Now to MDM19, just past. Here is a draught of a draught...
No surprise, MDM19 was much like MDM18, MDM17, MDM16, MDM15, MDM14, and MDM13. There were some great readers and some who labored, good sidebar discussions, and quick catch-ups with "marathon friends" old and new.
The museum staff and volunteers, again headed by indefatigable Bob Rocha, kept things moving without a hitch.
- Mary K. Bercaw Edwards (Mystic Seaport, Univ. of Connecticut)
- Bradley King (Univ. of Texas PhD [dissertation])
- Chris Sten (George Washington U.)
- Philip Hoare (author, Friday night's speaker, co-curator of The Moby Dick Big Read)
- Wyn Kelley (M.I.T)
- Robert Wallace (Univ. of Kentucky)
You have to dig deep if you want to stump this crew. Still, Michael was unusually liberal awarding "I Stumped the Scholars" buttons—four this year. ...and The Clams (Mary, Brad, Chris) won by 1 point.
On to the Lagoda Room for the actual reading. For remote observers, streaming this year was audio-only. (Anybody out there want to sponsor a video stream?) The audio archive is online; Museum President James Russell opens the reading at 37:30 in the first clip. Philip Hoare gave a spirited reading of the start of Loomings, but did not tether himself to the podium so his audio level is uneven. New Bedford mayor Jon Mitchell read Chapter 6 ("...in New Bedford, actual cannibals stand chatting at street corners...")—nice touch.
|Off to the Bethel|
A new Father Mapple was in the Seamen's Bethel, Rev. David Lima. It was amusing to see him fiddle with his digital tablet while enacting a 19th-century preacher.
What would Queequeg do?
I would prefer not to.
Call me [front] Ishmael [back]
One big disappointment—I clean forgot about Saturday's "Chat with a Melville Scholar." Apparently a major topic of discussion was Ahab's psychology. Bummer!
The "Children's Mini-Marathon" was new this year. Youngsters read from an abridged M-D in a separate gallery. Whatever they may have taken from the story, the few readers I heard did a fine job.
Although attendance seemed (to me) down this year, the balcony was more crowded with sleepers than ever. Not having a sleeping bag or pad to define "my" space, three times I returned from a coffee- or bio-break to find someone sacked-out where I had been! We're going to need bunks up there!
- The Mystic Seaport Moby-Dick Marathon is July 31-August 1. Watch their website for details. It usually takes place onboard the Charles W. Morgan.
- The documentary Into the Deep was recommended by a fellow marathoner. It's on youTube.
- Two people from the D.C. Public Library were reportedly at MDM19 to get ideas for their marathon reading of 1984 on Jan. 21. Details and reader sign-up here.
- MDM sponsor The Pour Farm Tavern has great beer.