*November 14th, 1851
On this calendar date, one hundred and sixty-six years ago, Harper & Brothers in New York published Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
Many consider it one of the Great Books in the canon of western literature, certainly of North American books.
Confession: I never read it.
I even knew one of Melville direct descendants, the lovely Meredith Melville. I never admitted to her that I hadn’t read it. I had no excuse. I did read much longer books that book lovers think are must-reads (Yes, War and Peace) and I can’t say that whaling and fishermen are a turn off (The Old Man and the Sea, I did read that one) and really, I have no idea why some great books have escaped the net of my youthful reading, when either the schools I attended or my love of reading drove my cart. Some books just slipped by, and then slipped off.
Like Moby Dick.
But something has changed in me as the years accumulated. I no longer feel I should, or would. I can’t explain that, either. No excuses or “someday.” Call me Ishmael if you need to. That’s fine.
What great books have you not read? Do you still think you will?
&Happy Birthday, MOBY DICK&