By Andy Boyle
NEW YORK CITY — Following the discovery of a note left in Herman Melville’s estate, literary historians say his book “Moby-Dick,” considered by many scholars one of the greatest works of the English language, was actually a big practical joke.
“Holy cow, I am going to trick the hell out of people,” wrote Melville in the note, just discovered last week. “I’m just going to write the hell out of this for shits and giggles and make it way long.”
The note says Melville planned on including lots of symbolism and metaphors to explore many complex themes about social status, good and evil and even the existence of a higher power.
“Just to mess with ‘em, I’m going to throw in a bit of hocus pocus about Zoroastrianism,” he wrote. “Yeah, that’ll mess with ‘em real good.”
Scholars said they don’t know who Melville was writing to. But he did include a drawing of a whale, with an arrow pointing to it with text saying, “See? This is so stupid and ridiculous.”
Added Melville: “I mean, even an idiot will get to the entire chapter about whale blubber and realize this is all just a big put-on.”
“I knew it!” said high school sophomores everywhere.
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