Those who partake in the fiery hunt should take note:
Philip Hoare is a formidible opponent, and when it comes to Moby-Dick, chances are he’s already been there.
Not only has Philip written a bestselling non-fiction book – an account of his obsession with whales, historical whaling and all things Herman Melville – but he has also been commissioned by the BBC to make a documentary about his monomania and the writing of his opus.
Called The Hunt for Moby-Dick, the doco follows Philip as he journeys around Nantucket, New Bedford, and other nautical dens of salty sea dogs, and even swims with a live sperm-whale off the coast of the Azores.
All I can say is, me next, me next! I’ll catch the first flight to the Azores!
And check out Philip yarning on in this BBC podcast. It’s about Moby-Dick and the way in which society’s attitudes to whales have changed since the book was published in 1851.
As the old whaler says, It wasn’t so much the romance – it was the cash!