The Squid & the Whale

original artwork by Matt Kish

Today’s post is going to be on the lighter side because of my night spent awake due to this stupid cough (mother–if you’re reading, yes, I’ll go to the doctor if it persists). When I was able to get a restful moment of sleep, I had a dream about a giant squid and a whale attacking each other. When I awoke, my head was just a whirl with literature. I think Moby Dick is a fantastic book and I am definitely proud that I’ve read the whole thing! I keep it right in the middle of my mantle and above it hangs a beautiful framed reproduction of a 19th C scientific drawing of a whale.

Around the time that I was conquering this giant book, someone sent me to a website featuring the artwork of Matt Kish. He has created artwork for each page of the novel. His art has been collected into a book that I’m sure is a beauty unto itself.

And of course, how could any New Yorker or any nautical lover for that matter forget the famous exhibit at the Museum of Natural History called “Clash of the Titans.” The diorama is located in the best room of the museum. Once one is done staring at the mammoth whale that hangs from floor to ceiling, you should swiftly make your way into the quiet, dark corner where the sperm whale and giant squid are duking it out. Fun fact: sperm whales can live between 50-80 years.

courtesy of Wikipedia

Speaking of the “Clash of the Titans” diorama, there is always the great film The Squid and the Whale. It has been awhile since I’ve seen it but I remember really liking it. The title is in reference to the diorama and the film is centered around the oldest son of two writers who are going through a bitter divorce.

To end this strange little post, I just wonder how many works of prose and visual art have been inspired by these two almost mythical beings of the deep. They are frightening creatures that seem to pop up in the arts and there is something always astonishing about them.

>>I’m also a big fan of the American painter, Winslow Homer, who is most famous now for his nautical paintings. My favorites are the ones that always feature a cloudy day at sea. A personal favorite: Eight Bells.

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5 comments

  1. Moby Dick was one of my favorite books in high school. I remember reading it while sitting on the rocks at the beach and looking up at the ocean.

    The Squid and the Whale diorama at the museum really is wonderful. Actually, that whole room in the museum is terrific and always worth a visit.

    Another painter who did wonderfully emotional paintings of the sea (in a totally different style than Homer) is the British painter J. M. W. Turner.

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