In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

All Astir At one time she would come on board with a jar of pickles for the steward’s pantry; another time with a bunch of quills for the chief mate’s desk, where he kept his log; a third time with a roll of flannel for the small of someone’s rheumatic back. (MD, ch. 20) A unt Charity thinks of everything—delicious condiments, writing tools, first aid—that sustains life. Given her concerns with matters culinary, literary, and medical, with all the comforts and amenities of existence, we should give her more credit than she generally receives, if Stubb’s contemptuous disposal of her gift of ginger-water is any indication. In adopting the name of her chapter for the editorial figurehead of Leviathan’s new section, “Extracts” (though she is but a sleeping partner in the enterprise), I draw inspiration from Aunt Charity’s generosity and community spirit to announce two changes in our future practice. One is that a column that heretofore has mainly concerned the doings of the Melville Society Cultural Project will now expand to include the doings of the Melville Society membership and its larger community in the expanded world to which Leviathan now belongs. Secondly, in speaking from the deck rather than the masthead, from a ship in port rather than a ship at sea, “All Astir” will address the landsmen and landswomen who, like Aunt Charity, are invested in the Melville Society’s voyages abroad. The new “Extracts,” like the old Melville Society Extracts, will continue to publish Society news, conference abstracts (as in this issue, with the abstracts from MLA in Washington, DC), officers’ reports, letters to the editors, and “sightings” of Melville’s presence in contemporary media and culture. The articles, notes, interviews, and reviews that used to appear in Extracts will be part of Leviathan now. In this new configuration, “Extracts” will function much as it does in Moby-Dick: that is, as a distinct section that collects brief and representative samples from the reading cultures and experiences of our constituencies. In drawing attention to our constituencies, I mean to emphasize that as “Extracts” in one sense becomes smaller and more contained, at the same time it expands its reach. The original Melville Society Extracts, begun as a newsletter, later became a scholarly journal oriented toward scholars and readers of Melville’s work. As Leviathan emerged in 1999 to accommodate the burgeoning output of scholarly material on Melville, Extracts began to engage C  2006 The Authors Journal compilation C  2006 The Melville Society and Blackwell Publishing Inc L E V I A T H A N A J O U R N A L O F M E L V I L L E S T U D I E S 101 E X T R A C T S the interests of other communities: teachers and students, museum-goers and art-lovers, technology mavens and culture watchers. That community, like the busy, spirited world that Aunt Charity represents, is invested in Melville in many and various ways. Now that Leviathan will appear online, we hope to encourage participation from that larger Melville society in “Extracts.” Along with our usual Society news and reports, we will in future include more pieces on Melville in popular culture and media, Melville and new technologies, and Melville in education. With this inaugural issue, we launch a special feature: the President’s Lecture. Since 2003, the Melville Society President has delivered a lecture to open the Moby-Dick Marathon, held on January 3 at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Until now we have not had the room to print these in full. Starting with Gail Coffler’s, “Melville’s Allusions to Religion: What Do They Reveal?” we look forward to displaying the work of our society presidents more prominently. The Moby-Dick Marathon offers a splendid opportunity for the Melville Society to merge its interests with those of a larger body of teachers, students, fans, experts and non-experts alike. We are pleased to celebrate this hospitable winter New Bedford festival, “one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.” ∗ ∗ ∗ T he Moby-Dick Marathon inaugurates the...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 101-105
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.