Tag Archives: herman melville

Christmas in America: Lāhainā

Lāhainā, Maui

Don’t hold out hope for a white Christmas in a town whose name means ‘cruel sun’. But drop in on the town of Lahaina and you’ll experience a holiday tradition that says as much about community as about adaptation.

Lahaina oceanfront

Lahaina oceanfront

In the 1820s, the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii was a hot, dusty village called Lāhainā. Whaling boats frequented the waters, sheltered by other islands from harsh weather. The village soon became a port of call for thousands of sailors. Buildings went up on the model of New England towns, bars did well, and related businesses flourished. Herman Melville, author of the whaling saga Moby Dick, was one such sailor. At one point Lāhainā was the center of the global whaling industry. Continue reading

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Filed under American Culture

It’s Time for the Whale

“Call me Ishmael.”

…so begins, famously, one of the greatest American novels of all time, Herman Melville’s 1851 epic Moby Dick; or, The Whale.

If Moby Dick has somehow escaped your reading itinerary (even this author admits guilt), now is your chance to experience Melville’s masterpiece. This New York Times article provides an introduction to the exciting new audio project that sees the book newly read by 135 famous and non-famous voices. Think Tilda Swinton. Stephen Fry. Various schoolchildren. David Cameron.

The chapter installments will be available as FREE downloads over the course of four months. So go ahead, call him Ishmael!




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Filed under Books, Online Resources