Saturday, October 15, 2005

When Melville Justifies Long-Standing Prejudice

From Moby-Dick, chapt. 80:
Now, I consider that the phrenologists have omitted an important thing in not pushing their investigations from the cerebellum through the spinal canal. For I believe that much of a man's character will be found betokened in his backbone. I would rather rather feel your spine than your skull, whoever you are, A thin joist of a spine bever yet upheld a full and noble soul I rejoice in my spine, as in the firm audacious staff of that flag which I fling half out to the world!
Martha Graham (She of the Many Anecdotes) once pronounced: "Walk across the floor and I'll tell you your story!"

I'm with Martha and Melville: I believe I know something about the story of people by the way they hold themselves. If law professors are to find justifications for cops' hunches, surely I can hope that my verteregnomic predujices have some basis in reality.

(Inspired by.)


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