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, November 20, 2016

Today in History

[Originally posted 11/20/2011]
One hundred ninety-six years ago (November 20, 1820) was the event that started it all, for us Marathoners: The whaleship Essex, out of Nantucket and hunting in the south Pacific, was struck and sunk by a large sperm whale. The crew of twenty set out in three whaleboats. Eight survived.

Owen Chase
Owen Chase (1798-1869) was the first mate on the Essex. He wrote about the incident in Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex.

On July 23, 1841, the whaleship Acushnet gammed with the Lima about 2000 miles west of Ecuador. At this gam, Melville met Owen's son, William Henry Chase, and "first held a copy of Chase's Narrative."

Melville recalled years later, "The reading of this wondrous story upon the landless sea, & close to the very latitude of the shipwreck, had a surprising effect upon me." (Herman Melville, v.1; Hershel Parker, 1996)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Be a Reader for the 21st Moby-Dick Marathon

It's official—the New Bedford Whaling Museum's 21st Moby-Dick Marathon (MDM21) will be January 6-8, 2017.

Registration for reading time-slots opens at 12:00 AM [it appears they meant "PM," aka Noon], Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Details are on the museum's site. You can sign up via phone, e-mail, or online form. If you speak Portuguese, consider reading in the Portuguese Mini-Marathon.

New this year is a drawing for seats in the Seamen's Bethel for the reading of chapter 9, The Sermon. Readers will be given preference!

Also, readers get admittance to a malasada feast on Sunday morning.