Sunday, January 8, 2023

Jan. 27, 2023—Journey to the End of the Night, by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

 The next meeting of Great Books KC will be January 27, 2023.  We will discuss Journey to the End of the Night, by Louis-Ferdinand Céline.

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: January 27, 2023
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, send to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.
Journey to the End of the Night is the first novel by Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work follows the adventures of Ferdinand Bardamu in the World War I, colonial Africa, the United States and the poor suburbs of Paris where he works as a doctor.

The novel won the Prix Renaudot in 1932 but divided critics due to the author's pessimistic depiction of the human condition and his innovative writing style based on working class speech, slang and neologisms. It is now widely considered to be one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Schedule for 2023

 The planned schedule for our book discussions is as follows:

Jan. 27, 2023— Journey to the End of the Night
                           by Louis-Ferdinand Céline
Feb. 24, 2023— Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Mar. 31, 2023— To the Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf 
Apr. 28, 2023— Sunday Morning and other poems,
                           by Wallace Stevens

May. 26, 2023— MacBeth, by William Shakespeare 
Jun. 30, 2023— The Devil's Disciple, by George Bernard Shaw
Jul. 28, 2023— Caesar and Cleopatra, by George Bernard Shaw
Aug. 25, 2023— Captain Brasbounds Conversion
                           by George Bernard Shaw 
Sep. 29, 2023— Antigone, by Sophocles  
Oct. 27, 2023— Gilgamesh (2nd millennium BC epic)
Dec. 1, 2023— Book of Job (from the Bible)
Dec. 8, 2023— Prepare Schedule for 2024

Saturday, October 29, 2022

December 2 & 9, 2022—Ezra and Nehemiah, from the Bible

 Great Books KC will meet two times yet this year: December 2, 2022 & December 9, 2022

Meeting Content, Dec. 2, 2022: -- 7 PM
We will discuss Ezra and Nehemiah, from the Bible

Meeting Content, Dec. 9, 2022:
We will create the schedule of books for 2023. 
Suggestions of books may be sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.
Please note the following links to assist in plans for preparing the 2023 schedule:

Meeting Time and Place:
Dates: December 2, 2022 & December 9, 2022
Time: 7:00 pm
Zoom on-line meeting
—an email with link to join will be sent prior to meeting.
—requests to be added to email list to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com. 

Description of Discussion Topic:
The two books cover the period from the fall of Babylon in 539 BCE to the second half of the 5th century BCE, and tells of the successive missions to Jerusalem of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah, and their efforts to restore the worship of the God of Israel and to create a purified Jewish community. The Masoretic tradition regarded the books of Ezra and Nehemiah as one book and referred to it as the Book of Ezra

Saturday, October 1, 2022

October 28, 2022—Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tau

 The next meeting of Great Books KC will be October 28, 2022.  We will discuss Tao Te Ching, by Lao-Tau.

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: October 28, 2022
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, send to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
The Tao Te Ching, along with the Zhuangzi, is a fundamental text for both philosophical and religious Taoism. It also strongly influenced other schools of Chinese philosophy and religion, including Legalism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism, which was largely interpreted through the use of Taoist words and concepts when it was originally introduced to China. Many artists, including poets, painters, calligraphers, and gardeners, have used the Tao Te Ching as a source of inspiration. Its influence has spread widely out and it is one of the most translated texts in world literature.

Tao Te Ching was written around 400 BC and traditionally credited to the sage Laozi. The text's authorship, date of composition and date of compilation are debated. The oldest excavated portion dates back to the late 4th century BC, but modern scholarship dates other parts of the text as having been written—or at least compiled—later than the earliest portions of the Zhuangzi.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

September 30, 2022—Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee and Walker Evans.

 The next meeting of Great Books KC will be September 30, 2022.  We will discuss Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, by James Agee and Walker Evans.

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: September 30, 2022
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is a book with text by American writer James Agee and photographs by American photographer Walker Evans, first published in 1941 in the United States. The work documents the lives of impoverished tenant farmers during the Great Depression. Although it is in keeping with Evans's work with the Farm Security Administration, the project was initiated not by the FSA, but by Fortune magazine. The title derives from a passage in the Wisdom of Sirach(44:1) that begins, "Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us".

Sunday, July 31, 2022

August 26, 2022—The Guermantes Way, Vol. 3 of In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be August 26, 2022.  We will discuss In the The Guermantes Way, Vol. 3 of In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust.

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: August 26, 2022
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
The Guermantes Way is the third volume of Proust’s masterpiece, À la recherche du temps perdu. "The Guermantes Way" refers to the path that runs past the château belonging to the Duc and Duchesse de Guermantes near Combray and also to the route the narrator takes to make his way into their Parisian salon. He encounters a world of nobles, officers, socialites, and assorted consorts–individuals like Robert de Saint Loup and his prostitute mistress Rachel, the Baron de Charlus, and the Prince de Borodino. The narrator becomes a party to the wit and manners of the Guermantes drawing room, an important playground for Parisian society interested in the latest theatrical triumph and the progress of the Dreyfus case.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

July 29, 2022—In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, by Marcel Proust

 The next meeting of Great Books KC will be July 29, 2022.  

We will discuss In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, Vol. 2 of In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: July 29, 2022
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower, also translated as Within a Budding Grove (1919) was scheduled to be published in 1914 but was delayed by the onset of World War I. At the same time, Grasset's firm was closed down when the publisher went into military service. This freed Proust to move to Gallimard, where all of the subsequent volumes were published. Meanwhile, the novel kept growing in length and in conception. When published, the novel was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1919.

Monday, May 30, 2022

June 24, 2022—Swann's Way (Vol. 1 of In Search of Lost Time), by Marcel Proust

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be June 24, 2022.  
We will discuss Swann's Way, Vol. 1 of In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: June 24, 2022
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
In Search of Lost Time, first translated into English as Remembrance of Things Past, is a novel in seven volumes by French author Marcel Proust. This early 20th-century work is his most prominent, known both for its length and its theme of involuntary memory. The most famous example of this is the "episode of the madeleine", which occurs early in the first volume, Swann's Way.

Message from R. Gina Renée
From: "R. Gina Renee" 
Subject: Great Books KC
I did a little research into Proust translations, this Paris Review article recommends the 2004 translation by Lydia Davis for those who don't like language updating and do like sticking closer to French:
https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2011/01/07/which-translation-of-proust-should-i-read/
Here is the Amazon softcover of the Davis translation:
https://www.amazon.com/Swanns-Way-Search-Penguin-Classics/dp/0142437964/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=proust+swans+way+lydia+davis&qid=1653701140&sr=8-3

Saturday, April 30, 2022

May. 27, 2022—The Brothers Ashkenazi, by I.J. Singer

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be May 27, 2022.  We will discuss The Brothers Ashkenazi, by I.J. Singer

Meeting Date & Time:
Date: May 27, 2022
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 frequent attenders.
 — request mailing list addition, sent to GreatBooksKC@gmail.com.

Description of Book:
The Brothers Ashkenazi is a novel written in Yiddish, it first appeared serially in the Jewish daily Forward between 1934 and 1935, after Singer had left Poland and moved to New York. It was published in book form in Poland in 1936, the same year in which Knopf published an English translation by Maurice Samuel. It was at the top of The New York Times Best Seller list along with Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. In 1980 a new translation was published by the author's son, Joseph Singer.

Availability of Copies:
If unable to find a library copy, the following are suggested alternatives:
1. Through Interlibrary Loan.
2. Hoopla.com has a audio format.
3. Used books can be purchased on various websites.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

April 29, 2022—Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and The Waste Land, by T. S. Eliot

The next meeting of Great Books KC will be April 29, 2022.  

We will discuss the following two poems by T.S. Eliot: 
Meeting Date & Time:
Date: April 29, 2022
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 the Poems (Links to Wikipedia descriptions):
Copies of Messages from group members:

From: Don Pepper
Subject: An Interpretation of The Wasteland
Hi Clif, 
Here is a web link with insight into Elliot's allusions and metaphors in "The Wasteland". 
https://web.jerichoschools.org/hs/teachers/lfischer/poetry/wasteland_notes.htm

From: Don Pepper
Subject: An analysis of "The Waste Land"
Hi Clif, 
This link is to a worthwhile analysis of: "The Waste Land"