What am I talking about, you ask?
In the spring of 2011, artist Angela Cockayne and writer Philip Hoare convened and curated a unique whale symposium and exhibition at Peninsula Arts, the dedicated contemporary art space at Plymouth University, under the title, Dominion. Inspired by their mutual obsession with Moby-Dick and with the overarching subject of the whale, they invited artists, writers, musicians, scientists and academics to respond to the theme.
...the Moby-Dick Big Read: an online version of Melville’s magisterial tome: each of its 135 chapters read out aloud, by a mixture of the celebrated and the unknown, to be broadcast online in a sequence of 135 downloads, publicly and freely accessible.
But what does that really mean, you ask?
Here. I'll just let you listen to this:
Callow's fantastic, isn't he?
Most of the (135!!!) other readers are unknown names to me, with the fairly obvious exceptions of folks like Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Fiona Shaw, Stephen Fry, David Cameron, and the ever-favorite narrator, Sir David Attenborough.
It's available in a host of formats at mobydickbigread.com, so there's really no excuse for avoiding it (other than the length, I suppose). But the good folks at OpenCulture (who first alerted me to this project) make an important suggestion:
However, do check them out online, as each chapter comes with a work of art each created by 135 contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney, Oliver Clegg, and Matthew Benedict.