Moby-Dick

White Whales: American fictions of monomania, failure, and finitude

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The John Adams Institute presented a two day course at Boekhandel Van Rossum on Herman Melville’s famous novel Moby-Dick, taught by George Blaustein, associate professor at the University of Amsterdam. Grand, strange, sometimes nonsensical, occasionally prophetic, and funnier than you expect, Moby-Dick is as subtle as a sledgehammer and yet as elusive as vapor. Why …

The John Adams Institute presented a two day course at Boekhandel Van Rossum on Herman Melville’s famous novel Moby-Dick, taught by George Blaustein, associate professor at the University of Amsterdam. Grand, strange, sometimes nonsensical, occasionally prophetic, and funnier than you expect, Moby-Dick is as subtle as a sledgehammer and yet as elusive as vapor.

Why do we treat it with such reverence? Why is it the “great American novel”? Why do we need a great American novel at all? And what did Moby-Dick mean in its own time and what should it mean in ours?

 

If you like our past program, take a look at our upcoming speakers.

Literature course

We offer 1-2 courses every year, ranging from courses that will help you gain depth of knowledge on American literature to courses that dive into pop culture and even to courses that serve as a survival guide for those who are new to the Netherlands. A variety of experts have taught our courses, including Matt …

We offer 1-2 courses every year, ranging from courses that will help you gain depth of knowledge on American literature to courses that dive into pop culture and even to courses that serve as a survival guide for those who are new to the Netherlands. A variety of experts have taught our courses, including Matt Luna, Dan Hassler-Forest, Janelle Ward, Aliefka Bijlsma, and Allard den Dulk.

The courses are held at city center locations once a week for a period of five or  six weeks, with each weekly session lasting around two hours. The groups are small (max of 25 people) and therefore a personal experience is guaranteed. Visit our past courses page to get an idea of the wide diversity of our topics and keep an eye on our home page for announcements of new courses.