Every year since 1995, the Venice Oceanarium has hosted a reading of  Herman Melvilles, Moby Dick on the beach in Venice.  This annual 2 day event has become quite the tradition as volunteers take turns reading chapters, working their way through the novel over the course of the weekend.

As with most cool things this year, the annual beach front reading was canceled because of the virus.  However, that did not stop the folks at Venice Oceanarium!  They simply went virtual, with the good people of Venice taking turns reading chapters on video.  And Venice Paparazzi’s Alex Stowell kicked the party off by reading the first chapter, titled “Loomings.”

Call me Ishmael…..

Pre-Covid 19 Moby Dick Reading on the beach.  Photo courtesy of Venice Oceanarium

About Moby Dick:

Moby-Dick is the story of Captain Ahab’s quest to avenge the whale that ‘reaped’ his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab s appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual responsible for the security of each. Among the crew is Ishmael, the novel’s narrator, ordinary sailor, and extraordinary reader. Digressive, allusive, vulgar, transcendent, the story Ishmael tells is above all an education: in the practice of whaling, in the art of writing.

Here is a message from Venice Oceanarium!

Venice Oceanarium Friends and Family,

Against the odds, we conquered the leviathan challenge of keeping our Moby-Dick marathon a tradition in 2020. Thanks to 21st century technology and all of you who read chapters, our 25th anniversary is the biggest and best ever!

Our tiny crew has been working tirelessly behind-the-scenes to make this happen. Special thanks to our dedicated, smart, creative problem solver and all around go-to volunteer, Joe Stanford. He patiently guided the tech savvy and Luddite alike through uncharted waters of phobias, glitches, uploads, downloads, google drives, zoom files, YouTube videos and more!

We received chapters from all over the world. Children, students, bookworms, thespians and some celebrity readers too! Be sure to check out readings by John Lithgow, Nate Corddry and Eric Lange!

Joe is still wrangling the last little particles of Ishmael’s missive from Cyberspace. We’ll get things polished up and add the remaining chapters for our official launch. For now, here’s a preview of our first-ever virtual reading of Moby-Dick. And we couldn’t be prouder.

Click here for Venice Oceanarium’s Virtual Moby-Dick Reading

Venice Paparazzi’s Alex Stowell participating in the 25th Annual Virtual Moby Dick reading.

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