Yet now, forsooth, because Pierre began to see through the first superficiality of the world, he fondly weens he has come to the unlayered substance. But, far as any geologist has yet gone down into the world, it is found to consist of nothing but surface stratified on surface. To its axis, the world being nothing but superinduced superficies. By vast pains we mine into the pyramid; by horrible gropings we come to the central room; with joy we espy the sarcophagus; but we lift the lid—and no body is there!—appallingly vacant as vast is the soul of a man!

‘pierre’ ruined herman melville’s life but uh . . . thanks for writing this stuff, dude.

“horrible gropings”—now i know what to call HUMAN LIFE

“we lift the lid and no body is there” sure is the head, the tail, the whole damn thing, as far as i’m concerned.