Recently I have thought a lot about Moby Dick. The analogy of the “White Whale” is something many of us are fixated on whether we have read the epic piece of classic literature or not. It is a vital idea in modern society. The pursuit that destroys you without ever being completed. The unfinishable task.
For me, that task is likely composing the perfect Tweet. For Herman Melville that task was writing the perfect book, except for some Moby Dick is just that. Of course, a man of ambition is only as good as his next task and topping himself became the feat that Melville would likely never accomplish. It makes you wonder if he was able to take some solace in his own darkly beautiful analogy.
Spoiler alert: Moby Dick follows the attempt of Captain Ahab to defeat a whale that once destroyed his boat and bit off his leg. The book is long and tells an arduous story of adventure and internal drama and yet it all unfolds quickly. In the end, the whole wins, the whale always wins. Nothing worth aiming for is ever accomplished, the journey is it’s own end.