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.

Friday, January 13, 2017

MDM21 "post-mortemising"

A drawing for Bethel seats? Five-minute reading slots? A ticketed Friday-night lecture?

Was the MDM getting too big to be fun?

Going into MDM21 we worried that our beloved annual event might be losing its charm; its atmosphere of "controlled amateurism." In the end it proved to be a great one—in a unique way (as always).  Each MDM seems to have a distinct character. MDM21 felt "broad." There were lots of options for folks who wanted a break from the main event.


  • A-B scored another button (and cool chowder mug) at Saturday morning's Stump the Scholars. (It helps if your question is first of the morning, before the scholars' coffee kicks in.)
    Our question: What is the most modern technology mentioned in M-D?
  • A few of us took a laptop into the sperm whale skeleton gallery for the Cetology chapter, and watched the live stream there, reliving a cherished tradition of bygone marathons.
  • An exhibit of paintings by William Bradford.
  • An exhibit, in what used to be the MDM's "break room," of clothes and beautiful household objects from New Bedford's glory days.
  • Many of the museum areas remained open all night, offering out-of-the-way spots to kip.

Of note...

For the second year running, Bob Rocha awarded a small gift, not for staying on-site all 25 hours, but for staying awake for the entire marathon. Rules me out.

I might get around to posting photos, but the sights were much the same as previous years. The video stream of MDM21 is archived here.