Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rare albino whale puts on a show off Australian coast -

Rare albino whale puts on a show off Australian coast -

'via Blog this'

Fabulous! A real white whale! His name is Migaloo and he was first spotted in 1991. There's a video on the CNN site.

It may seem straight out of Moby Dick, but a rare white whale is thrilling Australians off the eastern coast.

Interesting tidbits from the article:

Male humpbacks can travel up to 140 kilometers (87 miles) a day during their migration.

Whale watchers may be able to enjoy Migaloo for decades. Humpback whales are believed to survive as long as 90 years in the wild.

So kind of interesting--Ahab could have been chasing his whale for decades. There is a migratory pattern that he may be able to hunt him down with. Very interesting.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New Audio Project Offers Four Months of 'Moby-Dick' -

New Audio Project Offers Four Months of 'Moby-Dick' - and a Matt Kish ink on watercolor:

'via Blog this'

What other books do we do this for? Really?

I know there are audio versions of the Bible and religious texts. What novels though? Probably some Mark Twain, there any other book that records each chapter by individual people, some famous, for all the world to hear?

It is especially instructive with 21st-century technology that they liken the book to basically be a 160-year-old blog:

“The digressive nature of ‘Moby-Dick’ really suits the medium of going online,” Mr. Hoare said. “The book was never edited. It’s quite analogous to a kind of blog, really.”

I agree with that. And I know of the proliferation of some blogs even becoming books. But this was 1850--however, it does lend a new kind of credibility to the overall structure of Moby-Dick. I mean, like a blog, here's a book that people meander through like a maze. In that respect, yes, I can see why the book makes an impact. I just have a hard time justifying how so much of our culture knows the entire story of Moby-Dick without having read it. For instance, another really hard novel, James Joyce's Ulysses, always up there on the top books of the 20th century, is one where no one ever really alludes to it or quotes from it. (I digress but I could probably do this same blog idea about Ulysses--try to read a chapter a day and talk about it. That's another one I tried in college but couldn't force myself to do it--Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow was another one. I've talked to people who powered through Ulysses a page a day just to say they read it. How that is actually reading a book is beyond me.)

I think I am going to try downloading and listening to these readings of each chapter. I will try again with just the audio. Should I follow along with the book? I don't know. But I want to know what these people really see in the book.

But then I see Matt Kish's brilliant illustrations and think about Hoare's statement up above. Kish meanders through Moby-Dick like a blog, creating a great artistic achievement within every single page. This is sort of like reading a favorite blog and commenting on it every day. Hoare really puts some of the fascination into perspective there. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Moby Dick in Seinfeld

In the episode entitled "The Ex-Girlfriend," Jerry is sent to retrieve books from the girl George just broke up with. Jerry argues about what he even needs the books for anymore: "Once you read it, it's done." He discusses how strange it is that people kept books as trophies. George had read the books, he just wanted them back. "They're my books!" he says, in classic George.

In the ultimate analogy, Jerry says, "When you read Moby Dick the second time, Ahab and the whale become good friends."

This is so perfect of an analogy that most people have never even had to read it a first time, let alone a second time.