"It's the name of a harpooner in a novel about whaling called Moby-Dick."
"Sounds vaguely familiar."
"You might have heard about it in school," Keishi said. "It was widely read in Classical America. I think there's an episode of The Brady Bunch where Greg doesn't return it and gets a huge library fine...no, wait, that's The Red Badge of Courage. Anyway, it was well known."
"How long would it take you to read it for me?"
"Slot me a fresh moistdisk," she said. "I'll give you the novel as a memory. Have you used an English fluency chip much?"
"Sure, but not for a while."
"A year? Two years? That's okay, the neuromodulators should still be able to find those pathways lying around; you won't have to burn in again. In English, then. Oh, and I can also give you the memories of a Preclassical Lit. professor from LGU who wrote his thesis on it. Ready?"
I nodded. The novel seeped into my mind, like milk into a sponge. A man tattooed with frogs and labyrinths; a leg of polished whalebone; duodecimo, octavo, folio whales; a coffin bobbing among the waves; and in the blue distance a white mass rising, un-knotting its suckered limbs, and sinking: unearthly, formless, chance-like mockery of life.
"Now that's really something," I said when it had finished. "Why couldn't we read that in school, instead of watching all that television?"
"You liked it?"
"It beats the hell out of The Brady Bunch."
(Raphael Carter, The Fortunate Fall, p. 155)