Welcome. This page is devoted to the NKU honors course "Melville and the Arts."

Strangely, this class started very differently in the beginning. This will be my record of what happened and how the course evolved. Thanks goes first to Dr. Robert Wallace for his extraordinary and creative leadership. A true monomaniac when it comes to pedagogy, his willingness to give us free rein over the class was a great incentive to explore for ourselves the images and words of Melville. Secondly, but no less important to this unique experience was the people with whom I shared the trip. Each person was an integral part of the melee. Thanks to every one for "the class that will never end." Now onto my record and interpretation of this course.


The show at Northwestern University was a marvelous compilation of "Moby Art." The class would not have been the same without our adventure in Chicago. The first night was devoted to exploring Evanston and downtown Chicago. The pizza was not up the usual Chicago standards from what I understood but the Elevated train was. When we arrived in downtown the bars and clubs were so quaint and cozy, In fact I struck up an interesting conversation with a large, balding, and severely pierced bouncer. Despite the stereotypical scary man look he was quite personable. He told us about his two daughters and about some history of Chicago itself. After successfully returning to our hotel we prepared for the next day.

When we arrived at the gallery my first reaction was surprise at how small it was. I walked around looking for the other room I thought would be there. After realizing there was not one, I immediately looked for the Vali Meyers painting. It was so beautiful in person. The colors were completely different than the reproduction in the Elizabeth Schultz book. The predominant color was not burnt orange at all, it was filled with blues, greens, and dark pinks that lent an entirely different feel to the work. The biggest surprise though came later in the form of a small three dimensional wall hanging.

Robert Mcauley's Ahab seen at the gallery prompted laughter when I first saw it. Not because I found it silly or anything such as that. Themessage I saw in that piece was what impressed me. Here was a form that was a perfect negative of Melville's Ahab. The question that popped into my head was this. Ahab as a flesh and blood man replaced his missing leg with bone, but what can a bone man replace his leg with? A bit more seriously though this version of Ahab strikes me completely differently than the one shown in the book. The gallery piece is to me a representation of Ahab's all consuming rage and obsession about the bone leg. The other piece with it's more complete structure and more obvious human form is a christ figure and symbolic of Ahab's self propelled yet unavoidable clash with the white whale.

after the tour we took time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of northwestern university. lunch was eaten on the shore of the blue lake while some merchants inside provided some terrific props for pictures. this trip was an invaluable addition to our class without which the class would not have evolved as it did.

The final project for the course was a opportunity few of the members of the class have ever had or will have again. The art show presented Moby Art, contained each persons interpretation of Moby Dick. My own, titled The Marriage of Ishmael and Queeqeg, is a three dimensional wall hanging inspired by the description of the courtship and matrimony of the narrator and his bosom friend. The copy below is poor but hopefully will be replaced soon.

I would like to thank all who have taken the time to read this. Please feel free to E-mail me brock@nku.edu with any questions or comments you might have. Here are some of my search results from Lycos on Moby Dick and Whaling. Lycos search: moby dick