John Waters Reads About Moby Dick’s Dick

In This audio chapter from the “Moby Dick Big Read,” John Waters reads the shortest chapter of “Moby Dick,” Chapter 95, “The Cassock,” which is about how the whaling crew cuts off and skins a whale’s giant jet-black penis and turns it into a sleeveless robe for the “mincer” to wear while he slices blubber for the pots.

“Not the wondrous cistern in the whale’s huge head; not the prodigy of his unhinged lower jaw; not the miracle of his symmetrical tail; none of these would so surprise you, as half a glimpse of that unaccountable cone, — longer than a Kentuckian is tall …”

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‘Moby Dick’ Project Brings Book Into 21st Century
(NPR, All Things Considered, 9/19/2012)

Writer Philip Hoare talks about his new project, the “Moby Dick Big Read.” From now until late January, a chapter of Herman Melville’s classic whale-hunting epic will be available for download each day. Each is read by the likes of Tilda Swinton, John Waters and Stephen Fry.

Click to listen to story and excerpt read by John Waters.

New Audio Project Offers Four Months of ‘Moby-Dick’

 By John Williams (The New York Times, 9/18/2012)

The actress Tilda Swinton and 134 other readers are lending their voices to the “Moby-Dick Big Read,” an online audio version of Herman Melville’s epic novel.

The chapters will be available as free downloads, a new one appearing on the Web site each day until mid-January alongside a related image by a contemporary artist.

The author Philip Hoare and the artist Angela Cockayne came up with the idea, having previously teamed up in 2011 to present a whale symposium and exhibition at Peninsula Arts, a public arts program at Britain’s Plymouth University. Mr. Hoare’s book “The Whale,” a wide-ranging cultural and natural history of the animal, won the BBC’s Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2009.

“The digressive nature of ‘Moby-Dick’ really suits the medium of going online,” Mr. Hoare said. “The book was never edited. It’s quite analogous to a kind of blog, really.”

The democratic list of readers includes celebrities like Ms. Swinton, John Waters and Stephen Fry as well as fishermen, schoolchildren and a vicar. The youngest is Cyrus Larcombe-Moore, a 12-year-old who contributes a few lines of dialogue to a chapter read by his teacher, Tom Thoroughgood.

Continue reading “New Audio Project Offers Four Months of ‘Moby-Dick’” at The New York Times.

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