It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


MOBY DICK Book Club Part 3: When Truth is at least as strange as fiction.

page: 2
<< 1   >>

log in


posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 10:43 PM
a reply to: zosimov

It's better to underpromise and overdeliver, so no expectations, but I think I'm up for an audio reading of the first three chapters. Just need to prep my desk and mic tomorrow and I'm ready to go.

If I can do that, as a start, there is a place in the story where the sailors from all over the world, with different accents, are revelling, which I don't think I can pull off by myself, but will need other voices, in those accents, to read those parts..

Hey ya never know anything's possible, so maybe when we proceed to start reading, I can add some sound cloud links for those who might prefer to listen, and when we get to that impossible scene, maybe different people could volunteer to contribute clips, reading and acting out those voices. It's the one part that would be just too difficult to perform as an individual.

We'll see how she blows, but that would be really something, to piece together, as we read the chapters, an accompanying free audio book where I would like to do the voice of Ishmael the narrator, along with a few other including Queequeg who I think I can perform successfully.

So I've got my work cut out for me, but that's something that I'd like to try to contribute, even if I'm following up the rear or behind in the study as the thread progresses.

When I read it before, the idea occurred to me, that the story has never, ever, been read in the style and "voice" that the author intended, not since he wrote it, and because it's in the public domain, it would make for a great gift, to put that up on the Net, for free.

I'll see what I can do to set up for that and give it a go. I hope you like it, if I can get it going. Just a thought that maybe now would be a good time to get started on that little project and hobby.



edit on 4-12-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 10:59 PM

For the OP of the Main Attraction, to be helpful, I've pulled together the links for the lead up threads that you could make use of by clicking quote and copy/pasting

MOBY DICK Book ClubDiscussion. Lets Dive In

MOBY DICK Book Club Part 1 Melvilles early years

MOBY DICK Book Club Part 2 Hermans Adventures at Sea

MOBY DICK Book Club Part 3 When Truth is at least as strange as fiction.

edit on 3-12-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 07:31 AM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

Thank you Ankh for this!

I think your ideas are great and would very much enjoy to hear your audio

The one audio interpretation I clicked on was NOT what I thought the spirit of the novel should sound like either. Dry and boring. I think you're really on to something friend.

Let's get creative and cerebral!

To all: Tonight's the night I will put together a guide and the definitive study thread. Please start reading if you haven't already. Tomorrow we shall embark.

edit on 4-12-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 02:52 PM
a reply to: zosimov


How old do you think the character of Ishmael would be, in his 30's, maybe 40'ish?

I think I can do it well (read aloud) not just because I'm a good reader, but because I have over 30 years experience as a corporate recruiter where I've spent lots of time speaking and acting out a type of script. plus I write and speak in somewhat longggg sentences, where the first part of a run-on sentence sets up the latter part of it, and this is the way that Melville writes in this story, so to be authentic, it needs to be read fluidly, spontaneously and naturally, sometimes speeding up and sometimes slowing down.

I've also been told that I have a nice resonant radio voice that's melodious and pleasant to listen to.

I'll see what I can do, but at some point I should be in a position to start adding chapters for the audio reading.

But that's what struck me when reading it, that none of the audio readers out there would be able to do it justice.

There's also this mirthful and humorous and playful quality to it, that I'm not sure too many people have really picked up on to begin with.

edit on 4-12-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:20 PM

originally posted by: AnkhMorpork

How old do you think the character of Ishmael would be, in his 30's, maybe 40'ish?

Great question! There really is a youthful spirit to his narration.. but then again he pulls up the rear of funerals, has dreary days enter his psyche, has gone to sea on and off over the years, consorted with royalty, worked as a schoolmaster..

The events in which he is narrating happened "some years ago"- I assume he was fairly youthful when he signed up with the Pequod.

I'd say 40ish is a good estimation! Perhaps even the latter part of the 40's..

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:23 PM
a reply to: zosimov

Why the name Ishmael? Isn't that of Arabic origin, even though he seems to be a white American?

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 04:26 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

Here's where it gets interesting

What if it's a pseudonym that calls the narrator's reliability immediately into question..

"Call me Ishmael" is not the same as "My name is Ishmael" (although a bit more aesthetic).

Ishmael is the illegitimate son of Abraham, and not the one favored by God btw. Destined to leave home, fatherless, a wanderer.

Very interesting, no?

We learn from the text that Ishmael is twice orphaned-- once by his parents (from the one story he tells of his childhood- he mentions his cruel stepmother) and again by his crew.
edit on 4-12-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 05:36 PM
a reply to: zosimov

Very good! So that's his "pseudonym", and, as I suspected an implied lineage to the "black sheep" in the family.

I think it has to do with who's he's addressing in the readership, and that's a definite hint to let them know, but don't we then also have in Ishmael, the black sheep in the family, the most lovable among us?

That's funny. A good prank.

I see that you see in it, a rebellion, even a diabolical one, but this is the man telling us the story about the tendencies in man both for a heartfelt Civility, as Queegueg the savage shows, and the diabolical desires and motivations and obsessions of men like Ahab.

He's doing everyone a favor really, including the Christians, to point out their hypocrisy in matters of the heart and soul.

So have story told by one "Ishmael" is a tell, you're right.

He says CALL me Ishmael.

Thank you. That's very helpful and will be for my upcoming reading. The subtle hint needs to be implied very subtly in the opening line itself, something else that all intrepid narrators and audio book readers would surely miss.

Soon, I'll be ready to read and record the first five chapters, but I think I'll allow the book study exercise to first inform me before I do the readings.

So the purpose of the upcoming thread can then serve to aid in the understanding required for the best reading that's capable of picking up on these subtleties of nuance and meaning, both implied and rendered explicit in the text.

Call me Ishmael!

That's hilarious! Good to know. Thank you!

Edit to add: The idea might also be, not one of reliability, but to protect his anonymity, so to speak (as a literary device), while also offering a clue as to his true nature and identity, as one orphaned from the general understanding of his fellow "civilized" man, who, once "enlightened" by the discourse, might take it into his head to do a certain "Ishmael" much harm, if he could but locate him according to his Christian birth name and proper address as a landsman, leading to yet another hunt of sorts, as if he committed a sort of blasphemy, not against God, but against civilized men and "pillars of society".

Moby Dick is like a white stone in the sling of a little David.

It's noble, not ignoble. There's no devil in Ishmael, as much as he wishes to fire a type of cannon into a line of unsuspecting savages and beasts of prey including many a "good" Christian and civilized Statesman.

edit on 4-12-2016 by AnkhMorpork because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 05:54 PM
a reply to: AnkhMorpork

Just to clarify.. I don't see anything diabolical in Ishmael, per se, although he did join in the feverish oath with Ahab in the Quarter Deck (which reads to me very much like a black mass)..

I actually think he is a very lovable guy. I enjoy his perspective on the characters and ability to see the good in everyone.

When I wrote that the first sentence calls the narrator's reliability into question, I wasn't necessarily being critical of Ishmael. It's strange that the narrator completely disappears at times, and is witness to scenes which he couldn't possibly have been present for.. this is another interesting aspect of the book that I'd like to discuss later.

Of course, Melville wrote this epic rather quickly and under duress (lack of money- also he sold the book to a publisher before he had finished so I think he rushed the ending a bit) so there are a few "mistakes" here and there which don't detract from the genius in any way.

I also agree that his addressing the hypocrisy of Christians (I am a Christian myself- might as well say that here) and others was admirable and brave considering the flack he had already taken for some of his criticisms.

I got a humorous tone from Melville throughout a lot of his book but thought that, at some point, the tone changed. I very much look forward to hearing your perspective and seeing if it changes the way I read the book a bit. I read somewhere (now will try to find the source) that Harold Bloom said he has read this book about a hundred times and gotten something new/different out of it each time. So I look forward to seeing what comes with this reading.

edit on 4-12-2016 by zosimov because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 06:02 PM
a reply to: zosimov

I like how we see it in the same light.

Since I have yet to read it to the end, I haven't yet seen that change in tone, or loss of the undertone of humor, which I feel would be unfortunate ie: if Moby Dick doesn't embody a great irony, like a joke told by God Himself at the expense of human folly and ignorance.

This is fun. Gives me something to do that I feel is strangely important for reasons that I can't quit put my finger on.

posted on Dec, 4 2016 @ 09:33 PM
The discussion starts here (tomorrow night):

See you in there!

top topics

<< 1   >>

log in