Digression, Texture, Weirdness — And Nothing But

Damion Searls Although it always gets shortened in common usage, the complete original title of Melville’s epic tale is Moby-Dick; or The Whale. Some people also found the book itself too long and decided to address the problem.

In 2007, Orion Books produced Moby-Dick in Half the Time, a Compact Edition “sympathetically edited” to “retain all the elements of the originals: the plot, the characters, the social, historical and local backgrounds and the author’s language and style.”

; or The Whale is an abridgment that preserves the elements missing from that list—digression, texture, weirdness—by keeping every chapter, word, and punctuation mark of Melville’s original Moby Dick; or The Whale that was removed from Orion’s edition.

The Providence Athenaeum invites you to part two of its “Hark! The White Whale!” salon series to meet the man behind this abridgment, author and translator Damion Searls. He will discuss what moved him to “write” ; or The Whale, what he learned about Moby-Dick that he’d never noticed before, whether a “more readable” Moby-Dick is a worthwhile goal, or indeed is still Moby-Dick at all.

Free and open to the public, 5pm to 7pm, Friday, Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Providence Daily Dose