When Herman Melville died, he was all but forgotten. His paltry 6-line obituary in The New York Times even misspelled the title of his masterpiece. But 30 years after the author’s death, Moby-Dick would be regarded as the greatest American novel, if not the greatest novel ever, and “Call me Ishmael” would become the most famous opening line in creative fiction. Many critics would also maintain that among all the world’s great literary characters, only Ahab achieves the stature of a Shakespearean hero.Whether you are a longtime fan, or a procrastinator who always intended to read it, this is your invitation to climb aboard the Pequod for the voyage of a lifetime, along with a personal introduction to our erstwhile neighbor, Herman Melville, who lived right here in Pittsfield when he penned the haunting, timeless story of the mystical White Whale.
Suggested Readings: Feel free to read any complete edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. Class #1: Etymology, Extracts, Chaps. 1-16 Class #2: Chaps. 17-37 Class #3: Chaps. 38-54 Class #4: Chaps. 55-82 Class #5: Chaps. 83-106 Class #6: Chaps. 107-135 and Epilogue
Richard Matturro, a native of Rye, New York, holds a doctorate in English with a specialization in Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. After sixteen years at the Albany Times Union, he taught literature at UAlbany for fourteen years. He is the author of numerous newspaper articles and six novels. During the summer he conducts tours of Arrowhead, Melville’s Berkshire home.
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