Orson Welles lands Great White Whale

Here's something you won't see everyday. Filming himself Orson Welles recites a few lines from Herman Melville's Moby Dick, part of a Welles' project, Moby Dick - Rehearsed, with an interesting back story. Theater critic Jason Zinoman describes Welles' fascination with the novel in a review of a stage production of Moby Dick - Rehearsed if you'd like to know more.

Here is the first paragraph of Moby Dick for comparison's sake. The text and Welles' reading diverge after the first sentence, and I find his lines a bit too mannered (so much for my judgment) but I suspect that beyond the rhetorical flourishes many people will recognize the sentiments expressed in both.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely -- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the circulation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the ocean with me

Wayne