WEEK III: July 21–25

 

Morning: 10 a.m.–noon

 

Plato’s Early Dialogues
Topi Heikkerö and Jacques Duvoisin
We will read five short dialogues: Laches, Ion, Hippias minor, Theages, and Hippias major. These dialogues are, for the most part, Plato’s early work. As they are short, they allow us to read them carefully. The themes of the dialogues include reading of Homer, poetic inspiration, courage, beauty, lying, and Socrates’ daimonion.

 

Ibn al-Arabi’s The Bezels of Wisdom
Michael Wolfe and Patricia Greer
This is the best-known work by the 13th-century Sufi master who has been called the most influential Muslim of the latter half of Islamic history. In it, Ibn al-‘Arabi explores the ways in which the human being is a mirror to God and God is a mirror to the human being—or, to cite another metaphor he employs, the ways in which “the water takes on the color of the cup” (sometimes taking God to be the water and the human to be the cup, and sometimes vice versa).

 

Nietzsche’s Will to Power
Raoni Padui and Richard McCombs
One of Nietzsche’s most exciting and challenging ideas is his concept of a will to power, which is an active drive to affirm and to overcome oneself. Nietzsche never published his fullest exposition of this concept, which is contained in his late notebooks. The book translated into English as The Will to Power is a compilation by Nietzsche’s sister, who rearranged and edited his draft with considerable bias. In this seminar we will work closely with Nietzsche’s original notebooks in order to investigate what he meant by the will to power, and why he thought that vigorous self-affirmation requires a critique of nihilism and a revaluation of values.

 

Eliot’s Middlemarch
David McDonald and Marsaura Shukla
George Eliot’s Middlemarch is often named the greatest novel in the English language. Describing the intertwined lives of a large cast of characters in the fictional Midlands town of Middlemarch, Eliot explores the nature of human relationships, particularly in marriage, and raises fundamental questions about the meaning and shape ofvocation in complex human lives. Virginia Woolf said that Middlemarch is “one of the few English novels written for grown-up people.” After working through its eight books, we may see what she meant.

 

Proust: The Guermantes Way
Victoria Mora and Peter Pesic
Marcel Proust’s monumental series of six novels, In Search of Lost Time, concerns love, desire, memory, jealousy, betrayal, and loss. The Guermantes Way, the third volume in the series, explores the world of high society, its salons and amours, the grandeur and follies of its denizens. No less a master of social drama than of individual consciousness, Proust writes with great clarity, wit, and almost painful beauty. This seminar is intended to continue our seminars on the first two novels in the previous summers and accordingly offers priority choice to participants; others are welcome, if space allows, but they are expected to have read Swann’s Way and In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower on their own so that they can participate fully in discussions that will doubtless reach back to those works.

 

Afternoon: 2–4 p.m.

 

Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
Jessica Jerome and Christine Chen
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was published in 1855 and, unlike much poetry of the era, delights in sensual pleasure, and elevates the human form and human mind. In this seminar, we will read selections from his collection, including “I Sing the Body Electric,” “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking,” and “Song of Myself,” discuss how the first person narrative is used to respond to social and personal dilemmas, and consider what might make the form and style of his poetry distinctly American.

 

Proust’s The Guermantes Way (afternoon session)
Victoria Mora and Peter Pesic
Marcel Proust’s monumental series of six novels, In Search of Lost Time, concerns love, desire, memory, jealousy, betrayal, and loss. The Guermantes Way, the third volume in the series, explores the world of high society, its salons and amours, the grandeur and follies of its denizens. No less a master of social drama than of individual consciousness, Proust writes with great clarity, wit, and almost painful beauty. This seminar is intended to continue our seminars on the first two novels in the previous summers and accordingly offers priority choice to participants; others are welcome, if space allows, but they are expected to have read Swann’s Way and In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower on their own so that they can participate fully in discussions that will doubtless reach back to those works.

 

Special Session

 

The Essence of Opera

Two sessions daily
Morning and Afternoon
10 a.m.–noon and 2
4 p.m.

 

Wednesday evening: Santa Fe Opera performance

July 2125
William Fulton and Andy Kingston

 

Opera is often described as the most lavish, complex, extravagant, demanding and expensive performing art and the highest form of musical theater. Its aesthetic and intellectual rewards are powerful, creating legions of fans often better described as fanatics. However, even to such fans, opera can be baffling and intimidating at times.

This session from July 21–25 will include morning sessions to study the essence of the opera as a genre and afternoon sessions to examine specific operas.

 

The morning session will provide keys to understanding and appreciating opera by examining its history (from its birth in Florence at the end of the 16th-century up to our own times), musical structures, dramatic forms, performance practices, audience reception, and other aspects with examples taken from prominent, popular, and important works.

Following the morning session, an afternoon seminar will closely examine three operas from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries: Mozart’s charming The Impresario; Stravinsky’s delicate lyric tale Le Rossignol (The Nightingale); and Beethoven’s only opera, his powerful Fidelio. Participants will have the opportunity and are encouraged to attend performances of all three at the renowned Santa Fe Opera.

A ticket to the Wednesday double bill performance of Le Rossignol and The Impresario is included in the tuition fee.

Special Session Tuition: $1,900/week. $800 for full-time educators with proof of employment.

"Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, I hear them all at once. What a delight this is! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream"
- Mozart