Herman Melville quote about books from Moby-Dick - To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
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To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme.
 Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851). copy citation

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Author Herman Melville
Source Moby-Dick
Topic books writing theme
Date 1851
Language English
Reference
Note
Weblink http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2701/2701-h/2701-h.htm

Context

“For in the mere act of penning my thoughts of this Leviathan, they weary me, and make me faint with their outreaching comprehensiveness of sweep, as if to include the whole circle of the sciences, and all the generations of whales, and men, and mastodons, past, present, and to come, with all the revolving panoramas of empire on earth, and throughout the whole universe, not excluding its suburbs. Such, and so magnifying, is the virtue of a large and liberal theme! We expand to its bulk. To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea, though many there be who have tried it.
Ere entering upon the subject of Fossil Whales, I present my credentials as a geologist, by stating that in my miscellaneous time I have been a stone-mason, and also a great digger of ditches, canals and wells, wine-vaults, cellars, and cisterns of all sorts.” source

Meaning and analysis

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