicize the Spanish “Mocha”.

The United States Exploring Expedition

A further source of novel details is referred to the report of the United States Exploring Expedition to the South Seas from 1838 to 1842. Melville also obtained a copy of the 100 copies of the official Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition . According to literary scholars, influences from this expedition report can repeatedly be discovered in his work. For example, the description of Queequeg is said to be inspired by the illustration of a tattooed Maori chief in the second volume of the narratives . It is also believed that the highly controversial expedition leader Charles Wilkes served as a model for the tragic figure of Captain Ahab.

Richard Henry Dana, Jr.

In 1840 the book Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. appeared. It described the voyage that the author had made as a sailor on a sailing ship from Boston to California and back from 1834-1836. Melville praised the book in white jacket (German: white jacket or the world on a warship ) as the best of all previous descriptions of the passage around Cape Horn . He also corresponded with Dana while writing Moby Dick . On May 1, 1850, he wrote to him that a literary account of whaling was not easy: it was difficult to press poetry out of whale fat. Melville not only drew on her own experience, but also on Dana's work, particularly when it came to the details of sailors' language and the South Seas.


The novel was first published in London in 1851 and shortly thereafter in New York. While the British reviews were generally friendly to neutral, almost all reviews in the USA were very negative - with the two most negative British reviews often cited as authoritative sources as evidence, a sign of the as yet undeveloped American literary criticism. The devastating judgment of the American critics had two main reasons: On the one hand, the literary scene in the USA was strongly influenced by religion at the time, but Melville in Moby Dick repeatedly mocks traditional religion and declares Queequeg's idolatry to be equivalent to Christianity. In the London edition, in contrast to the American edition, almost all statements critical of religion were removed, which explains the somewhat more moderate criticisms of the British reviews. On the other hand, Melville had become known for strongly autobiographical novels from the South Seas, which had great success, while Moby Dick was a completely different and novel book, which therefore met with incomprehension.

The negative reception meant that Melville and Moby Dick were quickly forgotten. In a history of American literature from 1909, there is just about one page on Melville out of 500 pages; there Moby Dick is described as his "masterpiece", but at the same time criticized that it is an "unbalanced work of exaggerated length", written in a "sometimes tortured style".

Melville didn't live to see the rediscovery of his greatest book, which began in the 1890s when the first new edition appeared. By 1919, Melville's 100th birthday, the new assessment had already gained in importance. Since the 1920s, the book has been recognized as a classic in both American and world literature.

Published in the six years after "Moby Dick" novel, The Confidence-Man (dt. Masquerades or trust for trust ) explained Melville his conception of original characters whose quality he at masterpieces like Shakespeare's Hamlet , Cervantes' Don Quixote or Milton's Satan measures. The conception of such a character serves Melville at the same time to build up "an ideology and societal critical perspective". Ahab's monomania is therefore not to be interpreted as an individual fate, but as an expression of "culture, society, and civilization-critical reality, ie based on the contradictions of contemporary reality." Melville was not satisfied with the originality of whaling; more fundamental question about the possibility of an American national literature without renouncing the traditional conception of the hero and his tragic fall, developed within the framework of feudalist-hierarchical social systems .

In today's literary evaluation, “Moby Dick” is still considered a “masterpiece on the autobiography of a century, on the autobiography of a nation, on the baroque sum of human experience of thousands of years” in German-speaking countries as well .

This belated breakthrough is likely due to the fact that Moby Dick's style and form are not dissimilar to those of several great novels of classical modernism. Like John Dos Passos , Alfred Döblin , Robert Musil and James Joyce , Melville tried in Moby Dick to depict the whole modern world in its diversity and fragmentation and to shape its complexity back into a whole through literary references to mythology and religion. Another representative of classical modernism, William Faulkner , declared Moby Dick in 1927 to be the book he would have liked to have written himself.

From today's point of view, it should be noted that Melville's Moby Dick - similar to Defoe's Robinson Crusoe and Cervantes' Don Quixote - can be seen as a prime example of a literary model, whose high degree of popularity is less the original than its numerous adaptations for film, television and radio play as well as a youth book.

A group of cultural scholars is currently working on a comprehensive commentary on the indexing of all 135 chapters of the novel. These comments have been published regularly since 2012 in every issue of Fischer-Verlag's Neue Rundschau .


English language editions

The first edition of Moby Dick appeared on October 18, 1851 in three volumes under the title The Whale by Richard Bentley in London. The epilogue is missing from this edition (for reasons that are not clear). In addition, the British censor had a number of critical statements about monarchies and the Christian church removed. The first American edition appeared without these deletions under the title Moby-Dick; or, The Whale on November 14, 1851 in New York at Harper & Brothers.

Melville dedicated Moby Dick originally the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne , whose famous novel The Scarlet Letter (German: The Scarlet Letter ) was briefly appeared before.

There are many different English editions available today.

Translations into German

Numerous translations by Moby Dick are available in German, for example:

translator publishing company Publishing year comment
Wilhelm Strüver Theodor Knaur descendants 1927 Berlin Published by Thomas Mann .

“Above all, it expresses one thing: contempt for the translated text. This interpreting censor apparently found almost two thirds so bad that he left them out entirely. "

- Dieter E. Zimmer, 2009
Margarete Möckli from Seggern Gutenberg Book Guild 1942 Zurich

"[...] the first (almost) complete [...] demonstrates [...] that you cannot translate what you have not understood."

- Dieter E. Zimmer, 2009
Fritz Güttinger Manesse Publishing House 1944 Zurich

"They tried to minimize the alienation by describing Melville with sometimes considerable linguistic imagination."

- Dieter E. Zimmer, 2009
Theresia Mutzenbecher with the assistance of Ernst Schnabel Claassen & Goverts 1946 Hamburg

"They tried to minimize the alienation by describing Melville with sometimes considerable linguistic imagination."

- Dieter E. Zimmer, 2009
Karl Bahnmüller Ensslin & Laiblin publishing house 1950 Reutlingen abridged youth edition (approx. 390 pages)
Botho Henning Elster German Book Association 1951 Düsseldorf In his epilogue, the translator takes the opinion, among other things, that the history of whaling and the scientific representations of whales “disturb the classy gait of the splendid seaman's history”, and he therefore shortened it.
Alice and Hans Seiffert Dieterich'sche publishing bookstore 1956 Leipzig

"They didn't want to do better than the author, only nearly as well."

- Dieter E. Zimmer, 2009
Hans Trausil Publishing house of German folk books 1958 Stuttgart
Thomas Trent S. Fischer Verlag 1959 Göttingen abridged youth edition (approx. 80 pages)
Richard Mummendey Winkler publishing house 1964 Munich

"[Came] quite close to what one expects from a good translation today."

- Dieter E. Zimmer, 2009
Gerhard Lorenz Eduard Kaiser Verlag 1965 Klagenfurt
Matthias Jendis Hanser publishing house 2001 Munich The translation was created as a comprehensive adaptation of the Rathjen version (2004).
Friedhelm Rathjen Two thousand and one 2004 Frankfurt am Main

Translations by Rathjen and Jendis

A controversy arose over the last two German translations by Jendis and Rathjen. At the beginning of the 1990s, Friedhelm Rathjen had created a translation for a work edition designed by three editors, which Hanser bought but initially did not publish. After the originally planned editors left, Daniel Göske was finally hired as the new editor of the work edition; However, he found the Rathjen version inadequate and therefore had Matthias Jendis edit it heavily on behalf of the publishing house. After Rathjen refused to allow this adaptation to appear under his name, Rathjen and the publisher agreed in early 2001 to return the rights of the unedited version to the translator; In return, the latter waived the rights to the edited version. In autumn 2001 the publisher published the Jendis adaptation as a "complete new translation" of the novel. Dieter E. Zimmer preferred the Jendis version in 2001: It eliminates the errors in the earlier versions, is more precise, even if it looks the original here and there perhaps more than necessary. Rathjen's version, from which only excerpts were published publicly at the time, was a “systematic and dogmatic blurring and ugliness.” Dorothea Dieckmann, on the other hand, judged in 2004 on Deutschlandfunk that the Jendis version met the reader, but that was the problem . Rathjens version preserves and underlines the peculiarities of the original. “Hence the poetry of his Moby Dick.” The whaling historian Klaus Barthelmess said in 2005 that he had never read the novel with as much profit as in Rathjen's version.

Two main contributors to the controversy made their views known publicly:

  • Friedhelm Rathjen: ferry services: public memories and confessions of a self-righteous translator , in: writing booklet 57/2001. (Attempt by the translator to justify the "principles" of his approach.)
  • Wolfgang Matz : Confusion of wills of intricate words. Some comments on Friedhelm Rathjens 'Moby Dick' and on translation in general , in: Neue Rundschau, 4/2004. (Criticism of the Hanser lecturer on the Rathjen translation he had previously supervised.)

In 2006, Verlag Zweausendeins published a complete, thirty-hour audio book version of the translation by Friedhelm Rathjen , read by Christian Brückner .

Primary literature

A currently available version of a translation is named.

Secondary literature

  • Richard H. Brodhead (Ed.): New Essays on "Moby-Dick" . CUP, Cambridge 1999, ISBN 0-521-30205-6 .
  • Eugen Drewermann : Moby Dick or From the monster to be human . Walter Verlag, Düsseldorf 2004, ISBN 3-530-17010-0 .
  • Hans Helmcke: The function of the first-person narrator in Herman Melville's novel "Moby Dick" (= Mainzer Americanist contributions . Volume 1), Hueber, Munich 1955, DNB 480150923 (dissertation University of Mainz, Philosophical Faculty May 16, 1955, 307 pages).
  • Jean-Francois LeRoux: Herman Melville's Moby-Dick: A Documentary Volume . Gale, Detroit 2009. ISBN 0-7876-8167-9 . (= Dictionary of Literary Biography 349)
  • Reinhard Möller: On the sublime as an aesthetic challenge of travel and representation in Herman Melville's Moby-Dick in: Helge Baumann, Michael Weise et al. (Ed.): Have you already flown tired? Travel and homecoming as cultural anthropological phenomena . Tectum, Marburg 2010, pp. 47-61. ISBN 3-8288-2184-7 .
  • Neue Rundschau 123/2 (2012): Moby-Dick . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 978-3-10-809089-0 .
  • Neue Rundschau 131/2 (2020): Moby-Dick II . S. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN 978-3-10-809122-4
  • Hershel Parker, Harrison Hayford (Eds.): Moby-Dick as Doubloon. Essays and Extracts (1851-1970) . Norton, New York 1970, ISBN 0-393-09883-4 .
  • Owen Chase : Der Untergang der Essex, Die Hanse Verlag, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-434-52565-3 .
  • Nathaniel Philbrick : In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex . Penguin, New York City 2000, ISBN 0-14-100182-8 .
  • Armin Staats: Melville Moby Dick. In: Hans-Joachim Lang (Ed.): The American novel · From the beginning to the present . Bagel Verlag, Düsseldorf 1972, ISBN 3-513-02213-1 , pp. 103-141.
  • Hubert Zapf (ed.): American literary history. 2nd, updated edition, Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 2004, ISBN 3-476-02036-3 (esp. P. 118 f. Travel report, autobiography, treatise literature and p. 136–139 explorative self-transgression of 'romance': Herman Melville ) .
  • Rudolf Sühnel : Melville's Moby Dick - An introductory interpretation. In: Franz H. Link (Ed.): America · Vision and Reality, contributions to German research on American literary history . Athenäum Verlag, Frankfurt am Main / Bonn 1968, pp. 160–169, DNB 454572719 .
  • Marina van Zuylen: Difficulty as an Aesthetic Principle: Realism and Unreadability in Stifter , Melville, and Flaubert (= Studies in English and comparative literature , Volume 9), Narr, Tübingen 1993, ISBN 3-8233-5004-8 (Dissertation Harvard University , Cambridge, MA [1993], 176 pages, English).

Book illustrations

The illustrator and the year of publication are named:

Film adaptations

There are also several free adaptations of the material for film, television and cartoons.


  • Olivier Jouvray, Pierre Alary, Swantje Baumgart Moby Dick, German edition: Splitter, Bielefeld 2014, ISBN 978-3-95839-043-0
  • Christophe Chabouté Moby Dick , German edition: Egmont Graphic Novel, Berlin 2015, ISBN 978-3-7704-5523-2 .

Radio plays

Klaus Buhlert edited the material and directed the almost nine-hour radio play that he recorded for Bayerischer Rundfunk in 2002. The narrator is Felix von Manteuffel , Ismael is spoken by Rufus Beck , Starbuck by Ulrich Matthes and Ahab by Manfred Zapatka .

Other productions:

Audio books


  • Bernard Herrmann's cantata Moby Dick for male choir, soloists and orchestra, with a text by W. Clark Harrington, was premiered in 1940 by the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra under Sir John Barbirolli.
  • The record album Led Zeppelin II from 1969 contains an instrumental piece "Moby Dick".
  • The commissioned composition Of Sailors and Whales, op. 78 for wind orchestra by William Francis McBeth , premiered in 1990. The five movements are labeled: Ishmael - Queequeg - Father Mapple - Ahab - The White Whale.
  • Ahab! by Stephen Melillo (born 1957) for wind orchestra and actor (the composer insists that it is not a "narrator") was written in the late 1990s.
  • Multimedia artist Laurie Anderson used Melville material for her 1999 theatrical work Songs and Stories from Moby Dick . The piece was shown in the US, Italy and the UK in 1999 and 2000. The first three songs on Anderson's album Life on a string (“One White Whale”, “The Island Where I Come From” and “Pieces and Parts”) come from this stage project.
  • In 2004 the children's opera Moby Dick, composed by Raoul Gehringer , was premiered by the Vienna Boys' Choir at the Wiener Musikverein .
  • In 2010, Jake Heggie's opera Moby-Dick premiered in Dallas with great success.

Web links

Wikisource: Moby-Dick  - Sources and full texts (English)
Commons : Moby-Dick  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Erin Blakemore: Why Does Moby-Dick (Sometimes) Have a Hyphen? on on December 10, 2015, accessed September 6, 2019.
  2. Call me Ishmael ” is translated as “Nennt mich Ismael (roman) ”, for example in the 2003 new translation by Matthias Jendis. ISBN 978-3-442-72731-5 ; but can also be understood as a singular (“Call me Ishmael ”).
  3. Elijah may be a madman, possibly a seer - the prophet Elijah is King Ahab's opponent in the Bible .
  4. ^ Armin Staats: Melville · Moby Dick. In: Hans-Joachim Lang (Ed.): The American novel · From the beginning to the present . Bagel Verlag, Düsseldorf 1972, ISBN 3-513-02213-1 , p. 108.
  5. ^ A b Dorothea Dieckmann: True to the text or legible? In: December 8, 2004, accessed February 9, 2015 .
  6. chap. 36: “Vengeance on a dumb brute!” cried Starbuck, “that simply smote thee from blindest instinct! Madness! To be enraged with a dumb thing, Captain Ahab, seems blasphemous. "
  7. See in detail Armin Staats: Melville · Moby Dick. In: Hans-Joachim Lang (Ed.): The American novel · From the beginning to the present . Bagel Verlag, Düsseldorf 1972, ISBN 3-513-02213-1 , pp. 118, 122–123, 126, 116–117, 107. In his analysis, Staats also points out that the whale in the novel is also a “phallic symbol "And" bisexual image "is used. See p. 129 ff.
  8. ^ Cesare Pavese: Writings on literature. Hamburg 1967, p. 133.
  9. ^ Herman Melville - Young Melville and the Cannibals ( Memento of March 8, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  10. DIE WELT Online: The real Moby Dick ... ( Memento from January 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  11. ^ New Bedford Whaling Museum: Logbook entry of the ship "Union" 1807 ( Memento from July 2, 2014 in the Internet Archive )
  12. ^ Obed Macy: The History of Nantucket, 237
  13. Nathaniel Philbrick: In the Heart of the Sea. The Whaler's Last Voyage Essex. Goldmann, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-442-72971-8 .
  14. Owen Chase: The Fall of the Essex. The Hanse Verlag, Hamburg 2000, ISBN 3-434-52565-3 .
  16. United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. In: Retrieved February 9, 2015 .
  17. ^ Based on Nathaniel Philbrick: Demons of the Sea , Blessing, Munich 2004, ISBN 978-3-89667-182-0 .
  18. Hershel Parker: Herman Melville - A Biography. Volume I, 1996 p. 724
  19. ^ Theodore Stanton: A Manual of American Literature , p. 189.
  20. ^ Armin Staats: Melville · Moby Dick. In: Hans-Joachim Lang (Ed.): The American novel · From the beginning to the present . Bagel Verlag, Düsseldorf 1972, ISBN 3-513-02213-1 , pp. 121 and 135.
  21. Rudolf Sühnel : Melville's Moby Dick - An introductory interpretation. In: Franz H. Link (Ed.): America · Vision and Reality, contributions to German research on American literary history . Athenäum Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. et al. 1968, p. 169.
  22. We are the beast. A comment on "Moby-Dick". Retrieved August 15, 2019 .
  23. See the information from Rudolf Sühnel : Melville's Moby Dick - An introductory interpretation. In: Franz H. Link (Ed.): America · Vision and Reality, contributions to German research on American literary history . Athenäum Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. et al. 1968, p. 167.
  24. a b c d e f g Dieter E. Zimmer : Adolf Atta Ahab - Herman Melville's novel 'Moby-Dick' was published 150 years ago. After a long dispute, there are now two new translations. Which one is better? Ed .: Die Zeit / literature supplement. No. 47 , November 15, 2001, p. L3 ( [accessed January 1, 2018]).
  25. Klaus Barthelmess: A new Leviathan translation . On:
  26. The Sea Beast in the Internet Movie Database (English) (film adaptation from 1926)
  27. Moby Dick in the Internet Movie Database (English) (adaptation from 1930)
  28. Moby Dick in the Internet Movie Database (English) (film version from 1956)
  29. Moby Dick in the Internet Movie Database (English) (film version from 1998)
  30. Capitaine Achab in the Internet Movie Database (English) (adaptation from 2004)
  31. Moby Dick in the Internet Movie Database (film version from 2010)
  32. Moby Dick in the Internet Movie Database (English) (series from 2010)
  33. Der Spiegel 11/27/2011 / Nikolaus von Festenberg "Moby Dick" remake, "The wooden leg roll of the incarnate"