The experience of the Salon is best described by the participants– here is a sampling from recent studies:
“Thank you so much for being such an inspiring teacher and facilitator. As you know I’ve hugely enjoyed the journey you have taken us on through Ellison’s masterpiece. I have gained an insight and appreciation that would have been impossible without your guidance. I’ve also learnt so much from the contribution of the other women in our group. I will unquestionably be back. It has been a joy.
I marvel at how someone as young as Ellison was when he wrote could have gained so much wisdom. I marvel at his humanity despite his suffering and that of his people. I had never imagined he would write an ending so full of hope.”
“Have been truly overwhelmed by this work in such a way (profound?) that I’m not sure even what to say. Perhaps there’s a lesson in that.
Thank you, as always,
for being an inspiring guide.”
“I didn’t get a chance to thank you for the Invisible Man….
But what a book. Probably partly because of being tired, but also I’m sure because of the section of the book we concentrated on, I felt really moved by it and quite emotional afterwards. Somehow the invisible man idea felt like it went beyond racism to an existential place, making me think last night about what it means to be ‘visible’ in life. Incidentally I am hugely confused by the ending and suspect I need to go back and re-read it, so really looking forward to listening to next week’s recording.
The group was great – I always find it fascinating how a group comes together over the weeks. At the beginning everyone is a bit cagey, cautious, sometimes unconfident/sometimes competitive. And somehow by the end, there is lovely respect, courtesy and openness to the different opinions in the room. And I love the way one’s own interpretation is stretched by listening to other different, clever people.
Anyway, enough of my gushing. Thank you again – have a great session next week. I look forward to something new in the Autumn, so let me know your plans as soon as you have made some!”
“A note to say how very much I enjoyed, appreciated and benefitted from the sessions. Unlike M.Swann, my desire was not at all attenuated by achievement.”
“Our session affected my dreams, and I woke up feeling quite drugged and almost hungover. I’m grateful for next week’s break — this novel requires a lot of thought and processing.”
“Thank you for facilitating Frankenstein; enjoyed every moment and each moment left me pleasantly surprised at how much more thinking came through since my not so distant undergraduate days …Unfortunately I will not be able to attend the last – but not ever least – discussion group on this inexhaustible book of exploratory thinking which actually had started to sound much like a Mahler symphony in the overwhelming enormity of its literary composition. Hope to see you soon in one of your future groups…”
“Thank you for this email, but also for the incredible literary and life experience that you created for us in Switzerland. It was an amazing experience and more inspiring that I could have ever imagined. I am so grateful for all of the work that you did to prepare and to make it so special. I feel in love with Housekeeping because of the work you did and the way you led us through it. Please let me know if you do any other retreats or come to Paris. I would sign up for that in a heartbeat!!”
“I loved the Ulysses study and I miss it, it opened doors for me that I thought were out of reach, the easy way you facilitate our discussion is a joy and a pleasure. I will probably do another Ulysses and will certainly continue to be a Salonista. Thank you to all for the enlightenment and patience.”
“I really enjoyed the salon – there’s no way I would’ve read Ulysses without it and it was great to use my brain in a different way. Also you were really good at navigating us through it making it feel like a shared discussion and not a lesson!”