NEW BEDFORD (AP) — This year’s Moby-Dick Marathon, the annual cover-to-cover reading of Herman Melville’s iconic man-versus whale novel hosted by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, kicks off on Jan. 7.
This year’s celebrity reader, who traditionally gets things started with the words “Call me Ishmael,” is actor Sam Waterston, who was nominated for a best male actor Oscar for the 1984 movie “The Killing Fields” and is known for his work on the “Law and Order” television series.
The nonstop reading, again a virtual event this year, takes about 25 hours to complete.
Although this is the Cambridge native’s first time at the museum, Waterston is a Melville aficionado who once read the part of Ishmael in a 2001 celebration of the 150th anniversary of “Moby-Dick” at Tanglewood.
The marathon, which has been held since 1997, ends Sunday Jan. 9.
“Over the years, the Whaling Museum has hosted an outstanding array of celebrities, academics, and public officials for the Moby-Dick Marathon,” said Amanda McMullen, President and CEO of the museum, “We are thrilled to have the participation of all our readers — 200 strong — and know that their passion for Melville and heartfelt commitment to New Bedford will help make the 2022 marathon the most exciting and engaging yet.”
Several other interactive virtual events are also scheduled.