grayscale photo of whale's tail




1:30pm - 3:00pm

4/15, 4/22, 4/29, 5/6, 5/13 & 5/20

Six Sessions

This course will be offered in a future semester

Herman Melville died all but forgotten, as was his greatest work.  Bad reviews doomed sales of Moby-Dick, and when it was mentioned in his paltry six-line obituary in The New York Times they even misspelled the title.  But 30 years after his death the book would be proclaimed the greatest American novel, if not the greatest novel ever, and “Call me Ishmael” would become the most famous opening sentence in creative fiction.  Harold Bloom has paid Ahab the ultimate compliment by saying he attains the stature of the best characters in Shakespeare. Whether you’re a longtime fan, or a procrastinator who always intended to read it, come aboard the Pequod for the voyage of a lifetime, along with a personal introduction to our erstwhile neighbor, Herman Melville, who lived in Pittsfield when he wrote his masterpiece.


4/15 Class #1: Etymology, Extracts, Chaps. 1-16

4/22 Class #2: Chaps. 17-37

4/29 Class #3: Chaps. 38-54

5/6 Class #4: Chaps. 55-82

5/13 Class #5: Chaps. 83-106

5/20 Class #6: Chaps. 107-135 and Epilogue

Feel free to read any complete edition of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.

Richard Matturro, a native of Rye, New York, holds a doctorate in English with a specialization in Shakespeare and Greek Mythology.  After sixteen years at the Albany Times Union, he taught literature at UAlbany for fourteen years.  He is the author of numerous newspaper articles and six novels.  During the summer he conducts tours of Arrowhead, Melville’s Berkshire home.

To enhance your understanding of Meliville, his time in Pittsfield and influences on his book, we are offering a tour of Arrowhead led by Dr. Matturro on April 2nd.  Please note this is a separate registration.

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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

1350 West Street | Pittsfield, MA 01201 | 413.236.2190 |

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