Oct 9
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“There never was a very great man yet who spent all his life inland. A snuff of the sea, my boy, is inspiration; and having been once out of sight of land, has been the making of many a true poet and the blasting of many pretenders; for, d’ye see, there’s no gammon about the ocean; it knocks the false keel right off a pretender’s bows; it tells him just what he is, and makes him feel it, too. A sailor’s life, I say, is the thing to bring us mortals out.”

—Herman Melville, White-Jacket in Herman Melville : Redburn, White-Jacket, Moby-Dick (New York: Library of America, 1983), 635.


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