Toby and Wendy at Pitfield London

Toby and Wendy at Pitfield London

Moby Dick has started with a wonderful group of participants and a wide ranging discussion on the encounter with the Other, Fate vs. Free Will, the imprint of personality on narrative style and the call of the waters to a troubled soul…also just completed a lively and idea-saturated five-hour intensive on part of Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain in a lovely Paris apartment: splashed with the setting sun and enjoying delicious food and drink as we did the hard work of grappling through the climatic Snow chapter.

Coming Salons in London:

Lit in Pit 17 April A fantastic evening with Wendy Meakin (Channel 4 Four Rooms) and Toby Brothers (London Literary Salon). Come join this evening of literary exploration and discover T.S.Eliot’s Modernist classic poem “The Wasteland”…Combining deep knowledge with passion for language, this event also includes a tasty meal and wine. Book now using the link above: £55 INCLUDING SUPPER AND WINE


“Four Quartets” by T.S. Eliot 24 April 7:00-10:30 £40 (3 places remaining)

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
–From ‘Burnt Norton’

T.S. Eliot’s ‘Four Quartets’ is often described as the best long poem of the 20th century. Eliot’s vast final work attempted to order and understand the movement of time, the dissatisfaction of worldly experience, the nature of purgation and the struggle towards artistic wholeness and spiritual health.


Absalom, Absalom!  Five-week  starting 28 April–8-10 PM £75 includes all background materials, notes and resources

Absalom, Absalom!  is said to be Faulkner’s most difficult but most brilliant work. Absalom presents the story of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who came to Jefferson in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, “who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him.”  Described as ‘hard-core Faulkner’, one review says:  “The words and writing are critically acclaimed since your parents were in school. The examples of how a war can raze an entire culture’s edifice of identity are compelling, each person’s doom and curse being common among her kin and her countrymen: ghosts and sex and violence and cruelty, gut wrenching drama to challenge any soap opera or miniseries or movie. There are themes and studies aplenty within the nightmare realm of Faulkner’s masterpiece.” Absalom, Absalom! includes characters and shadows from Sound and the Fury  but delves more deeply into the surrounding world and Southern inheritance that S&F traces.

Register for any of the above today (go to the relevant events page) and you will receive opening notes and background readings: get ready to dance with other lively minds in the rich world of words and ideas!!