Posts Tagged: Moby Dick

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The Sunday Rumpus Interview: Idra Novey

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Swati Khurana talks with novelist and translator Idra Novey about the challenges and joys of translation, the idiosyncrasies of language, the inextricable reception of women's writing and women's bodies, and much more. ...more

Poet Kathleen Spivack

The Rumpus Interview with Kathleen Spivack

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Poet Kathleen Spivack discusses releasing her debut novel Unspeakable Things at age seventy-seven. ...more

bruce bauman © suzan woodruff

The Rumpus Interview with Bruce Bauman

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Bruce Bauman discusses his latest book, Broken Sleep, why rock isn’t dead (yet), how humor makes life bearable, and why we should reinstate the draft. ...more

Whale Day, the Very Best Day

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Friday was Moby-Dick’s 164th birthday, and much celebration was to be had. Lit Hub went particularly hard, sharing all manner of whale-related materials:

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Kloss, Kish, and the Great White Whale

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Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake aside, it’s hard to imagine a more mutualistic artist-writer pair than Robert Kloss and Matt Kish. (The Rumpus also recommends the duo of Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg.) Kloss and Kish (who also illustrated every page of Moby Dick) have never met, but they still manage to talk about landscapes conducive to writing myths, their new book The Revelator, and the formidable undertaking of reading all of Melville’s writing.

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Call Me Friend

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Patrick James Dunagan explores the human and professional relationship between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne in a review of Erik Hage’s book on the subject over at Bookslut:

Hawthorne inspired and reinforced Melville’s conviction to elevate the writing of Moby-Dick beyond any of the parameters he had previously explored with his earlier work.

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Poe’s Moby-Dick?

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For the New York Review of Books, Marilynne Robinson considers the place of Edgar Allen Poe’s novel, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket, within the author’s prolific career. In addition to comparing Pym to other maritime novels, including Moby-Dick, Robinson argues that labeling Poe as a writer of “horror” overlooks the range and depth of his work.

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Mr. Difficult, Mr. Easy

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Is Moby-Dick really a tougher read than Fifty Shades of Grey? Noah Berlatsky argues that the distinction depends on the reader:

…”difficulty” seems to hold out the possibility of more objective standards—to assure us that these books, over here, by Joyce and Faulkner, are 1000 pounds of pure prose, while these books over there, by Stephenie Meyer or Tom Clancy, are sniveling 90-pound weaklings of meretriciousness.

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Ishmael’s Hot Line

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Step #1.
Call Ishmael’s number: 774.325.0503.
It goes straight to voicemail.

Step #2.
Listen to Ishmael’s short answering machine message. It changes weekly.

Step #3.
Leave a voicemail about a book you love and a story you have lived.

Have a personal story linked to a book you love that you’re eager to share with the world?

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Halloween Costumes for Book Nerds

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Need a last-minute, low-hassle outfit for trick-or-treating?

This list of literary Halloween costumes (with pictures, natch) has some great ideas—just grab a “Hello, My Name Is” sticker and write “Ishmael,” and you’re good to go.

There are also some fantastic examples of costumes that clearly took a lot of time and effort, like a child dressed as Max accompanied by his parents as Wild Things.

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Happy Birthday, Herman Melville!

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At the time of this posting, the 29th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon has about three hours left of its 24-hour reading of Herman Melville’s classic novel. When the reading finishes, attendees will celebrate Melville’s birthday “in old-fashioned style with song and cake.”

Did we mention they’re doing this all on the last wooden whaling ship in the world?

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Whale: 1685, Kitten: 1

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Ever thought, “I know Herman Melville was talking about a whale but how much, really, did he talk about a whale?”

This cool page will answer your question with its graphical representation of word distribution throughout Moby Dick. The creator Adam Pearce was inspired by an infographic of frequently used words on the show The Wire and styled his project after Stanford’s Bibly, which does the same and more for the King James Version of the Bible.

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Happy Birthday Herman

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“And I only am escaped alone to tell thee”

If he were alive, today, August 1st 2009, would be Herman Melville’s 190th birthday and on this occasion I’d like to take the opportunity to pay a small, humble tribute to an author who has single-handedly taught me so much about writing and literature, patience and perseverance, and the staggering potential of language and prose.

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