If Oscar Wilde is correct, let’s see if my participation in a super-serious book discussion group of Moby Dick which started on Tuesday at the Center for Fiction in NYCand will end in December is the tragedy of getting what I want.

I read and didn’t like Moby Dick as a junior in college for the usual reasons [whaling is boring!]. I leveraged this experience by doing an independent study, reading some of the influential critics to help me understand Moby Dick’s place in the American literature canon. If I remember correctly, I concluded that the critics helped me understand why Moby Dick was considered to be great without changing my response to the novel.

I’m not taking the class to change my opinion of Moby Dick. Que sera, sera on that. I hope to meet kindred spirits and to recover the art of deep reading which the Web has robbed me of.

The leader, Sheridan Hay [a she] has the finger tips knowledge of Melville and a strong love for Moby Dick . She seems able to go in any intellectual direction. She has already sent three Moby Dick related e-mails; we’ll see how she is as a discussion leader.

So far, two hundred pages in, I think Moby Dick is Shakespearean and strange (it’s a kind of Tic-Dollt-row they say-worse nor a teethache].

Stay tuned…

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