A Blog by Carl Zimmer

The Mark of Cetology (Science Ink Sunday)

Moby-Dick-550Dan Weston writes, “Given your interest in Moby Dick and tattoos, I thought you might appreciate my recent tattoo, based on an illustration by Rockwell Kent from the 1930’s edition (that I inherited from my grandmother and have read so many times that I had to have it rebound).”

Clearly, Dan has read my post from last year, “Herman Melville, Science Writer.”

For years I owned a copy of Moby Dick with Rockwell Kent’s dream-like engravings. The book disappeared a while ago, but the pictures remain how I see the story. The Plattsburgh State Art Museum has an online gallery of Kent’s illustrations here; I’ve reprinted the source of Dan’s ink below.

I think I need to buy myself another copy as a birthday present.

You can see the rest of the Science Tattoo Emporium here or in my book, Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.

Plattsburgh Moby Dick
Plattsburgh State Art Museum: http://clubs.plattsburgh.edu/museum/mobydick.htm

3 thoughts on “The Mark of Cetology (Science Ink Sunday)

  1. Carl,
    The great 19th century science writer, Melville, also had a fascination with tattoos, expressed in queequeg.

  2. Great work! Who is the tattoo artist? Also, Birgit Brander Rasmussen’s _Queequeg’s Coffin_ and Geoffrey Sanborn’s _Whipscars and Tattoos_ are two awesome (and recent) readings of Melville’s relationship to and literary use of tattoos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *