Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Emergent WorldsAlternative States in Nineteenth-Century American Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Edward Sugden

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479899692

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479899692.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 22 August 2019

Coda

Coda

Ishmael in the Water

Chapter:
(p.187) Coda
Source:
Emergent Worlds
Author(s):

Edward Sugden

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479899692.003.0005

This coda considers how and why it is that the emergent worlds chronicled in this book have become legible to us now. It seeks to reflect on the contemporary conditions that have made the testimonies and archives covered across the three chapters comprehensible on their own terms, rather than through the lens of a later modernity. It concludes that we now live in a comparably interstitial age as the worlds that make up this book. More precisely, it studies Ishmael in the water at the end of Moby-Dick and suggests that this episode represents a point after a threshold, where he had left the chaotic Pacific and had entered into the beginnings of American modernity. In and around 2001, that era of modernity began to decline, and a new period of systemic uncertainty, our own, began. Ishmael is at the entrance, we at the exit to that age. Ishmael, as he drifts in the water, thus gestures toward anterior ages of transition but also to our future, warning us of the catastrophic consequences of failing to take advantage of these moments of historical promise.

Keywords:   emergent worlds, Moby-Dick, modernity, systemic uncertainty, Ishmael

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.