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Reading Moby-Dick: The World in a Whale

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, June 13, 2023 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1H0774
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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Captain Ahab harpooning the white whale

“In its vast spaces and in Melville’s blazingly original style, Moby-Dick is about…the whole world; it willingly incorporates everything,” writes the critic Edward Said. This tale of yearning, obsession, wreckage, and deliverance has drawn generations of readers into its obsessive, unfinished quest.

Readers have seen reflected in its pages the urgent questions of their times, including issues of democracy, race, sexuality, labor, and environment. Diverse artists in astounding number have responded to Herman Melville’s words. Samuel Otter, a professor of English at Berkeley University, explores topics including the reception of Moby-Dick, ways of reading this surprising and heterogeneous book, and the strange qualities of a work that attempts to “incorporate everything.”

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