Elastic time: Open City book club, part 1

From its first sentence I had a hunch that Teju Cole’s Open City (2011) would have been a perfect fit for the Writing New York syllabus Cyrus and I tinkered with for almost a decade, and when we eventually take up the course again — Inshalla — I take...

The Final Pursuit

Last week, I had the privilege of participating in “The Final Pursuit,” a panel discussion at Plymouth University celebrating the “Moby-Dick Big Read” project. My co-panelists were Peninsula Arts director Sarah Chapman; “Big Read”...

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 136

And so, finally, we reach the end. When Moby-Dick was published in London by Richard Bentley on October 18, 1851 (using Melville’s original title,

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 135

And so we reach the climactic confrontation between Ahab and the white whale, Moby Dick. It’s a beautiful morning, which prompts Ahab to meditate on the way that feeling often overrules thinking: “What a lovely day again! Were it a new-made world, and made...

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 134

In “The Tail,” Ishmael refers to the phenomenon of breaching, when the whale bounds out of the water and elevates itself into the air before plunging down again: As in the ordinary floating posture of the Leviathan the flukes lie considerably below the...

Moby-Dick Big Read, Day 133

Like a dog following a scent, Ahab detects “that peculiar odor, sometimes to a great distance given forth by the living sperm whale” as the chapter opens. As he is hoisted to his perch atop the main royal-mast head, he spies his prey: “There she...