Chris at Calmgrove has announced this on his blog, so I guess I can’t back out now: He and I are going to spend the November days after the end of Witch Week reading and blogging about Melville’s monster-book, Moby-Dick, appropriate for this year of Herman Melville’s 200th birthday.
My faithful readers will know that I’ve spent a good part of the year reading around Melville, letting others take on the task of writing their thoughts on the big book itself. But those other bloggers have tempted me with their posts, and when Chris hinted this might be his year to read all of Moby-Dick, I decided to join him.
We haven’t made any plans yet about how this will happen as a joint project, but I know we’ll come up with something to keep our readers hoping for more. So, as the year moves deeper into autumn, let me give you this quote from Andrew Delbanco’s 2001 essay, on why “Melville has never looked better”:
In our own moment of horror and heroism, it is a book more salient than ever — unflinchingly honest about the human capacity for hate and brutality, yet filled with an undiscourageable love of humanity.
Yep, I could use a bit of that right now.