Sunday, September 26, 2021

Oct. 29, 2021— Kakoro, by Natsume Soseki

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be October 29, 2021. We will discuss Kakoro, by Natsume Soseki.

Meeting Location & Time:
Date: October 29, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
 Zoom On-Line Meeting:
 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
Kokoro is a novel by the Japanese author Natsume Sōseki. It was first published in 1914 in serial form in the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. The title, translated literally means "heart". The word contains shades of meaning, and can be translated as "the heart of things" or "feeling". The book deals with the transition from the Japanese Meiji society to the modern era, by exploring the friendship between a young man and an older man he calls "Sensei" ('teacher).

Monday, August 30, 2021

September 24, 2021—The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be September 24, 2021. We will discuss The Bluest Eyeby Toni Morrison.

Meeting Location & Time:
Date: September 24, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
 Zoom On-Line Meeting:
 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 

Description of Book:
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison. The novel takes place in Lorain, Ohio (Morrison's hometown), and tells the story of a young African-American girl named Pecola who grew up following the Great Depression. Set in 1941, the story tells that she is consistently regarded as "ugly" due to her mannerisms and dark skin. As a result, she develops an inferiority complex, which fuels her desire for the blue eyes she equates with "whiteness".

Saturday, July 31, 2021

August 27, 2021—The Big Money (The U.S.A. trilogy) by John Dos Passos

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be August 27, 2021. We will discuss The Big Money (The U.S.A. trilogy), by John Dos Passos

Meeting Location & Time:
Date: August 27, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
 Zoom On-Line Meeting:
 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 

Description of Book:
The U.S.A. trilogy is a series of three novels by American writer John Dos Passos, comprising the novels The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919(1932) and The Big Money (1936). The books were first published together in a volume titled U.S.A. by Modern Library in 1937.

The trilogy employs an experimental technique, incorporating four narrative modes: fictional narratives telling the life stories of twelve characters, collages of newspaper clippings and song lyrics labeled "Newsreel", individually labeled short biographies of public figures of the time such as Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford and fragments of autobiographical stream of consciousness writing labeled "Camera Eye". The trilogy covers the historical development of American society during the first three decades of the 20th century. In 1998, the US publisher Modern Library ranked U.S.A. 23rd on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

July 30, 2021—1919 (The U.S.A. trilogy) by John Dos Passos

The next meeting of Great Books KC Will be July 30, 2021. We will discuss 1919 (The U.S.A. trilogy) by John Dos Passos

Meeting Location & Time:
Date: July 30, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
 Zoom On-Line Meeting:
 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 

Description of Book:
The U.S.A. trilogy is a series of three novels by American writer John Dos Passos, comprising the novels The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919(1932) and The Big Money (1936). The books were first published together in a volume titled U.S.A. by Modern Library in 1937.

The trilogy employs an experimental technique, incorporating four narrative modes: fictional narratives telling the life stories of twelve characters, collages of newspaper clippings and song lyrics labeled "Newsreel", individually labeled short biographies of public figures of the time such as Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford and fragments of autobiographical stream of consciousness writing labeled "Camera Eye". The trilogy covers the historical development of American society during the first three decades of the 20th century. In 1998, the US publisher Modern Library ranked U.S.A. 23rd on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Jun. 25, 2021—The 42nd Parallel (The U.S.A. trilogy) by John Dos Passos

The next meeting of Great Books KC Will be June 25, 2021. We will discuss The 42nd Parallel (The U.S.A. trilogy) by John Dos Passos

Meeting Location & Time:

Date: June 25, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm

 Zoom On-Line Meeting:

 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.

 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 


Description of Book:

The U.S.A. trilogy is a series of three novels by American writer John Dos Passos, comprising the novels The 42nd Parallel (1930), 1919(1932) and The Big Money (1936). The books were first published together in a volume titled U.S.A. by Modern Library in 1937.

The trilogy employs an experimental technique, incorporating four narrative modes: fictional narratives telling the life stories of twelve characters, collages of newspaper clippings and song lyrics labeled "Newsreel", individually labeled short biographies of public figures of the time such as Woodrow Wilson and Henry Ford and fragments of autobiographical stream of consciousness writing labeled "Camera Eye". The trilogy covers the historical development of American society during the first three decades of the 20th century. In 1998, the US publisher Modern Library ranked U.S.A. 23rd on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Meetings During the Month of May 2021

 There will be two meetings of Great Books KC during the month of May. The first meeting will be May 14, 2021 to discuss The Real Life of Sebastian Knightby Vladimir Nabokov. The second meeting will be May 28, 2021 to discuss Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, by Nikolai Leskov. 

First Meeting:

  • Date: May14, 2021
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: Zoom On-Line Meeting
  • Book Title: The Real Life of Sebastian Knightby Vladimir Nabokov.
  • An email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
  • The link is sent to a limited mailing list of frequent attenders. 
  • Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com .
  • The Real Life of Sebastian Knight is the first English language novel by Vladimir Nabokov, written from late 1938 to early 1939 in Paris and first published in 1941. A work centered on language and its inability to convey any satisfactory definition, it has been identified as a forerunner of the postmodernist novel.
Second Meeting:
  • Date: May 28, 2021
  • Time: 7:00 pm
  • Location: Zoom On-Line Meeting
  • Book Title: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District, by Nikolai Leskov
  • An email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
  • The link is sent to a limited mailing list of frequent attenders.
  • Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com .
  • Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk District is an 1865 novella originally published in Fyodor Dostoyevshy's magazine Epoc. Among its themes are the subordinate role expected from women in 19th-century European society, adultery, provincial life and the planning of murder by a woman, hence the title inspired by the Shakespearean character Lady Macbeth from his play Macbeth.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Apr. 30, 2021— Notebook of a Return to My Native Land, by Aimé Césaire

 The next meeting of Great Books KC Will be April 30, 2021.  We will discuss Notebook of a Return to My Native Land, by Aimé Césaire.

Meeting Location & Time:

Date: April 30, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm

 Zoom On-Line Meeting:

 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.

 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 


Description of Book:

Cahier d'un retour au pays natal (1939), variously translated as Notebook of a Return to My Native Land, Return to My Native Land, or Journal of a Homecoming, is a book-length poem by Martinican writer Aimé Césaire, considered his masterwork, that mixes poetry and prose to express his thoughts on the cultural identity of black Africans in a colonial setting.


Saturday, February 27, 2021

March 26, 2021—Lysistrata & Thesmophoriazusae, by Aristophanes

The next meeting of Great Books KC Will be March 26, 2021.  We will discuss the Greek plays, Lysistrata & Thesmophoriazusae, by Aristophanes.


Meeting Location & Time:

Date: March 26, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm

 Zoom On-Line Meeting:

 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.

 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 


Descriptions of the Greek plays:

Lysistrata is an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, originally performed in classical Athens in 411 BC. It is a comic account of a woman's extraordinary mission to end the Peloponnesian War between Greek city states by denying all the men of the land any sex, which was the only thing they truly and deeply desired. The play is notable for being an early exposé of sexual relations in a male-dominated society. 

Women at the Thesmophoria, is one of eleven surviving plays by Aristophanes. It was first produced in 411 BC, probably at the City Dionysia. The play's focuses include the subversive role of women in a male-dominated society; the vanity of contemporary poets, such as the tragic playwrights Euripides and Agathon; and the shameless, enterprising vulgarity of an ordinary Athenian, as represented in this play by the protagonist, Mnesilochus.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

February 26, 2021—Othello, by William Shakespeare

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be February 26, 2021.
We will discuss the book, Othello, by William Shakespeare

Meeting Location & Time:
Date: February 26, 2021
Time: 7:00 pm
 Zoom On-Line Meeting:
 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their name be included on the mailing list. Requests to be added to the mailing list may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com 

Description of Book:
Othello is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in 1603. The story revolves around its two central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army, and his treacherous ensign, Iago. Given its varied and enduring themes of racism, love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge, and repentance, Othello is still often performed in professional and community theatre alike, and has been the source for numerous operatic, film, and literary adaptations.

Friday, January 8, 2021

January 29, 2021—The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be January 29, 2021.

We will discuss the book, The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow


Meeting Location & Time:

Date: January 29, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm

 Zoom On-Line Meeting:

 —an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.

 —the link is sent to a limited mailing list of those who have either 

  attended a meeting in the past year or have requested that their 

  name be included on the mailing list.


Description of Book:

The Adventures of Augie March is a picaresque novel by Saul Bellow, published in 1953. It features the eponymous Augie March who grows up during the Great Depression and it is an example of Bildungsroman, tracing the development of an individual through a series of encounters, occupations and relationships from boyhood to manhood.


The Adventures of Augie March won the 1954 U.S. National Book Award for Fiction. Both Time magazine and the Modern Library Board named it one of the hundred best novels in the English language.