APRIL 2011 SALONS announced
Friday APRIL 8th, 6:30-9:30 pm Poetry (Petite Salon)
Saturday 9th, 5-10 pm Frankenstein (recommended edition: Norton Critical)
Sunday 10th, 3-8 pm Between the Acts (recommended edition: Oxford World Classics)
The Paris Salons run for a wonderfully intensive five hour stretch (with a necessary pot-luck meal break half way through). Although this format may feel intimidating, those who have participated find the conversation gallops along and we take the book in one big and satisfying gulp. The study is a dynamic weave of participant questions and responses, readings of significant passages and consideration of the themes and genres that the book illuminates. We often find we access significant aspects of human relationships through the course of our study—and everyone’s experience illuminates this understanding. Each five hour Salon costs 45 euro—to confirm your participation, send me an email with your participation request and I will send the details for payment, opening notes and Salon location… NOW is also a good time to send your requests for future Salons.
Thanks to all who participated in the doodle poll; the MAY study will include Nabokov and The Odyssey. I have just launched the London based Divine Comedy study: 20 readers and a long, twisted journey ahead but the shades of the Paris study help me light the way. I was energized and inspired by the recent Paris studies of The Odyssey and White Teeth—great reads, lively minds and wonderful food: life should always be so scrumptious.
• Frankenstein by Mary Shelly There is renewed interest Shelly’s gothic? Feminist? Science fiction? classic. The National Theatre in London is offering a production of this book that peels back the layers of the block-headed, bolted monster and gets down to Mary Shelly’s original concern: what is the relationship between the created and the creator? Edward Mendelson offers “Frankenstein is the story of childbirth as it would be if it had been invented by someone who wanted power more than love.” The form of the story also draws the reader into the entangled and unlimited relationship between the Creature and its creator as we move through narrators to get to the frozen final confrontation.
• Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf Woolf’s lyric prose and gorgeous vision combine to consider the sense of exhaustion that punctuated the Modernist period leading up to WW II. Edward Mendelson describes the book: “Everything comes to an end in Between the Acts, and then, as the book itself comes to an end, something unknowable begins.” The book includes a pageant composed of imaginary episodes from 1000 years of English history, and a close examination of the intricacies of village life in England in the days leading up to WW II. As always, it is Woolf’s penetrating consideration of intimate relationships and the places where language fails—but something else transcends—that lift this work from “the doom of sudden death hanging over us” as one of her characters describes.
• 3 Poems - A Petite Salon I am considering works by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman and perhaps Sylvia Plath or Joseph Brodsky–thinking about what poets might sing together. A three hour intensive study (cost reduced- 25 euro) that would allow us to get our hands around a few works…I will email the poems in the coming weeks.