OT: Sorry for the delay, was having connection problems there. If I disappear again, it was the phone line, not me.
*f5* @Daddy: Thanks, that tip could indeed be very helpful for readers at German universities. For those who can locate that book or article, most of this could be unnecessary.
But no, I don't know if I've seen all the other threads, since they're not always identified as being from Moby-Dick, or even with the tag [Lit.] That's partly why I thought a clearinghouse thread might be useful.
And apart from just the translation question, I'd also like to offer this thread as a place for everyone who has read, or is reading, Moby-Dick to comment or commiserate. I'm actually curious about who's reading it.
Is it an assignment for a German Gymnasium class, or a university seminar? If the latter, is it Anglistik or translation? Or is it maybe for an American or Canadian high school or college class?
We seem to have several German exchange students in the forum, and I can imagine that Moby-Dick could drive them a little crazy. Years ago, when a South American exchange student who lived with us had to read Huckleberry Finn for high school English, all the 19th-century style and the Southern dialect was twice as hard for her.
In case anyone here is reading it for a university class, my tip would be to see if you can get hold of, or at least consult, a good annotated edition (possibly even on reserve at the library). I have the Norton edition, but it doesn't seem to have any glosses beyond Melville's own footnotes; maybe someone else has a better recommendation.
I think there was also a German speaker in the forum recently who wanted to read Moby-Dick as an adult, just out of interest, out of the desire (at least this was my impression) to try a more challenging English book, something recognized as great literature. I can understand that too; in fact, I think that's an admirable undertaking. Possibly a shade overambitious for someone still learning English, and definitely harder if you don't have a library nearby or a big dictionary at home, but on the other hand, far from impossible.
So for everyone who's reading it right now, I'd be interested to know why you're reading it, how far into it you are, and how you like it so far. Who knows, it may turn out that there are other forum users in the same, er, boat. (-;
And for the rest of us, when and why did you read it, if at all, and what did you think about it? Any tips for new readers?
I myself didn't read it until college, and I didn't like it all that much, partly because at the time I was more interested in British than American literature. But I can't say I remember much about it in detail, so having to fish it off the shelf may be good for me too. (-: