By Beth David, Editor
After two years of going totally remote due to the pandemic, the Moby-Dick Marathon was back in person at the New Bedford Whaling Museum this weekend. Readers from around the region and beyond, read from Herman Melville’s classic tale of the white whale from Noon on Saturday through Sunday morning. Some were scholars, Melville Aficionados, teachers, celebrities, and local residents. Emmy and Golden Globe nominated actress Taylor Schilling was scheduled to start off the reading.
At around 1:30 on Saturday afternoon, the reading moved to the Seamen’s Bethel for Father Mapple’s Sermon.
Also on Saturday, around 7:30 p.m., Culture*Park Theater group performed Chapter 40, “Midnight on the Forecastle,” in the Cook Memorial Theater.
Josef Kaplan of Philadelphia, PA, and Frank Curren of Providence, RI, followed along from the same book, while their friend Erin Wingo* of Washington, DC, knitted at around 9 p.m. on Saturday during the reading of chapter 41.
It was the first time attending in person for Ms. Wingo*, who read during one of the virtual events.
Mr. Curren said he wanted to participate to be around like minded people, who love the book.
“It’s my substitute for the Pistol and the Ball,” said Mr. Curren.**
Michelle Furtado and her daughter Sarah have been attending the marathon since 2007. Michelle rounded up four copies of the book and took all three of her children. Only Sarah has continued the tradition. They do four hour shifts, overlapping two hours each year.
“It’s a wonderful, relaxing way to end the hectic holiday season,” said Michelle.
She said they streamed it during COVID, and missed 2017 because of a blizzard. They hope to continue next year, and maybe soon, one of them will become a reader.
Jordan Castro of Ashland, MA, Katie Tumang of Manhattan (originally from Natick), and Savannah Kaltofen of Natick, took a break from the reading to enjoy the nighttime view from the observation deck.
The three sang the praises of New Bedford and its rich history.
“Its incredible,” said Ms. Tumang, noting she does not see anything like it in Manhattan.
Mr. Castro said he liked the cobblestone streets.
*Fixes errors from previous versions: Wingo (not Wingle).
**Fixes errors from previous versions: Quote should be “Pistol and Ball (no Bard),” and was said by Mr. Curren (not Kaplan).
Click here to download the entire 1/12/23 issue: 01-12-23 MobyDick
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