A place for the meeting of minds . . .

“Thank you, thank you, thank you. I never would have read Ulysses but am very glad that I have. It was frustrating, moving, enigmatic, and uplifting – and that was just the first page. It – and the salon – were also a gift for me this year. Life has been challenging and the Salon was a pocket of time when everything else went away. It was a rare moment  in which I was truly immersed in the here and now. And that doesn’t seem to happen much these days.”  

Ulysses Salon participant 

Image credit: Jose Barba www.jajed.com
TS Eliot The Waste Land Study starts in September

Unreal City,
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.

 

Image credit: Marion Wunder, Pixabay
Great Ideas, Great Books

Our monthly study of foundational texts continues 17 September with the Epic of Gilgamesh

Coming Travel Studies 2019-2020

Literary adventures abound: Javier Marías in Valencia, The Odyssey and then The Iliad in Greece, Henry James and Dacia Maraini in Umbria with Yoga, Virginia Woolf in St Ives, Henry James in Rye

Moby Dick nine-week study starts September

“I am half way in the work . . . It will be a strange sort of book, tho’, I fear; blubber is blubber you know; tho’ you might get oil out of it, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple tree;—and to cool the thing up, one must needs throw in a little fancy, which from the nature of the thing, must be ungainly as the gambols of the whales themselves. Yet I mean to give the truth of the thing, spite of this.”

Joyce's Ulysses

“Plenty to see and hear and feel yet. Feel live warm beings near you. They aren’t going to get me this innings. Warm beds: warm full blooded life.”

On-going Proust studies

“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.” 

Welcome to the London Literary Salon

The London Literary Salon creates community around the study of great literature and ideas.

The Salon offers unique discussion-based studies of outstanding works of fiction, philosophy, poetry and drama. We welcome all readers with a curiosity and openness to the insights of others—no academic preparation is necessary.

Our expert facilitators help to weave the ideas of participants with questions the books raise about what it is to be human. We visit realms imagined by writers and thinkers from ancient times to modern.

Studies range from one-meeting intensives to six-month and two-year odysseys, along with travel retreats to locations around the UK and Europe.

Click here to read more about the Salon experience or browse upcoming studies below.

What's coming up this year?

september 2019

08sep6:30 pm8:30 pmThe Lit Salon Book Club - Late in the Day6:30 pm - 8:30 pm West Norwood, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:MonthlyDuration:Ongoing

12sep5:00 pm10:00 pmBeloved in London *STUDY FULL*5:00 pm - 10:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:One Off Event

16sep5:30 pm7:30 pmMoby Dick by Herman Melville5:30 pm - 7:30 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Two months

17sep6:00 pm8:30 pmGreat Ideas, Great Books - September: Epic of Gilgamesh6:00 pm - 8:30 pm London Bridge, LondonType Of Study:PhilosophyFrequency:MonthlyDuration:Ongoing

17sep7:00 pm9:00 pmThe Waste Land Salon: Three Evenings *STUDY FULL*7:00 pm - 9:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three weeks

18sep5:00 pm7:00 pmWithin a Budding Grove - Vol. II Proust's A la recherché...5:00 pm - 7:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three months

19sep12:00 pm2:00 pmSodom and Gomorrah v.IV in Proust's À la Recherche du Temps...212:00 pm - 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six Weeks

24sep6:00 pm8:30 pmSpontaneous Philosophy - September Meeting6:00 pm - 8:30 pm Marylebone, LondonType Of Study:PhilosophyFrequency:MonthlyDuration:Ongoing

october 2019

15oct6:00 pm8:30 pmGreat Ideas, Great Books - October: Plato's Republic6:00 pm - 8:30 pm London Bridge, LondonType Of Study:PhilosophyFrequency:MonthlyDuration:Ongoing

18oct(oct 18)5:30 pm20(oct 20)12:00 pmVirginia Woolf in St Ives: Between the Acts5:30 pm - 12:00 pm (20) St Ives, CornwallType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Weekend

21oct12:00 pm2:00 pmPnin by Vladimir Nabokov12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Three weeks

29oct6:00 pm8:30 pmSpontaneous Philosophy - October Meeting6:00 pm - 8:30 pm Marylebone, LondonType Of Study:PhilosophyFrequency:MonthlyDuration:Ongoing

november 2019

15nov(nov 15)5:30 pm17(nov 17)2:00 pmA Heart So White - Weekend study of Javier Marías in Valencia5:30 pm - 2:00 pm (17) Valencia, SpainType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Weekend

19nov6:00 pm8:30 pmGreat Ideas, Great Books - November: Plato's Republic6:00 pm - 8:30 pm London Bridge, LondonType Of Study:PhilosophyFrequency:MonthlyDuration:Ongoing

january 2020

14jan(jan 14)12:00 pm23jun(jun 23)2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Daytime Sessions12:00 pm - (june 23) 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

14jan7:30 pm9:30 pmUlysses Second Tour: Evening Sessions7:30 pm - 9:30 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

february 2020

14jan(jan 14)12:00 pm23jun(jun 23)2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Daytime Sessions(january 14) 12:00 pm - (june 23) 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

march 2020

14jan(jan 14)12:00 pm23jun(jun 23)2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Daytime Sessions(january 14) 12:00 pm - (june 23) 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

april 2020

14jan(jan 14)12:00 pm23jun(jun 23)2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Daytime Sessions(january 14) 12:00 pm - (june 23) 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

may 2020

14jan(jan 14)12:00 pm23jun(jun 23)2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Daytime Sessions(january 14) 12:00 pm - (june 23) 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

03may11:00 amHomer's Odyssey in Greece: One-week immersion11:00 am Island of Agistri, GreeceType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:Eight Days

31may11:00 amReading the Body: Salon and Yoga retreat in Umbria11:00 am Umbria, ItalyType Of Study:TravelFrequency:One Off EventDuration:One Week

june 2020

14jan(jan 14)12:00 pm23jun(jun 23)2:00 pmUlysses by James Joyce: Daytime Sessions(january 14) 12:00 pm - (june 23) 2:00 pm Kentish Town, LondonType Of Study:LiteratureFrequency:WeeklyDuration:Six months

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Would you like to study something else? Have a look at our past salons to see what events we have run previously.

Or do you have a suggestion for a salon? We’d love to hear your ideas. Please let us know.

A place for the meeting of minds- to connect, to agree and disagree and to use books as a means through which to ponder the various aspects of human existence and experience in all of its messy glory.

Toby Brothers, Salon Director

Thank you to Jose Barba for the wonderful illustrations he has created for the London Literary Salon. Click on the images below to enlarge and scroll.

Latest Salon News

Seven Ways to Get the Most out of Proust by Marcy Kahan

Marcy Kahan is a member of the 3rd Proust cycle in the LLS; she will be facilitating a course on Nabokov later this autumn... Seven ways to get the most out of Proust Feeling excited at the prospect of Radio 4’s Proust Marathon – the new 10-hour dramatisation of...

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Proposed Salons from Toby– Weekly studies, Retreats

Late Summer-Autumn 2019 thru Spring 2020 Having just returned from another magical St Ives weekend immersed in Virginia Woolf, I am inspired anew by the rare luxury of being in a beautiful place with a group of wonderful minds encountering a work of literature...

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Book Club Review Podcast interview with LLS founder Toby Brothers

If you would like to listen to a brief overview on the history of the Salon and reflections on the purpose of the Salon and book studies – here is Toby being interviewed by Kate Slotover of the Book Club Review. This also gives some of the strategies the Salon offers to Book Clubs to support their studies.

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Salon Feedback 2018

I will just say that, for me, the great thing about the salon is that it feels like a form of play…Over the years as a teacher, I sometimes felt that what was occurring in class was a kind of play, and when this happened it seemed a wonderful thing.

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Community Events

Tribute to Dr. Toni Morrison

Tribute to Dr. Toni Morrison “What does it mean to be human? FOREIGNNESS IS THE REALM OF THE CURIOUS.The dream state is where you are most vulnerable.The final frontier of home is the human body. Home is where the memory of the self dwells...” --  From 'The...

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Bootleg Bloomsday in London June 16 2019

BOOTLEG BALLOONATICS PRESENT: BLOOMSDAY IN LONDON – 16THJUNE 2019 Journey through an imaginary Dublin on the streets of Tufnell Park   For anyone unable to make it to Dublin, this year the Balloonatics offer you the chance to celebrate Bloomsday here in London....

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Roll Red Roll Screening by Women’s Equality Party

Roll Red Roll   Co-leaders of the Camden branch of the Women’s Equality Party Emma Ko and Leah Royall are excited to host a rare UK screening of ROLL RED ROLL – a chilling documentary about high-school sexual assault in small-town America. Includes a post-show...

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I would recommend courses led by Toby to anyone who wants to look at a text in detail in a study group
I was certainly surprised at how much I was thrown off balance by these two astounding writers…I look forward to returning for more
We all came to the group with different backgrounds and interests but Mark has skillfully guided us through a stimulating programme of Greek literature.
I always leave the meetings with a much broader understanding of what we are reading than when I arrived
Everyone feels they get heard and therefore that each of us has a contribution to make
In all of the courses I have attended I have felt a bond within the group, and this contributes significantly to the quality of the discussions
Lovely, intimate groups with in-depth discussions, lots of learning, and friendships are made for life there
I’ve read things I’d never dared read before.  I’ve made new friends and met really interesting people.
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