Dr. Tom Whalen (State Academy for Art and Design, Stuttgart): "Melville's Descent into the Maelstrom"

Tuesday, 23.06.2015, 6:00-7:30 p.m., U9/01.11

Herman Melville's encyclopedic dream of the Deep and meditation on Everything, Moby Dick; or, The Whale (1851), begins with an etymological descent into the word WHALE. Dr. Whalen's lecture examines how (narratively, linguistically, aesthetically, metaphysically) this first spin on a word in Melville's outrageous masterpiece whirls us not only to the demise of the Pequod and all but one of its crew, but effectively, by the age of thirty-seven, the end of Melville's writing career.

Tom Whalen is a novelist, poet, critic, short story writer, translator and lecturer on film at the Staatliche Akademie der Künste in Stuttgart. He has written for Agni, Bookforum, Film Quarterly, The Hopkins Review, The Iowa Review, The Literary Review, Studies in Short Fiction, The Wallace Stevens Journal, The Washington Post and other publications. His recent books include the novels The Straw That Broke and The President in Her Towers.