The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: October 18 – Moby Dick Published 160 Years Ago

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Moby Dick is widely considered to be one of the first Great American Novels and a treasure of world literature. It was written by Herman Melville and published on October 18, 1951 by Richard Bentley in London (and later by Harper and Brothers in New York). The story tells the adventure of a wandering sailor named Ishmael, and his voyage on the whaleship Pequod, commanded by Captain Ahab. Ishmael soon learns that on this voyage Ahab has one purpose, to seek out the ferocious, enigmatic white whale: Moby Dick. The book is regarded (and infamous) for its stylized language, symbolism, metaphors, complex themes and meandering tangential storyline. The book was largely ignored when it was first published, and was first of several “literary failures” by Melville (see his other fantastic novels Pierre and The Confidence Man). It wasn’t until nearly 50 years after his death that the book resurfaced and eventually gained the reputation of a masterpiece.

Why read Moby Dick? See NPR’s feature.

It’s Tuesday, October 18

The Christian County Grandparent Support Group meets tomorrow at the Pennyrile Area Development District Office starting at 10 a.m. The office is at 300 Hammond Drive in Hopkinsville.

Western Baptist Hospital has its 5th Annual Addiction and Compulsive Behaviors Symposium for healthcare professionals Saturday from 8 to 3:45. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. at the Heart Center Auditorium, 2501 Kentucky Avenue in Paducah. Register by Thursday at There’s a $30 activity fee and some education credits available.

The youth of Murray’s First United Methodist Church have a Harvest Hootenanny tomorrow in the church gym at 503 Maple Street. A chili competition and meal start at 5. From 6 to 8 there’s a petting zoo, pony rides, a costume parade, carnival games and a trick or treat walk through the church. It’s open to all, $3 per person, $10 max per family for either meal or activities.

Hear our weekend music shows like Music From the Front Porch on demand at Thanks for supporting your listening pleasures.


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