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.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"I call them 'the truly [effed].'"

Here is a breezy, entertaining article about the 2009 New Bedford Moby-Dick marathon published in the Financial Times.  The author, one John O'Connor, seems to have attended the marathon more out of curiosity than anything else.  His interest in the text flagged within the first few hours, but he did manage to record some interesting conversations with attendees. 

Particularly memorable was this comment by Peter Whittemore, Melville's great-great-grandson:

[Whittemore said,] “There were issues Melville was thinking about in 1850 that I ponder today. This question of ‘Who am I?’ If you’re the kind of person who’s satisfied just knowing the Red Sox score, then God bless you, have a good life. But if the Red Sox score won’t do it for you, then there are lessons in Moby-Dick.”

Turning and scanning a throng of spellbound Melvillites, Whittemore bowed his knees slightly, as if preparing to spring into the air. “Like me, the Red Sox score won’t do it for these people,” he said. “I call them ‘the truly fucked.’”

1 comment:

  1. This Whittemore character sounds like my kinda guy! But as my husband commented after I read your post to him, "I know what he means. Still, I wouldn't want to be any other way." And just why Whittemore's last comment caused us to laugh until we were coughing is hard for me to put my finger on.