10 Essential Questions About Moby-Dick ‹ Literary Hub

For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today?

Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.

Here we go! Moby-Dick; or, the Whale (1851) by Herman Melville is one of the greatest—and strangest—novels you will ever read. Call it what you will—a literary leviathan, an intellectual chowder, an early entry in the Great American Novel sweepstakes—or don’t call it anything, just call the narrator Ishmael and climb aboard! In this episode, Jacke counts down 10 essential questions regarding Melville’s (white) whale of a book.


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