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. 

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