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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Reports from the NYC "Marathon"

Credit: Postdlf at the English language Wikipedia
Family commitments kept me from the "1st Ever NYC Marathon-Style Reading" of M-D, but here are two post-mortems: one from the N.Y. Daily News, and another from the "online news magazine," Capital.

From these reports we get a glimpse of the effect of location on the character of a M-D marathon. It seems the NY event was more self-conscious (and celebrity-aware) than the New Bedford event, with audience members and readers (!) freely commenting peanut-gallery-style — something that is all but unthinkable at our marathon. This difference may be, as Lemuel posited in a previous post, a result of vestigial "Calvinist mind-habits" among New Englanders.

One striking detail: the NY audience felt free to bring cans of beer, and to open them audibly during the reading. I doubt the Whaling Museum staff, or audience, would tolerate such a breach of decorum. (I have heard that alcoholic grog was available at the New Bedford marathon in its early years, until too many locals began coming just for the "party.")

Organizers intend to make the NY reading an annual event. Next year's is scheduled for November 15-17.

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