page 225 of 615 of Moby-Dick; or, The Whale

Texture.

There are numerous passages in the Seven Pillars of Wisdom where Lawrence goes into microscopic detail of the environment – the sand, the rocks, the water, the clouds, the vegetation – that it can be forgiven to skim over those parts and back to the action. But they are written for a reason: to give texture to the story. That desert is what the Arab’s fought for and these whales are what Ahab fights with.