September 17, 2012

Moby Dick Big Read

I'm not sure why exactly, but the good people on this website are hosting a Moby Dick Big Read.  They're posting one chapter a day for 135 days with accompanying art work.  Each chapter is being read by a different person.  Tilda Swinton started us off yesterday with a lyrical reading of the first chapter.  Today's chapter is read by a nautical captain and lecturer.  Some other readers coming up I've heard about include Stephen Fry, John Waters and Simon Callow, among many others.

It's a great idea because it's one of those books I imagine is under read.  It's a good book but intimidating.  I read it in a class for college, but must admit I skipped some of the whaling industry chapters.  I've always meant to re-read it but even on audio it's a 20-hour plus commitment.  But 10-15 minute daily chapters?  Sure, why not?  So if you haven't already, check it out and listen to the first two chapters.   You'll get cool artwork, interesting readers, the bragging rights to a classic work of literature and maybe some surprises.  (Unless you already knew about the homoeroticism and whale foreskin...)

But seriously, it's actually quite a good format for Melville.  He was a one-chapter-at-a-time writer who rarely went back and edited so I imagine he would totally be a blogger nowadays and enjoy the format of this presentation.  Of course, what writer wouldn't want this kind of treatment over a hundred and sixty years  after publishing a book?

"Call me Ismael..."