Herman Melville was just 32 years old when he unleashed “Moby Dick” 150 years ago, and the great white whale still pulls readers in its wake.
At the story’s heart is Captain Ahab, who lost a ship, and a leg, to Moby Dick, and who is now bent on revenge. He tells his crew, “It was that accursed white whale that made a poor pegging lubber of me forever and a day! I’ll chase him ’round Good Hope, and ’round the Horn, and ’round perdition’s flames before I give him up. And that is what ye have shipped for, men! To chase that white whale on both sides of land, and over all sides of earth, till he spouts black blood and rolls fin out.”
Andrew Delbanco, professor of English, Columbia University and author of a biography of Herman Melville, and an anthology of New England, “Writing New England”;
John Bryant, professor of English, Hofstra University, editor of “Leviathan: A Journal of Melville Studies,” and director of The International Melville Conference, “Moby Dick 2001.”