Guilty secret – I’ve never read Moby Dick

No more excuses

At Sea Fever, my favorite blog about all things shipping, every week starts with Moby Monday. This week Peter wrote about a painting of a whale. He also added a link to Power Moby Dick. Curious, I clicked on that link. Mistake. There goes a whole day. It leads to an online, annotated, chapter by chapter version of the mighty work.

In the past Peter also led me to the Twitter version, Moby Dick 140 words at a time. I read a few tweets and got a good chuckle out of @PublicDomain’s effort. MD finished some time ago and PD is now engrossed in Alice in Wonderland.

I don’t know how I’ve managed to avoid reading MD for so long, I’ve got a degree in English, I’ve read Bartleby the Scrivener, but I somehow missed out on being forced to read about Ahab, Queequeg, Ishmael and life aboard the Pequod as they chased the white whale.

Image of Moby Dick on sailboat deck

I’ve had this beautiful, antique copy of MD on my bookshelves in house and boat for something like fifteen years. Once a year or so, when I find myself between blockbusters and looking for something to read, I take down that hefty tome, extract it from it’s waterproof bag, and thumb through the almost see-through pages. I admire the illustrations by Rockwell Kent. And then I put it back.

But now, thanks to Sea Fever and Power MD I can read chapters online, instantly see the meanings of words that stump me and even join in a discussion on the forum.

My white whale too

But I probably won’t. Don’t know what it is about that book. I’m a reader. I’ll read just about anything – shampoo bottles, recipes on the inside of the condensed milk label, credit card solicitations, just not the greatest American novel.

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