Sunday, November 16, 2008

Massachusetts State Book

Massachusetts is about to name Moby-Dick as its "epic novel".

Sure, I think Ethan Frome might be a better option, but I LOVE Moby-Dick.


Some questioned whether, in a literature-rich state like Massachusetts, there were better novels.

A legislator from Salem suggested that Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" or "The House of the Seven Gables" might be a better choice.

"I am appalled!" said Representative Cory Atkins, who contends her district in Concord has "more authors per square mile than any other."

"What about Louisa May Alcott? What about Hawthorne? How am I going to face my constituents?" she said.

A compromise was agreed upon.

"Moby-Dick" will be the state's "epic novel" instead of the "official book," leaving a loophole for other novels to be recognized.

State lawmakers, after all, have found room to honor five different rocks: an official rock (Roxbury Puddingstone), historical rock (Plymouth Rock), explorer rock (Dighton Rock), building rock (granite), and a glacial rock (Rolling Rock).


Liz said...

I second Ethan Frome! Or Little Women at least.

Greg Fletcher-Marzullo said...

First up, I'm totally appalled that I've never read your site. Moving on...

I'm glad it wasn't "Scarlet Letter." I love it and all, but I think anyone with a public school education from the last 30 years would have groaned inwardly at the nomination.

"Ethan Fromme" is certainly seething and full of quiet desparation as only Wharton can be, but there's no American epic like "Moby Dick," in my opinion. (Even "American Tragedy" - certainly long and perfectly American in a twisted way, but not epic).