Finding Melville’s Whale

It’s hard to believe that 365 Days of Darwin is three quarters over. For nine months, Charlie and Charlie 2.0 have joined us on our adventures around the world.

I love the challenge of coming up with something new and interesting every day. Hosting a regularly scheduled event keeps me focused on the blog. 365 Days of Darwin is challenging, rewarding, and gives our readers something new to look forward to every time they visit.

But everything ends, eventually, and 365 Days of Darwin is entering it’s final 3 months. It’s time to begin something new and different.

In the vast literature of the sea, one book stands out above the others as universally recognized as a maritime classic. I am of course referring to Moby Dick. Join us over the next year as we read Herman Melville’s masterpiece and discuss its meaning to us, as marine biologists and people in love with the sea. Every Tuesday and Thursday, with an occasional Sunday, we will post a new chapter with a short poem summarizing the chapter, and open the comment thread for discussion.

I’m reading from the Oxford World’s Classic edition, but any version will do. You can find an annotated online edition at Power Moby Dick.

Chapters are generally only 6 to 8 pages, so this should be a calm leisurely pace and  keeping up will not overwhelm anyone who wants to participate.

Join us, over the next year, as we explore one of the great maritime novels. Charlie’s adventure may be ending, but our quest to find Melville’s whale is just beginning. Chapter one will be posted tomorrow, August 26.

~Southern Fried Scientist


  1. Sam · August 25, 2010

    I love this idea. I may get my own copy and read along.

  2. Jason Goldman · August 25, 2010

    w00t! Will you be posting each chapter in entirety? Or will loyal readers have to read along at home?

  3. Southern Fried Scientist · August 25, 2010

    And just to get this out of the way as soon as possible, Moby Dick is a classic, iconic work of American fiction. We’re not going to limit the discussion just so the ending isn’t spoiled. If you don’t know how it ends yet, and don’t want to know how it ends yet, stop reading:

    Everyone dies but Ish and the Fish.

  4. Coturnix · August 25, 2010

    This is, I hope, unabridged version 😉

  5. Jason R · August 25, 2010

    Nice Wikipedia article to reference: The cetology of Moby Dick

  6. Angelo · August 26, 2010

    Somebody on Shark Week, I think, compared the that era’s general public’s idea of whales as similar to today’s view of sharks.

  7. Erin W · August 26, 2010

    Those who were English majors in college but also love the oceans, rejoice! Really great idea.

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