Call me David: Prime Minister's Moby-Dick reading goes live
Monday 15 October 2012
A reading by the Prime Minister that aims to introduce the 161-year-old novel Moby-Dick to a new generation goes live to the world today.
David Cameron has voiced chapter 30 of the classic American novel as part of The Moby-Dick Big Read. The novel famously starts with the line, "Call me Ishmael".
He is amongst a number of stars, including Stephen Fry, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir David Attenborough, who have jumped on board the ambitious project to broadcast all 135 chapters of Herman Melville's novel over 135 days.
Since Swinton took on the novel on 16 September the website has been visited by almost half a million people, placing it in the iTunes podcast charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
Mr Cameron's chapter, titled The Pipe, goes live on the project's website today.
When his involvement in the project was confirmed Mr Cameron said: "This is a really exciting project aimed at introducing this literary masterpiece to new audiences.
"I am particularly pleased to be able to contribute a chapter alongside so many people from the local community and wish all involved the very best in their efforts to make classic literature accessible to all."
The Moby-Dick Big Read has been two years in the making and originated from the mutual obsession with the book by award-winning author Philip Hoare and artist Angela Cockayne.
The daily readings, broadcast online, are accompanied by images inspired by the book from contemporary artists including Anish Kapoor and Antony Gormley.
The project was launched at the Plymouth International Book Festival in September.
Dr Hoare hopes the project will convince intimidated readers to give Moby-Dick a try.
He said: "If the Prime Minister's reading prompts people to turn to such wonderful works of literature, that's a great result for all concerned.
"I'm sure Herman Melville would be amazed at this extraordinary new interpretation of his thought-provoking and prophetic book.
"This is a way of introducing his book to a new audience and is something people can pick up as and when they choose - it is completely suited to the digital age."
Moby Dick is narrated by Ishmael, a sailor who voyages on the whale ship Pequod, under Captain Ahab. He soon discovers that Ahab has one purpose on his voyage, to seek revenge on the ferocious sperm whale, Moby Dick, who bit off his leg.
Through the journey of the main characters, the concepts of class and social status, good and evil, and the existence of God are all examined as the main characters speculate upon their personal beliefs and their places in the universe.
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Avengers: Age of Ultron: Nearly 700 German cinemas refuse to show film
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'