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ENRICH-0668 – Lit Zoom: Moby-Dick  (ENRICH-0668_MOBY)

Dusting Off the Classics: Moby-Dick

Call me Ishmael
. It may be the most famous first line in literary history, from a book many still consider the “great American novel.” Yet for all its fame, Moby-Dick by Herman Melville is notoriously unread and misunderstood. That famous introductory line, for instance, is not at the beginning of the book as widely believed; nor is this highly symbolic novel solely the story of a mad captain in search of a white whale. So what is Moby-Dick? What is at the core of this mysterious, grand, encyclopedic, dark, funny book that makes some readers fear it and others consider it the most significant work in all of American literature? Let Professor of English and Literary Arts, Clark Davis, guide you through this epic voyage of The Pequod. What makes this novel unique and important in the history of 19th-century American writing? What are its major themes, images and influences? How did Melville’s voluminous reading of British Renaissance literature influence his very American voice? What does Moby-Dick convey about 21st-century political and social life? Whether revisiting Ishmael, Queequeg, and the crew after many years, or finally tackling this monumental tome for the first time, come away with new thinking about the dark quest for that “grand hooded phantom” that haunts the American imagination.

Four Zoom sessions
Thur., Oct. 6, 20, Nov. 3, 17, 2022, 6:30-8:30 pm MT


Clark Davis, professor in the Department of English and Literary Arts, specializes in American literature and is the author of three books, including After the Whale: Melville in the Wake of Moby-Dick.
Course Details
Location: University ParkMode of Study: OnlineWaitlist Places Left: 2