‘Moby-Dick’ gets star treatment with 30-day celebration across L.A.

“Moby-Dick” celebration in Los Angeles
The “Moby-Dick” celebration includes artwork by Raymond Pettibon: “No Title (His transformation is),” 2009.
(Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles © Raymond Pettibon.)

Whatever happened to “Moby-Dick”? That’s what L.A. libraries want to know.

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Public Libraries and friends are getting together to present a month-long celebration of Herman Melville’s “Moby-Dick.”

From Twitter to a whale watch boat ride, scholarly discussions to thematic children’s book readings, beach cleanups to experimental films, more than 90 events are planned that connect in one way or another to the classic 1851 novel.

In an effort to bring libraries to life, the events include such unusual projects as creating scrimshaw in soap, doing ocean-themed origami, puppet shows, sidewalk astronomy, sea shanty sing-alongs and a beach cleanup.


And because this is Los Angeles, there will be a celebrity reading of the book, with details not yet disclosed.

Several other events closely focused on the book are also planned, with performances, readings and panel discussions of the work and how it connects to readers today. Free copies of “Moby-Dick” will be placed in Little Free Libraries across the city beginning Sept. 1. And the Libros Schmibros book club, which meets at the Hammer Museum, will take on Melville’s classic -- the discussion takes place  Sept. 29, so readers have as long as possible to tackle the 500+ page novel.

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