The Project:My son, B, is 24 and Moby Dick is his favorite book. Since he was about 12, he has carried a small, tattered copy of the novel in his back pocket everywhere. He took it with him to college in Washington State and Virginia. He lugged it through Qatar and Nepal. He brought it to California, Idaho, and to Pennsylvania. Although he has read the big book at least once straight through, he often opens it at random and takes whatever it offers him, reading out of curiosity, boredom, or love. Had he had owned a similarly sized Lord of the Rings, it very likely would have served him as Melville’s novel has, in the ways a Bible may have served you: as an oracle, a source of comfort, inspiration, rage, or despair, a talisman, a pillow, a hammer, a protection for the heart in lieu of battle armor, or a handy object with which to beat yourself on the head or to hurl across the room.
Sailing Vessel Sophia at Man-O-War, Abaco, Bahamas, where this project began.