2015 Moby-Dick Marathon Schedule of Events

The Moby-Dick Marathon is more than just a book reading. Additional activities during the weekend included ongoing related exhibitions in the Museum and Research Library. The public was cordially invited to come and go at any time during the Marathon, or stay awake for the entire 25 hours.


Friday, January 2

5:30 p.m. Pre-Marathon buffet dinner

7:00 p.m. Pre-Marathon Melville Society Lecture
The Pre-Marathon lecture featured author and cultural historian, Philip Hoare, who presented a Moby-Dick themed talk. In his books and films, Philip Hoare has explored the world of the whale from two aspects: that of human and natural history.  More than any other animal, he contends, the whale represents an extraordinary symbol of the conflict set up by that collision.  In his vivid, illustrated presentation, he lookrf at how our concept of the whale has changed – from Biblical leviathan to industrial resource and now environmental barometer. Using a blend of art, literature, science, and personal experience, he explored the background that lies behind the remarkable work of art, prophecy and imagination that is Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.


Saturday, January 3

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.“Stump the Scholars”, Cook Memorial Theater
Author Philip Hoare and visiting Melville Scholar, Brad King, joined members of the Melville Society Cultural Project as panelists during this year’s event. Visitors were encouraged to bring their most challenging Melville related questions to try to Stump the Scholars.

11:30 a.m. – Reading of the Extracts, Bourne Building
The Melville Society read the 85 “Extracts” found at the beginning of Moby-Dick, between “Etymology” and Chapter 1.

11:50 a.m.Welcome, James Russell, President and CEO

12:00 p.m.19th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon reading began in the Bourne Building

1:30 p.m. – Chapters 7-9 in the Seamen’s Bethel

2:30 p.m. – Marathon continued in the Jacobs Family Gallery

2:00-3:00 p.m. – Chat with Melville scholars, Wattles Family Gallery

6:20 p.m. – Chapter 32 “Cetology” read next to the Sperm Whale Skeleton

7:40 p.m. –  Chapter 40 “Midnight, Forecastle” performed by Culture*Park in Cook Memorial Theater

8:00 p.m. – Marathon continued in the Jacobs Family Gallery


Sunday, January 4

9:30-11:00 a.m. – Chat with Melville scholars, Wattles Family Gallery

1:00 p.m.Marathon finale



Featured Reader
Author and cultural historian, Philip Hoare, kicked off the 19th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon as the first reader!

Children’s Mini-Marathon
Saturday, January 3, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, January 4, from 10 a.m. – Noon

Children ages 8 and older were invited to read excerpts from the abridged version of Moby-Dick. The Mini-Marathon occured concurrently with the annual reading.


Don’t Miss The Art of Seeing Whales in the Centre Street Gallery

This exhibition was inspired by the literary art of Herman Melville. Click here for more information about this exhibition.

Follow Along from Afar

The entire reading was broadcasted via audio livestream on the Whaling Museum website, allowing Moby-Dick enthusiasts around the globe to follow along. Periodic updates, including the current reader’s name was posted via Twitter using #mdm19.

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