“Call me Ishmael”. The White Whale. “From hell’s heart I stab at thee”. Captain Ahab. Starbuck… “…then all collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it rolled five thousand years ago.”
It’s a book that everyone knows at least something about; a book that few have started and fewer finished; a book with an intimidating reputation, about which enough has been written to fill a whale many times over. But what, ultimately, is Moby-Dick?
Is it the Great American novel? A book containing anything a sane person could ever want to know about whales – and then a bit more? Unreadable, unfocused nonsense? A work of genius comparable to Shakespeare? The ravings of a lunatic? Moby-Dick has been called all of these things at one time or another. And all of these descriptions have more than a bit of truth to them.
The lecture will attempt to persuade those members of the audience who haven’t read Moby-Dick why they should do so as soon as possible, preferably before doing anything else, and those who have why it’s even better than they think. It will include discussions of the philosophy behind the book, in-depth literary analysis of Melville’s spectacular, unique style of prose, details from the author’s wild, bizarre and tragic life – as well as more about whales than any sane person could possibly want to know. Come along for an entertaining, enlightening and intoxicating hour or two.
Will Mawhood holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Liverpool and likes Herman Melville quite a lot.
Event time:Friday, January 25, 2013, 7:30pm