Images/New Bedford Whaling Museum

SouthCoastToday: Shortly after Moby-Dick was published in 1851, a critic dismissed the “ravings” of author Herman Melville and his characters, writing in the Southern Quarterly Review that they justified “a writ de lunatico.”

One wonders what he might make of the more than 2,000 people who could descend upon the city this weekend for its 17th annual Moby-Dick marathon, a 25-hour celebration that is one of dozens now staged across the globe, including several that started just in the past few years: Oregon (2011), Nantucket (2011), Tallahassee (2011) and New York (2012).

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