Library of Congress Acquires Emoji Dick, Herman Melville Yet to Respond

February 20, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

The Library of Congress has added another tour de force to its collection: Emoji Dick, welcome to the literary canon. The 735-page “book” is an adaption of Moby Dick, fully “translated” into emoji form by NYC micro-engineer Fred Benenson (along with thousands of contracted helpers). The Kickstarter-funded project is the first emoji book ever to be acquired by the Library of Congress.

While we can see the potential for emoji as an expressive language and appreciate this newfangled remake of Melville’s classic as a sort of societal statement on the future of interpersonal expression — a notion that Benenson touches on in this 2009 interview with The New Yorker — let’s just hope this doesn’t become the next sweeping trend of the publishing world. Oh, books. I miss you already.

Emoji Dick was recently chosen to go on display at the Printed Matter gallery in Chelsea.