Never had to read Mody Dick in school, Andrew had to but not me. When I saw the book tape at the library the guilty school boy said I should "read" the book now that I am old enough to actually understand the wisdom of this "great American novel".
I found it hard to listen to for a couple of reasons. First, the recording's sound level was to low to hear over the mini road noise (when driving > 60 MPH). Second, the language of the book is foreign to my ear and required more effort then this old brain wanted to exert. Dutifully I listed to the whole thing thinking that I would be able to say, Oh why yes, I've read Melville. How could anyone expect young people to be able to grasp the depth and breath of such a work? Duh! Did I missed something or something, shouldn't great art transcend the limitation of time? When I listened to Beowolf last year it's strength withstood translation. I don't get the big white deal.
***BULLETIN*** the abridged book may be somewhat less than the whole. [A third of the whole.]
From time to time the reading of Melville reminded me of a piece that Prof. Peter Schickele, assistant substitute night school instructor at the U of SND at H, performs on the his 1712 Overture recording. The specific composition that sounds like Moby Dick was written by Prof. Schickele to commemorate J.S. Bach's 300th birthday, DOB March 21, 1685; Bach Portrait for speaker & orchestra. Hey, you think Schickele is comparing the great white composer to the great white whale that suck all in his wake down it the foamy vortex of his greatness?
Moby Dick [UNABRIDGED] 19 Audio CDs
In doing the research for this blog entry I came across the unabridged audio CD of Moby Dick (135 frikkin chapters + epilogue) read by the same fine performer, William Hootkins. This 19 disk collection retails for $127. My guess is that the orchestration heard on the abridged version [above] was originally commissioned for this complete rendering. I don't want to tackle the unabridged tape at this time. Maybe I'll read the Cliffs Notes® first. :)