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, February 27, 2011

Marathon Cinema

Over at Iron-bound Bucket, the captain has posted an assortment of marathon-related videos -- from New Bedford and elsewhere -- for your viewing pleasure.  Among the offerings is "The Moby Dick in All of Us," an artsy take on the 2010 New Bedford Moby-Dick Marathon by one Stephanie Cardon.  The film is about 10 minutes long, with music but no narration or ambient sound.  (You may want to provide your own music if you don't care for serialism; Phillip Sainton's soundtrack for the 1956 Moby Dick might be a good substitute.) 

As I recall, Ms. Cardon is a native of France, now outwardly Americanized.  She and her video camera popped up throughout the 2010 marathon, and during breaks in filming, she took a few turns at the podium to read Moby-Dick in French.


  1. I'm curious how the audience reacted to readings in different languages. I suppose with the English text in one's lap, it would be rather charming to have someone reading the same pages in a foreign tongue. I would guess that one's reaction would depend on how one viewed the MDM. Is honoring and memorializing Melville the main object? Or is the aim to spread the word of Moby Dick to as many people as possible?

  2. That's a good question, something I have to admit I haven't really given much thought to. Even though we know where in the book the foreign readers are, I've never been able to follow along. I just sort of let it wash over me. I think Gansevoort does the same thing. I don't know about the others in the audience. Everyone's very respectful -- my guess is most people view the foreign-language readings as recognition of the "world classic" status of Moby-Dick.

  3. Well, there isn't a rush to the break room. People seem to follow along in their English version or just listen to the music of an unknown language. (I remember Ms. Cardon's reading in French as being particularly bewitching.) The non-English readings always get me in an Ishmaelian mood, reflecting on M-D's theme of universal kinship, and the ability of great writing to transcend cultural differences.