Hard to imagine getting down to the work of reflection and analysis when summer is singing so loudly her final song…but for those missing the great work of the Salon conversations, or those curious and interested in delving into the world of words and ideas, there are some wonderful studies proposed based on participant request.

Week of September 10th:

‘Sonny’s Blues’ by James Baldwin

“ You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, or who had ever been alive.”

This study, at a greatly reduced rate of £5, is designed to welcome new participants to the Salon and ease us back into the Salon rhythm. Set in racially-divided Harlem in the 1950s, Baldwin’s long short story tells of a lost brother, mean streets, inheritance, nobility and cowardice, and ultimately of the transcendence available in art. This piece- with its riffs, swoops and echoes comes as close as almost any text I have read to the experience of musicality in writing.

Starting Week of September 17th

The Aeneid by Virgil Five week study

T.S. Eliot claimed that the Aeneid is the ultimate “classic”: “our classic, the classic of all Europe.” It is probably the single text from classical antiquity that has had the longest continuous influence over the later Western tradition…
It is a poem about the formation of a vast imperial power, and the human cost of that process. The second half of the Aeneid, in which the Trojans fight against the Rutulians — a group of native inhabitants — has clear resonance with the beginnings of American colonial history, and even with the current war in Iraq. Aeneas has no difficulty establishing an initial stronghold in Italy; the difficult thing is to pacify the natives and to win the peace. Virgil’s analysis of the formation of a multicultural society — composed of Latins, Rutulians, and Trojans, all mixed together and speaking the same language, forgetful of their historical differences — is an obvious prototype for modern societies. (from NEW REPUBLIC online review by Emily Wilson)

Coming Salons
The Bear by W. Faulkner (rec. ed: Go Down Moses, Vintage) cost £30
Thursday October 4th Short Story intensive—one three-hour meeting 7-10 PM
Paradise Lost by John Milton Wednesdays (1-3 or 8-10 PM) five week study starting October 10th

Upcoming studies to be offered….these are on the planning board; please email me directly if you are interested (requesting specific days or evenings for scheduling would be helpful!)
Howards End by E. M. Forster
The Sound and The Fury by W. Faulkner
The Four Quartets by T. S. Eliot
The Iliad by Homer