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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown
Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

New Blog

Twitter @alibrown18

New Essay

Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more


About Myself and The Pequod

Alistair Brown

I am mainly employed in a teaching capacity as an Associate Lecturer at the Open University, teaching English Literature and the Arts. I am digital dissemination officer for the Department of English Studies at Durham University, developing the impact of research through Research English At Durham.

Previously I have worked as a course developer at SIM University, a distance learning institution for which I have written and developed textbooks and online courses on Modernism, American, and contemporary literature. I have also taught at the University of Sunderland.

As a researcher, I have published a number of articles and book chapters on postmodern literature, science fiction, and video games and literature.

Contact Me

Please leave your comments in the form below or here. You can also follow me on Twitter as @alibrown18.

About The Pequod

Like the ship in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, The Pequod is a haphazard collection of parts, representing the various voyages in my intellectual and creative life as an academic and writer.

This site presents many of my essays and blog posts about literature, as well as comment and thought on culture, travel and politics. It also includes my extensive book reviews. My current research is in computer games and literature.

Why the Link to Moby Dick?

The Pequod is the ship which features in Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick.

When I first read and wrote about Moby Dick as an English Literature undergraduate, I felt an immediate affinity with the experience of Ishmael, who feels swamped by information in his bibliographical attempt to uncover the myth of the white whale.

Just as Ishmael is a "sub-sub-librarian" for whom each new piece of learning spawns new libraries to explore, so to me it sometimes feels that even as I research and write more, I only reveal what is still to be known. Every critical work cites a hundred other possibilities, every art work seems to draw parallels with its predecesors of which I know little or nothing. Similarly, hyperlinks and web pages seem less to contain and deliver information, than to point to a thousand associations and bits of knowledge not yet followed.

So as the ship in Moby Dick is a "cannibal of a craft," apparelled with the antiquities and trophies from its many voyages, it seemed an appropriate model for this website, which collects the various experiences and writing I have achieved on the "voyages" of my learning, but which also represents a thousand other paths I have yet to travel in my intellectual researches.

The Meaning of The Pequod

According to my big brother over at Statcounter, a substantial number of vistors arrive here searching for the meaning and origin of The Pequod. In response to these questions, you may find the following information helpful:

If you are one of the users who finds this page when searching for The Pequod, and you know more than I do about its origins, please send me Your Comments so I can add them here to help other people.

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This page was published on June 25, 2008 | Keywords: about, accessibility, biography, web development

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