Seminars meet from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday. Lunch on Saturday is included.
All seminars are held in the Hodson Room in Mellon Hall.
Register FOR FALL 2019 WEEKEND CLASSICS
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s intense focus on individuality and self-development marked a turning point in American literature and thought. We will read two quite different essays on the threads that connect the human soul to the natural world it lives in.
Recommended edition: The Essential Writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson (New York: Modern Library, 2009). ISBN-13: 978-0679783220. ISBN-10: 0679783229.
Reading assignments for the weekend:
September 14 – 15
Anne Brontë’s novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall is a boldly realistic portrait of a terrible marriage in all its awful complexity. It has been called a feminist tract, but it is way beyond ideology in its human acuteness and storyteller’s artistry.
Recommended edition: Dover Thrift Editions (2017). ISBN 13 0-486-81717-0; ISBN 10 0-486-81717-2
September 21 – 22
Soldier, statesman, author, historian—Prime Minister Winston Churchill was a lion and a model for national leadership. We will read a selection of his famous speeches, examining meaning, structure, and rhetoric.
Recommended edition: Never Give In! The Best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches, edited Winston S. Churchill. ISBN 1-4013-0056-1
October 12 -13
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately … and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Thoreau’s Walden raises essential questions about the individual’s responsibility to himself and the society in which he lives.
Recommended edition: Any edition is acceptable.
Rebecca Steiner Goldner
We will use Sartre’s short essay, Existentialism is a Humanism, as the starting place to think about Existentialism as he understood it, and, in particular, his ideas about existence, anguish, and freedom. Then we will turn to his play No Exit, where we find three characters brought together following their deaths to spend all of eternity with one another.
Recommended edition: Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism is a Humanism, trans. Carol Macomber, ISBN-10: 0300115466 or ISBN-13: 978-0300115468. Jean-Paul Sartre, No Exit, trans. Stuart Gilbert, ISBN-10: 067972516 or ISBN-13: 978-0679725164
Homer’s magnificent epic begins with rage—the rage of Achilles, whose greatness drives the action of the poem. With its brutal, yet beautiful account of the conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans, The Iliad explores the nature of war, sacrifice, glory, and redemption. The depth of characters and the eloquence of Homer’s poetry make this book an unforgettable literary experience.
Recommended edition: Homer, The Iliad, trans. Robert Fagles, ISBN 978-0140445923 or trans. Richmond Lattimore, ISBN 978-0226470498
The author of Moby Dick stopped publishing fiction in 1857 and turned to poetry for the last 34 years of his life. His first poetry book, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War (1866), contains searing and poignant poems remembering those who gave their lives that this nation might live. We will read a selection of these poems.
Recommended edition: Herman Melville, Battle-Pieces and Aspects of the War: Civil War Poems, Da Capo Press, ISBN 0-306-80655-X
In this magnificent epic, Homer invites us to journey alongside the complicated hero Odysseus as he battles the elements and the gods, yearning both for home and for adventure after suffering through the Trojan War. Also featured in the epic is Penelope, Odysseus’ famously patient and ingenious wife, who refuses to give up hope for the return of her beloved husband. This magnificent poem is rich with unforgettable images, scenes of grandeur, and moments of poignancy. It reveals Homer’s wisdom at every turn.
Recommended edition: Homer, The Odyssey, trans. Robert Fagles, ISBN: 9780140268867, or trans. Richmond Lattimore, ISBN: 9780061244186.
Marilynne Robinson’s novels Gilead and Home have established her reputation as a fiction writer, but she also writes incisive essays about the advantages and disadvantages of contemporary life. We will discuss three essays from her 2012 collection When I Was a Child I Read Books.
Recommended edition: Marilynne Robinson, When I Was a Child I Read Books (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012). ISBN-13: 9781250024053
A full refund is provided should you cancel at least two weeks before the first seminar meets. No refunds are provided if you cancel less than two weeks before the seminar meets.
Should we need to cancel due to weather, you will be notified by email and the seminar will be rescheduled.
We reserve the right to cancel a seminar due to low enrollment.
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Annapolis, MD 21401