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To produce a mighty book, you must choose a mighty theme. No great and enduring volume can ever be written on the flea,... Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 12:00:00 AM
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Joined: 3/7/2009
Posts: 33,686
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Location: Inside Farlex computers
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.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)
MTC
Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 2:58:14 AM
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Joined: 1/18/2011
Posts: 2,780
Neurons: 8,606

Melville was picking on the flea and not vice versa. Not really a fair fight, was it?

Moby-Dick, Chapter 104

One often hears of writers that rise and swell with their subject, though it may seem but an ordinary one. How, then, with me, writing of this Leviathan? Unconsciously my chirography expands into placard capitals. Give me a condor's quill! Give me Vesuvius' crater for an inkstand! Friends, hold my arms! 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.

John Donne, on the other hand, wrote a memorable poem if not "a mighty book" on the flea:

The Flea
BY JOHN DONNE
Mark but this flea, and mark in this,
How little that which thou deniest me is;
It sucked me first, and now sucks thee,
And in this flea our two bloods mingled be;
Thou know’st that this cannot be said
A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead,
Yet this enjoys before it woo,
And pampered swells with one blood made of two,
And this, alas, is more than we would do.

Oh stay, three lives in one flea spare,
Where we almost, nay more than married are.
This flea is you and I, and this
Our mariage bed, and marriage temple is;
Though parents grudge, and you, w'are met,
And cloistered in these living walls of jet.
Though use make you apt to kill me,
Let not to that, self-murder added be,
And sacrilege, three sins in killing three.

Cruel and sudden, hast thou since
Purpled thy nail, in blood of innocence?
Wherein could this flea guilty be,
Except in that drop which it sucked from thee?
Yet thou triumph’st, and say'st that thou
Find’st not thy self, nor me the weaker now;
’Tis true; then learn how false, fears be:
Just so much honor, when thou yield’st to me,
Will waste, as this flea’s death took life from thee.

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/175764




Bully_rus
Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 7:28:01 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/26/2013
Posts: 3,522
Neurons: 362,436
Location: Minsk, Minskaya Voblasts', Belarus
What size is a matter? Forgive me my candid suggestion, it's something heavyweight like Mike Tyson or Moby Dick.
GreenBanana
Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 10:11:53 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/3/2013
Posts: 345
Neurons: 20,818
Elitism.
capitán
Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 10:53:07 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/2013
Posts: 495
Neurons: 28,396
Location: San Salvador, San Salvador, El Salvador
White Whale
Holy Grail!
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