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Dean's Lecture, 10/3

Originally Posted on admin, October 3, 2008

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Dean's Lecture, 10/3: “The Triumph of the Self”


WHO:  Frank Pagano, Tutor, St. John’s College

WHAT:  Fall 2008 Dean’s Lecture and Concert Series, St. John’s College

TITLE:  “The Triumph of the Self”

WHERE:  Great Hall, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College

WHEN: Friday, October 3, 8 p.m.

CONTACT: 984-6000 (St. John’s College Switchboard)

DETAILS:  This lecture is free of charge, open to the public, and followed by a question and answer period.

Much of what has happened socially in America in the last forty years is a consequence, Pagano argues, of a transformation in Americans. This began with the baby-boomers. Americans have gone from being ensouled citizens to being selves. The majority of the lecture distinguishes between soul and self. Pagano refers to Herodotus and William Faulkner to describe soul, and Faulkner and Philip Roth to describe self. A soul is a social phenomenon; a self is reactive against society. In Absalom, Absalom!, Faulkner’s Thomas Sutpen is an example of a man striving to be a self, striving to have no positive connection to society at all. Pagano wonders whether a society of selves can long endure.