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Ten of Our All-Time Favorite Book Covers » Herman Melville — Moby Dick (Designed by Rockwell Kent)

Cover for Herman Melville — Moby Dick (Designed by Rockwell Kent)

Rockwell Kent’s cover to Moby Dick only gives us one of Kent’s many illustrations, but trust me when I say it’s worth looking up the whole set. They are fantastic. Kent’s rendition of the White Whale breaching is perfect. The water envelops the whale’s head and mouth, not behaving like water, but more like tendrils. This whale is not just coming out of the ocean; he is one with it. It’s as if the ocean opened up its mouth and that mouth is lined with razor-sharp teeth. This depiction of the whale is only made more powerful in the illustrations inside, when it’s compared against the tiny, soft, powerless figures of the Pequod crew.

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