Thursday, August 26, 2010

Moby Dick in commercial again

Again proving to me that we all know the story even though we haven't read the book, just the other night I saw this commercial on the Blackberry Torch with AT&T. It was directed by Dennis Liu for the ad agency BBDO.

Complete with a map reference to Nantucket; character names from the book including Ishmael, Stubb, Flask, and Starbuck; the idea of "searching for Moby Dick;" going around Cape Horn, a reference to "Thar she blows;" and, of course, the "white whale."

What do you make of this? The idea that this classic has permeated into our culture enough to be deemed common knowledge enough to reference in a brand new technology commercial. It does lend itself well here, the idea of "searching" with the uses of the internet and the phone, Facebooking with the characters, snapping a pic. What other popular reference do you use?

By the way, the URL for does not exist.

See the full ad here:

Thanks to Librivox for the linkage to the commercial, at I tried to listen to the Librivox audio, no offense to the reader, but again it was the material! I was trapped in the car almost 50 minutes each way and I didn't want to listen to it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Genius is as genius does
is a rather interesting article about an artist, , that has Moby Dick as a definite source of inspiration.

Frank Stella is in London to promote a book, Frank Stella's Moby Dick by
Robert K Wallace. It chronicles and analyses the series that Stella himself sees
as central to his later career - artworks made during the 1980s and 1990s,
including lithographs, sculptures and installations, each of which takes its
title from one of the 135 chapters of Herman Melville's great American novel.
"Why couldn't there be a British Melville?" wonders Stella. "They had great
explorers, but, I don't know, a quest for God or chasing the white whale is
different from a quest for empire, right? The British want to really own it
somehow; the Americans just want to be able to grasp it. Maybe they're slightly
less materialistic - it's hard to believe."

This guy devoted almost as much of his life to Moby Dick as I did, although he probably worked much harder. It is interesting where this book goes into the consciousness of the world.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Moby Dick Postertext

This website has very interesting literary adaptations of classic novels:

From the website:
This Moby Dick poster is created using the first 26 chapters of the

A literary classic first published in 1851, Moby
Dick represents the ultimate human struggle. A masterpiece of
storytelling and symbolic realism, this thrilling adventure and epic saga pits
Ahab, a brooding sea captain, against the great white whale that crippled him.
More than just the tale of a hair-raising voyage, Melville's riveting story
passionately probes man's soul.
Author: Herman Melville
Dimensions: 24x30" - 61x76cm

I really like what they did here. Interestingly, from my perspective of looking into the status of "classic" for Moby Dick, there are only ten books that get this special treatment. Granted, the subject of the book kind of lends itself to an adaptation--I mean, what would you do with some other classics? Of all the classics to adapt in this wonderful style, this is one of the ten.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dave Barry on Moby Dick

Taken from on July 30, 2010.

Humor columnist Dave Barry once gave potential English majors some advice using Moby-Dick as an example:

Never say anything about a book that anybody with any common sense would say. For example, suppose you are studying Moby-Dick. Anybody with any common sense would say Moby-Dick is a big white whale, since the characters in the book refer to it as a big white whale roughly eleven thousand times. So in your paper you say Moby-Dick is actually the Republic of Ireland. Your professor...will think you are enormously creative.