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Moby Dick Energy: A Moby Dick Podcast
70 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
Chapters 55-57: "Of the Monstrous Pictures of Whales; Of the Less Erroneous Pictures of Whales, and the True Pictures of Whaling Scenes; Of Whales in Paint; in Teeth; in Wood; in Sheet-Iron; in Stone; in Mountains; in Stars."
After a long hiatus, we're back! Talia talks with Byrd Pinkerton, amazing podcast producer and multimedia artist, about three chapters in which Melville rambles about how people depict whales. We dissect monstrous pictures rendered in florid language. A link to the slideshow Byrd made so lovingly is here, posted to Medium! https://mobydickenergy.medium.com/moby-dick-pics-b58f6b9a25bfProduced by Ty Wood (@bobo_the_second on Twitter). Theme song by Noam Hassenfeld.
73 minutes | Jan 23, 2021
Chapters 52-54: "The Albatross," "The Gam," "The Town-Ho's Story"
Talia talks with Beth Skwarecki, senior health editor at Lifehacker, about three fascinating chapters. That's right -- we're BACK! After 33 episodes last year, we're off on the second year of Moby Dick Energy, and with hellish strength we are taking another stab at this great book. This week, we examine Melville's glowing and romantic depictions of the Erie Canal and the Great Lakes; gam a lot; and go with Ishmael to Peru. ALSO: A BIG AUDIENCE REQUEST --We would *LOVE* to see some sea shanties by our listeners!!! If you are so moved, and want to write a sea shanty (to the tune of "Wellerman" or any other one you like, or an original tune) inspired by chapter 54, "The Town-Ho's Story," we want to feature it on the show!!!! Email your song creations to email@example.com, or @ us on Twitter at @mobydickenergy.With excellent production by Ilana Weinstein. Theme song, as always, by Noam Hassenfeld.
51 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Chapters 50 & 51: "Ahab’s Boat and Crew. Fedallah" & "The Spirit-Spout"
Talia talks to author and producer Jay Bushman, author the new book "Novel Advice," about two marvellous chapters of this book. We're back, babey!!!! With an Agony Aunt letter from Ishmael, an exploration of Melville's orientalism, and the haunting beauty of the spirit-spout.
69 minutes | Nov 17, 2020
Chapters 48 & 49: "The First Lowering" and "The Hyena"
Prefacing this episode is Talia's prank call to the Trump Voter Fraud hotline.This episode Talia talks to the lovely, gentle-voiced and brilliant Lili Loofbourow, a staff writer at Slate, about THE FIRST TIME WE ENCOUNTER SOME REAL LIFE WHALES in the book and the racially fraught introduction of Ahab's mysterious, hitherto hidden companions, Fedallah and his crew. The word "swart" recurs, as does our habit of reading monologues aloud.Theme song by Noam Hassenfeld.Production by Ilana Weinstein.
45 minutes | Nov 3, 2020
Chapters 46 & 47: "Surmises" and "The Mat-Maker"
Talia talks with Sarah Marshall, of the "You're Wrong About" and "Why Are Dads" podcasts, about 2 odd marooned mid-40s chapters of the book. It's Sarah's first experience with the book and we debunk some myths about Ahab -- as well as conveying that he's the ultimate Bad Dad of the Sea. "Man and whale must go down together, like Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty." -Sarah Marshallmerch: mobydickenergy.threadless.com
53 minutes | Oct 12, 2020
Chapter 45: "The Affidavit"
Talia talks with New York Times bestselling author Morgan Jerkins about the bizarre and wonderful chapter "The Affidavit." With clips from "Matilda," asides about dairy, and as always, contemplation of the majesty and terror of The Sea.
52 minutes | Sep 28, 2020
Chapters 43 & 44: "Hark!" and "The Chart"
Talia talks to Justin Scheck (@ScheckWSJ) about a short chapter and a longer chapter, which are also a comical chapter and a profound chapter. In "Hark!" we see a bit more of daily life on the Pequod, while "The Chart" attempts to map Ahab's madness. Justin Scheck is a Wall Street Journal reporter and author of the recent book "Blood and Oil," which is about Mohammad bin Salman, not whaling.Moby Dick Energy merch is available at http://mobydickenergy.threadless.comYou can support the show at www.patreon.com/talialavinProduction by Ilana Weinstein. Theme song by Noam Hassenfeld.
73 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
Chapter 42: "The Whiteness of the Whale"
Talia talks to vaunted Melville scholar Christopher Freeburg about an infamous, complex and fascinating episode, "The Whiteness of the Whale." We discuss the meaning of whiteness, filled with both sinister and holy connotations. Has the author/protagonist line completely blurred? Is Ishmael going slightly insane? What does whiteness mean? Also, check out Professor Freeburg's new book, "Counterlife: Slavery after Resistance and Social Death," from Duke University Press!Production by Ilana Weinstein. Theme song by Noam Hassenfeld. Merch at mobydickenergy.threadless.com!
56 minutes | Sep 9, 2020
Chapter 41: "Moby Dick"
Talia talks to James Beard Award nominated writer Rax King about Chapter 41, "Moby Dick." It's an encapsulation of the book in miniature: we talk about the feared whale himself, introduced to our antagonist at last; about the madness of Ahab; about the whaling industry; about sperm whales as the great terrors of the sea. With many thanks to producer Ilana Weinstein for rescuing some truly dreadful audio, and adding their signature creative touches.
56 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Chapter 40: "Midnight: Forecastle"
A RADIO PLAY.First, Talia talks to Akela Lacy, reporter at the Intercept, about the strange, drunken dream of this chapter; its racialized elements; and the feelings of Pip, the Black cabin-boy, about being alone on a ship of white madmen, threatening to knife each other.In the second half, produced painstakingly by Ilana Weinstein, we have the fruits of much labor!! Fans of the show have sent in lines from the Belfast Sailor to the St. Jago's Sailor, and together they form a radio play of Midnight: Forecastle that is the most ambitious effort of the show's run. Thank you thank you thank you to all the fans who took the time to record lines! And the ending is a recollection of our painful moment, and its reckonings. "Oh! thou big white God aloft there somewhere in yon darkness, have mercy on this small black boy down here; preserve him from all men that have no bowels to feel fear!"
65 minutes | Aug 14, 2020
Chapters 37-39: "Sunset," "Dusk," "First Night-Watch"
Talia talks with grand dame of stage and screen Natalie Walker (@nwalks) about these three Very Dramatic chapters. Reading aloud and Singing ensue. Soundscape, editing and production by Ilana Weinstein.
54 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
Chapter 36: "The Quarter-Deck"
I talk with Donni Saphire (@donni on Twitter) about the beginning of a stellar run of theatrical chapters. In "The Quarter-Deck," Ahab emerges and presents his quest for vengeance to the crew of the Pequod. Donni says Ahab reminds him of a boss he had at Radio Shack. We explore!
59 minutes | Jul 14, 2020
Chapter 35: "The Mast-Head"
Talia talks to the smart and charming Maris Kreizman of the literary podcast the Maris Review about a curious and wonderful chapter, "The Mast-Head," about standing watch on a whaleship; the dangers of reverie; and scurrilous young Platonists. We also meditate about what Melville would write about a Disney cruise, obelisks and erections, and the purposes of pyramids.
68 minutes | Jul 8, 2020
Chapter 34: "The Cabin-Table"
Talia talks to Kristian Fischer about a wonderful & strange chapter about dinner on the Pequod; the sailor's Kristian's dated; Jungian analysis of Moby-Dick; and the power of literature in times of social upheaval.Production by Ilana Weinstein. Theme song by Noam Hassenfeld.
59 minutes | Jun 29, 2020
Chapter 32: "The Specksnyder"
Talia talks to Isaac, an Australian rabbi who tweets under @crookedroads770, about a curious chapter that feature's a capsule theory of the corrupting nature of power. Is Melville an anarchist? Is Australia upside down? We explore these and other questions. NO GODS NO CAPTAINS NO MASTERS
52 minutes | Jun 15, 2020
Chapter 32: "Cetology"
Talia talks to Lisa Munger, a marine biologist specializing in marine biological acoustics, about the legendary Chapter 32, "Cetology," featuring Ishmael's frankly bizarre, wonderful and inaccurate taxonomy of whales. We go into detail about whales from the Sulphur-Bottom to the Huzza Porpoise, discuss why common names are useless, talk about Lisa's adventures tracking whales on the Bering Sea, and listen to the song of the humpback.
72 minutes | Jun 12, 2020
Chapters 29-31: "Enter Ahab, to him Stubb," "The Pipe," "Queen Mab"
Talia talks with Manu Saadia, author of "Trekonomics," about 2020's protests, the rot at the heart of America, the moral core of the country being on the streets, racism from America to Paris, and the role of literature in times of revolution. We also discuss three short and remarkable chapters focusing on Ahab, his pipe, and dreams.Sound art and production by Ilana Weinstein.Theme song by Noam Hassenfeld.
62 minutes | May 29, 2020
Chapter 28: "Ahab"
WE FINALLY MEET CAPTAIN AHAB. Talia's guest is Mary Davenport, a seminary student at Yale Divinity School, and we talk about the Biblical burdens of kingship, Ahab's livid birthmark, Mary's brother who sails on antique tall-ships, AND MORE!
78 minutes | May 21, 2020
Chapters 26 & 27: "Knights and Squires"
In Moby Dick Energy's longest--and most leftist--episode to date, Talia talks with the writer and teacher Nandini Balial about the crew of the Pequod. We meet Starbuck, Stubb, Flask, Tashtego, and Daggoo; discuss the inalienable dignity of man; Buddhism; the carceral state; homoeroticism (as always); caring for dogs and toddlers; and the nature of courage. Apologies for the delay, but we're off again on the Pequod!
32 minutes | May 5, 2020
EMERGENCY EPISODE: Chapter 22!!
Talia talks with our Bildad and Peleg correspondent Alexandra Petri in this emergency episode, which is an emergency episode because Talia is a bit of an idiot and skipped Chapter 22 by accident (that is why I am the skipper of this podcast boat!). We discuss the Godfather of English Hymnody, Isaac Watts; parsimony; whale teeth; hubris; the meaning of Christmas; AND MORE!!!! Like your host, this episode is short and goofy.
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