Provincetown will join New Bedford MA, Mystic CT, and New York City in celebrating its rich whaling heritage by hosting the second annual Provincetown Public Library Moby-Dick Marathon Reading in April 2017. Published in 1851, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick chronicles the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on a massive white whale responsible for destroying his ship and severing his leg at the knee during a previous voyage. The three-day marathon-style reading of this nineteenth century masterpiece will be held on the Provincetown Library’s Second Level on the starboard side of the Rose Dorothea Model, and officially begins at 2:00 pm on Friday, April 21. The full weekend schedule is as follows:
Friday, April 21: 2 pm to 8 pm
Saturday, April 22: 10 am to 10 pm
Sunday, April 25: 10 am to 4 pm
This event will bring together over 120 participants at the Provincetown Library to read Melville’s classic work aloud over a total of 24 hours. Last year’s inaugural edition of the Marathon was a tremendous success, bringing more than 500 visitors to the Library. The three day event unites members of Provincetown’s literary, art, theater and academic communities. Admission to the Marathon is free.
Provincetown holds a rich whaling history dating back to the early 1800s when skilled Portuguese seamen settled at Land’s End where they started families, manned ships, and became captains of their own vessels. By 1870, the whaling industry had created a since-unrivaled era of prosperity in Provincetown, then ranking as one of the richest towns in Massachusetts. In the century between 1820 and 1920, more than 160 vessels were outfitted from Provincetown, ranking her third in the U.S. in voyages launched (902).
Mike and Kristin Glasfeld of Bay State Cruise Company are the Presenting Sponsors for the 2017 Provincetown Library Moby-Dick Marathon. Glasfeld says, “Moby-Dick captures the seeking soul like no other American novel has. On every level, we’re called to reconsider what we know, and how we think about what we know. If for no other reason, this is why Melville has been a part of our home for so many years. As special reading locales go, however, the Provincetown Public Library, filled with the warmth of the community, will top them all, I suspect.”
Cape Air has also joined as a visible financial supporter of the event for the second consecutive year.
“We are thrilled to welcome our 2017 Marathon sponsors to the table. Many hands make light work in uniting the whaling communities of the Northeast with the reading of Moby-Dick.” says Library Trustee Stephen Borkowski.
The Provincetown Public Library Moby-Dick Marathon Reading will feature a roster of readers culled from townspeople, local Library groups, art and literary organizations, and schools. Event organizers are seeking community volunteers to read a five page passage. Those interested in participating in this year’s edition of the Provincetown Public Library Moby-Dick Marathon Reading are encouraged to contact Library Director Matt Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org or 508-816-6373.