The Moby Dick Variations
May 25, 2014 1:03 PM Subscribe
Where does one novel end and another one begin? One day not too long ago, I was thinking about this as I considered what sort of message to send next to my little email list. I decided to do a little research. Gather just a bit of data.
My list is comprised of a few thousand readers, the curious kind. Obviously, this is not a scientific sample… but to plumb the depths of a Branch Library of Babel, a scientific sample is the last thing you want.Librarians in the Branch Library of Babel, By Shaenon K. Garrity
I asked these readers to consider several variations of Moby-Dick like the ones in Garrity’s story. I’ll present those variations here so you can quickly test your own intuition. Here’s what I wrote to the list:
Broadly, would it be fair to call this new text by the same title? If you read the original, and a friend read the transformation, would you feel that you’d both read the same book?
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