Wednesday, August 12, 2020

I Like the Cut of Your Jib: Fathom & Fetish, Illustrated Editions of Moby Dick

Call Me Ishamel in Emojis
Pixelation & Material Textuality:
Prosumer and Peer Production.

Emoji Dick, or, The whale / by Herman Melville ; edited and compiled by Fred Benenson ; translation by Amazon Mechanical Turk.  "Emoji Dick is a crowd sourced and crowd funded translation of Herman Melville's Moby Dick into Japanese emoticons called emoji. Each of the book's approximately 10,000 sentences has been translated three times by an Amazon Mechanical Turk worker. These results have been voted upon by another set of workers and the most popular version of each sentence has been selected for inclusion in this book. In total, over eight hundred people spent approximately 3,795,980 seconds working to create this book. Each worker was paid five cents per translation and two cents per vote per translation. The funds to pay the Amazon Turk workers and print the initial run of this book were from eighty three people over the course of thirty days using the funding platform Kickstarter."--About this book.

What The White Whale Was to Ahab in Emojis
Poe’s Law or Digimodernism?


Seeing histories in the literary canon:

The first London edition, The whale (title-page) / The whale; or, Moby Dick (half-title page), published in three volumes by Richard Bentley in October of 1851 was not illustrated, except for a whale, stamped in gold, on the spine. The first American edition, Moby-Dick; or, The whale published in one volume in November of 1851 by Harper and Brothers was not illustrated.

Neither a sperm whale, nor white: The first sighting of Moby Dick?

Several decades later, in the late 19th and early 20th century, four black-and-white illustrations designed by A. Burnham Shute were used in several of the earliest illustrated editions. Soon after, another four black-and-white illustrations by I.W. Taber were published for a Scribner’s illustrated edition. Twelve paintings by Mead Schaeffer were used for one of the earliest color-illustrated editions, around 1923. [Rauner holds each of the items mentioned in Seeing histories for you to explore].

Kent Rockwell illustration from Moby Dick showing Moby Dick beneath rowboat.
Deeper meanings
and body texts.
Moby Dick as a symbol
Hardcovers: Binding and meaning.
See also (unbound):
Collection of proofs of illustrations
for the Lakeside Press edition of
Moby Dick.

“...the unspeakable unspoken may reveal those texts to have deeper meaning, deeper and other power, deeper and other significances. One such writer, in particular, who has been almost impossible to keep under lock and key is Herman Melville.”--Page 139-140. "Unspeakable Things Unspoken" / Toni Morrison.

Cover from Barry Moser's Moby Dick
Dust jackets:
skins and wrappers.

A different tack: unmoored, aloof 😊

See also (Rauner blogs and exhibits):

Reference: Images of Moby-Dick. Department of Special Collections. University of Kansas. 1995.

Consider: Elizabeth Schultz. "The new art of Moby-Dick." Leviathan. Volume 21, Number 1, March 2019.