The New Bedford Whaling Museum's Moby-Dick Marathon is an annual non-stop reading of Herman Melville's literary masterpiece. The multi-day program of entertaining activities and events is presented every January. Admission to the Marathon is free.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

If you can't make it to New Bedford...

MDM23 is now days away. The weather forecast is for chilly, but dry, conditions, so don't miss this opportunity to join the (quiet) celebration.

If this is your first time, check out the Marathon Overview page to get an idea of what you can expect. Links in the "Essentials" section (at right) can help you pack; and find parking, food, and lodgings.

If you can't make it to New Bedford, follow Twitter hashtag #mdm23, and check the Whaling Museum's website for a link to the live video stream. The reading proper will start Saturday at Noon, January 5.

If it's easier for you to get to Chicago, consider attending the Moby-Dick Read-a-Thon, January 19-20, at the Newberry Library.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Japan to Resume Commercial Whaling

photo: New Bedford Whaling Museum Blog
Bob Rocha, Director of Education and Science Programs, sums this up nicely on the Whaling Museum Blog.

Also noted in the New York Times, here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Norton Critical Editions of Moby-Dick x3

Originally published February 10, 2018;
Edited to append Gansevoort's "Physical Notes."
Norton Critical 1st, 2nd, and 3rd -- Collect 'em all.

I just got the "Third Norton Critical Edition" of Moby-Dick (NCE3).  I had to order it through a third-party seller on Amazon, and it shipped from Europe.  At the moment, it doesn't appear to be available at all on Amazon, whether from Mr. Bezos himself or a third-party seller.  Oddly, even the publisher's website shows only the second edition right now.  A number of sellers at ABE Books (which has become an affiliate of Amazon) are offering it, however.

First, let me say how surprised, pleased, and honored I am to see Gansevoort's (mainly) and my humble efforts mentioned on page 687, in Mary K. Bercaw Edwards and Wyn Kelley's essay (written specially for NCE3), "Melville and the Spoken Word."  The essay digs deep below the surface of the Moby-Dick Marathon phenomenon, which is more extensive than even I had realized.  Of all the books that could have inspired so mighty a sound, why Moby-Dick?

Second, I am surprised and pleased to see that, while NCE3 does not have an apparatus as extensive as that of NCE1, the editor, Hershel "Mr. Melville" Parker, has provided a convenient list of emendations, something that was entirely absent from NCE2.  (This is the first Norton Critical Moby-Dick not to be co-edited by Harrison Hayford, who died in 2001, shortly before NCE2 came out.)

Between NCE1 and NCE2, the explanatory footnotes to the text itself were greatly and usefully expanded.  As far as I could tell from a quick spot-check, the footnotes in NCE3 have not changed from those in NCE2 (although a few have been split into multiple notes).  That's all to the good, as far as I'm concerned -- the quantity of footnotes in NCE2 was just right.

This is a new edition because the assortment of goodies at the end of the volume has been switched up, just as with NCE2.   Among the newcomers are Prof. Parker's "Glimpses of Melville as Performer" and six essays under the heading "Moby-Dick in the Twenty-First Century" (where Mary K. Bercaw Edwards and Wyn Kelley's entry appears).

But this is only a glimpse of how NCE3's critical caboose differs from that of NCE2.  Though my opinion is not entirely disinterested, all three editions are well worth having.

Norton Critical Editions Moby Dick [NCE2 vs NCE1]


Added by Gansevoort, 12/12/2018.

Physical Notes


NCE3 is a "tighter" publication than NCE2. The pages are the same height, but are slightly narrower (by about 3/32"). The font, font size, and leading are identical. (See the Typeface Tally.) The width of the text block on the page is the same; however, top and bottom margins are reduced in NCE3, displaying 51 lines of text per page where NCE2 displayed 50. (The line breaks have changed, too; usually, but not always, rendering the same text in fewer lines.)

The net result is that NCE3 presents Etymology through FINIS in 405 pages vs. NCE2's 421—3.8% fewer pages. Less wood is good, right?

Measuring the thickness of 100 pages in each edition with calipers, the paper stock in NCE3 is about 14% thinner than that of NCE2. (The stock feels almost like bible leaves.) The show-through is about the same in each.

Appreciation


Hershel Parker, now in his eighties, has blogged that NCE3 marks "the end of a long career." The three Norton Critical editions represent over fifty years of rigorous work. Thank you, Mr. Parker.

Not for the squeamish

photo: Wikimedia
The brilliant BBC podcast, Witness, recently posted an interview with a seaman who worked on an industrial whaler in the 1950's/60's—"A personal account of the huge Antarctic industry which left whales on the brink of extinction."

(9 minutes long) Listen or download.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Reserve your Bethel spot & Reader slot!


Registration is open for readers at the Moby-Dick Marathon, the Portuguese Marathon, and the Children's Marathon. You can also enter the drawing for a seat at the historic Seamen’s Bethel, where chapters 7-9 are read/performed.

Don't dally. Registration closes at 5:00 PM EST, November 30.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

MDM23 is official!

The 23rd Moby-Dick Marathon is coming, January 4-6. Details are now on the Whaling Museum site.

Save the date. Plan your transportation. Make room reservations.

2019 being the bicentennial of Melville's birth, we can expect something special.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Unknown Melville manuscript found?

Roger Stritmatter, humanities professor at Coppin State University (Baltimore), believes he may have found the manuscript of "a satiric mock-newspaper" penned by Herman Melville.

Read all about it in the Baltimore Sun.

Hat-tip @MelvilleQuotes.