The reason I have to: I start a 2½-week trip on 24 November, which will leave me with no spare time for writing, and probably little for reading.
Which is why, while cranking out the daily NaNo pages, I’m also barreling through Moby-Dick. I passed the 35% point a couple of days ago, and my interest and enjoyment haven’t flagged.
But I have to admit that I’m flummoxed about what to add to the massive amount of Ahab-and-the-white-whale commentary that’s collected over the past 168 years.
2019 being the 200th anniversary of Melville’s birth, of course the blog-iverse is crammed with readers sharing their first/second/nth experience of reading Ishmael’s ultra-detailed tale. I have nothing to add, except a slight warning to all: don’t let Ishmael’s voice of expertise fool you. He makes up sources and disagrees with experts. You’ll see. This in no way diminishes Ishmael’s believability when it comes to narrating the events aboard the Pequod — he misses nothing, and never hesitates to tell us all.
To end, I send you to a Moby-Dick themed website well worth a lengthy visit: CallMeIshmael.org, where Patrick Shea, composer, musician and teacher based in Brooklyn, has posted commentary and a new song for each chapter of Moby-Dick. Starting in 2008, Shea composed the songs at the rate of about one a day (although it took him much longer to record them for his blog). His comments provide not just a reaction to the novel, but also a genesis-tale for each accompanying song. The songs themselves range through several musical genres, with lyrics printed for us to sing along. (Shea’s song cycle pre-dates the premier of Heggie & Scheer’s opera, Moby-Dick, by just 2 years.)
That’s it for today. I’ll be back in a week with an update.