Whaling Museum’s 26th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon Begins Jan 7

One of the world’s best-known readings of Herman Melville’s iconic American novel Moby-Dick returns to the New Bedford Whaling Museum this weekend when the 26th Annual Moby-Dick Marathon commences virtually, indulging readers and enthusiasts with a weekend of Melville-themed events beginning Friday, January 7, 2022, and ending Sunday, January 9, 2022.

Since 1997, the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s annual Moby-Dick Marathon has attracted thousands of people of all ages to New Bedford, offering literary aficionados, local school children, and everyone in between a chance to travel back in time to accompany narrator, Ishmael, on his epic whaling journey and hunt for the elusive white whale.

The beloved event went virtual in 2021, making it accessible to more people than ever before, and bringing unprecedented levels of engagement and interest. The 2022 marathon will continue in this format with legendary film and stage actor Sam Waterston opening the program, reading for Ishmael in the first chapter, titled Loomings.

This year, the marathon weekend will kick-off on Friday, January 7, 2022 with a lively presentation by renowned Melville scholar Christopher Benfey. His lecture, “The Spouter-Inn Revisited,” will explore Ishmael’s backstory, highlight Melville’s emphasis on New Bedford’s cultural diversity, and explore deep thematic elements of the iconic story. Advance ticket purchase is required for this event, and tickets are available through the New Bedford Whaling Museum website.

Then, on Saturday, January 8, 2022, tune in from the comfort of your home for a full cover-to-cover virtual reading of Moby-Dick beginning at 12:00 p.m. EST. This year, marathon viewers will be treated to a host of passionate and skillful readers from all around the world, including readers from the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Australia, Greece, Canada, and New Zealand. Select sections of the marathon will also be performed in Portuguese and German. The marathon will continue through Saturday, concluding Sunday afternoon with other events interspersed in between.

Although this year’s event will be virtual, marathon-goers will still be able to enjoy a wide variety of engaging Melville-inspired activities, including opportunities to chat with scholars from the Melville Society Cultural Project (MSCP), a Melville-inspired trivia game, and a partnership with Moby-Dick Brewing Co. and local delivery service Gotchew to let those in the New Bedford area recreate the tastes and libations of Cousin Hosea’s Chowder Hall and the Decanter Taproom while safe at home.

The 2022 Moby-Dick Marathon will be broadcast live via YouTube beginning at 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, January 8, 2022. You can visit the link ahead of time to set a reminder for the premiere. A full schedule of events is available on the New Bedford Whaling Museum website.


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