Moby Dick

Why Do We Still Read ‘Moby-Dick’? Melville Fans on Why It Remains Relevant

Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, by Herman Melville was published in 1851. In fact, today, November 14, marks the 163rd anniversary of the novel’s first U.S. printing. It was not a blockbuster at first glance; in fact, it was out of print by the time that Melville passed away in 1891, with only about 3200 copies sold during his lifetime. It was, by any account, a literary failure. … Read More

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Mouth-Watering Photos of Literature’s Most Famous Meals

When Dinah Fried’s Fictitious Dishes were first posted in June 2012, they caused an online stir, and that was no surprise. She styled, prepared, and shot elaborate recreations of some of the most iconic meals in literature, from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s open-faced sandwiches, or smørrebrød, to Proust and Swann and his very famous madeleines. You can find these charming images and many more in the new book Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals, which features Fried’s photos, mouth-watering excerpts from the greatest meals in literature, and trivia. Here’s a selection of three meals, from Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick, and The Great Gatsby. … Read More

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10 Famous Works of Literature With Queer Subtexts

Yesterday at Salon, Caleb Crain, author of the highly praised novel Necessary Errors, talked a bit about being a gay novelist and the effects non-heterosexual subject matter has on the chances for a novel’s publication. In response to a question about needing a “gay canon” of literature, Crain said, “The straight canon is very gay… I don’t read somebody because they’re a gay writer. I read them because they’re a good writer.” It’s true that it seems silly and reductive to insist on setting gay writers apart from their straight cohort (although doing so can help raise awareness that they do, in fact, exist), especially since there’s enough queer subtext in popular literature already. Just have a look at these ten obvious examples.  … Read More

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10 Books That Sum Up The Contradictions of American Life

As we head towards the 237th birthday of the United States of America, last week’s news cycle and various political discussions have given us a whole new set of reasons to ponder the many contradictions that make our country the great and beautiful mess that it is. From high unemployment numbers to rampant violence to politicians arguing over our personal freedoms, there is more than enough to remind us how strange of a place America can be. While the jury is still out over whether the Great American Novel has been written or will be written, there are plenty of other books that can help us attempt to navigate through the weirdness that is… Read More

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Contemporary Artists’ Portraits of Famous Literary Characters

If you’re an avid reader, you know that the best literary characters seldom stay on the page, but rather climb out and wander around, manifesting themselves in whatever medium they can insinuate themselves into. To that end, San Francisco’s Modern Eden Gallery has put together a bookish group exhibition called Fiction, featuring portraits of famous literary characters from Ahab to Lisbeth, which is on view through July 13. Check out some of the best pieces from the show after the jump, and then be sure to head on over to the gallery’s website to see more from the exhibit. … Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds in Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we met an adorable baby elephant who was raised by humans. We explored a real-life replica of Disney’s Haunted Mansion, which is currently for sale on eBay. We caught every Arrested Development joke in the new song “Maeby One Day.” We loved one… Read More

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Lynne Ramsay Directing ‘Moby Dick’ Movie Set in Space

We Need to Talk About Kevin director Lynne Ramsay’s newfound mainstream film career is starting to get pretty damn interesting. Not only is she at work on Jane Got a Gun, a Western starring Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender, but The Hollywood Reporter reveals Ramsay is also making Mobius, a sci-fi… Read More

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Listen to ‘Moby-Dick’ as Read by Tilda Swinton, John Waters, David Cameron, and More

Moby-Dick is without a doubt one of the greatest works of American literature — but, being intimidatingly long and detailed, it is not read as widely as it should be. However, if you’ve been putting off the Great White Whale since you shirked the reading in college, you’re in luck — author Philip Hoare and artist Angela… Read More

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Surprising Screenplays Written by Famous Authors

It’s not unusual for artists and other creatives to dabble in different mediums, especially when it comes to writers. Hollywood saw many well-known novelists pounding the pavement, looking for work — particularly through the 1950s. They were a hot commodity in Tinseltown when the demand for convincing characters, dialogue, and story lines became essential to box office success — and they were broke. Sometimes, though, the famous authors who took a turn at screenwriting have surprised us with the scope of their cinematic endeavors. Some of these unlikely pairings were in it for the paycheck. Other writers did it to flex their creative muscles, and several just seem to be really big geeks for genre films, which makes us love them even more. Whatever the reasons, you’ll find a few surprises past the break. Check out which of your favorite authors also wrote for the big screen after the jump. … Read More

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Famous Meals from Literature Captured on Film

The connection between literature and food is a long and storied one. After all, literature is reflection of or commentary on life, and food is what sustains that life, so it’s no wonder that we think they’re meant to be together. Or maybe we’re just trying to support our snacking-and-reading habit. Either way, we love this photo series from the aptly-named graphic designer Dinah Fried, entitled Fictitious Dishes, wherein Fried recreates the famous meals from some of our favorite classic novels. And man, does that clam chowder look good — maybe we finally understand why Melville spent a whole chapter talking about it. … Read More

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