Annotations and Commentary on Moby Dick

by Evelyn C. Leeper

Copyright 2016

Last Updated 09 Aug20165

When I recently re-read Moby Dick for a University of California at Berkeley course, I spent more time taking notes, and looking up names and places I did not recognize. This is the result.

It is broken into multiple files because it is far too long for a single file.

All page references are to the "Penguin Popular Classics" edition, but I have included the chapter numbers as well, because there are almost as many editions of Moby Dick as there are types of whales in the sea. I speak of the text as being Ishmael's words unless it seems more appropriately attributed to Melville. (Critic Kerry McSweeney makes the distinction between Ishmael the character and Ishmael the narrator, particularly in that the latter has knowledge of what will happen later, has researched whales--clearly after his journey--and in general has a more sophisticated viewpoint. The latter I tend to call "Melville" unless he is specifically speaking as Ishmael.)