Herman Melville's Moby Dick: a discussion group (new)
CH Wednesdays 1415-1615 weekly from 9th Oct
Tutor/Convener: Arnold Goldman
Herman Melville’s Moby Dick or, The Whale was first published in 1851 in London and New York. Melville was then 32 years old; after a few years on merchant and whaling ships he published from 1846 five novels mainly set at sea: Typee, Omoo, Mardi, Redburn and WhiteJacket. In Moby Dick, his sixth, he produced the finest American novel of the 19th Century, though it was not appreciated as a masterpiece until the 20th Century.
While overall a fiction or novel, Moby Dick incorporates a number of different genres - including chapters concerning the nature and history of whaling - and we’ll give attention to each and to its relationship to the story of Captain Ahab, his ship the Pequod and the narrator who says “Call me Ishmael”.
We’ll consider Moby Dick over ten weeks, reading and discussing about 10% of it each week.* That will on average come to 40 or 50 pages a week, depending on which edition course members use. I can recommend the 1988 Oxford World’s Classics edition (ed. Tony Tanner), the 1992 Penguin Classics edition (which superseded the 1972 Penguin ed.), and the Norton Critical Edition published first in 1967 eds. Harrison Hayford and Hershel Parker, now updated in a third edition (containing text, reviews, sources and literary criticism).
Week 1: Etymology, Extracts and chapters 1-9; week 2: chs 10-22; week 3: chs 23-39; week 4: chs 40-48; week 5: chs 49-59; week 6: chs 60-75; week 7: chs 76-87; week 8: chs 88-102; week 9: chs 103-123; week 10: chs 124-135 and the Epilogue.