Friday, January 8, 2016

Current Events: 'Moby-Dick' Reading Marathon

A doorway to the New Bedford Whaling Museum
(from WPXI)

Are you a fan of the Herman Melville classic Moby-Dick (1851)?  If so, then you are in for a treat, because the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts is set to begin its 20th annual nonstop marathon reading of the novel tomorrow!  Approximately 150 volunteers will participate, and award-winning author Nathanial Philbrick will read the first chapter to start the marathon.  Portions of the novel will be read in other languages as well.  This event is so popular that all reading spots were filled in less than an hour (unless you can read Portuguese, as apparently there are still openings for this language)!

A first edition of Moby-Dick
(from Lorne Bair)

The festivities for this four-day event started yesterday, January 7th, with an evening reception.  Today there will be a series of lectures and events, as well as a pre-Marathon dinner.  On the big day, a fun Moby-Dick trivia quiz and a child-friendly abridged reading of the novel will precede the Reading Marathon.  The readings will commence at noon and finish about 25 hours later, with the event concluding at about 1:00 PM on January 10th.  Hundreds are expected to attend the live event, but if you cannot make the trek to New Bedford, you can watch a Livestream broadcast.

For those who have neither the patience nor the fortitude to watch a 25-hour nonstop marathon reading, I think the John Huston movie version of "Moby Dick" (1956) starring Gregory Peck (one of my favorite actors) is an excellent way to become familiar with the story.  Watch a few clips from this movie on TCM or YouTube:

"There she blows!"

From At the Bookshelf

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