In 1987, working for a multi-national corporation, the editor was due to make a swing thru the far east on a business trip. The trip was aimed at finding suppliers of the product we were selling here in the US. That trip was to start in Taipai and continue to Hong Kong and end in Toyko.
In his mid 30's, he was in the the midst of prolonged funk, asking existential questions and coming up with little to show. It made sense to turn back and to reexamine things from the past and he choose to reexamine the books from boarding school that he was supposed to read and never did.
As the cab for the airport pulled up to the house he just grabbed his high school copy of Moby-Dick.
he read it on the flight over...
Thus started this obsession.