Whale Why?

Minus ten points if you don't know why a literature blog would be called white whale. Time to brush up on that vital life skill, 19th century American fiction!

Herman Melville's MOBY DICK is a fabulously strange novel, and will strengthen your dinner party game if you read it.

Besides, poor Melville had a rough life, his later works attracting headlines such as HERMAN MELVILLE CRAZY and eventually he died in obscurity, his talent unrecognised. Makes me feel better about my own trajectory.

LUCKY JIM by Kingsley Amis

Here is a book about a man’s heroic refusal to be reconciled to his own life.    I found it sort of revelatory.   I guess we must live...