|Chapter 24 illustration (untitled) by Ann Hamilton (2002)|
George Cotkin notes in Dive Deeper that Bulkington, a respected whaler first encountered by Ishmael at the Spouter Inn, has Chapter 23, "The Lee Shore," to himself. Admittedly, this is a very short chapter, but because it is the last mention in the book of Bulkington, scholars believe that Melville must have had bigger plans for the character at some stage of plotting Moby-Dick. Some, in fact, believe that he was to be the book's central character before Melville decided to place Captain Ahab in that role.
My favorite reader from this group of chapters (and it is a close call because this is an outstanding group) is Irish actress and stage director Fiona Shaw who reads Chapter 25.