For February, we turn to that most romantic of topics: the Plague. It's the Plague Pepys wrote about in his own diary (weirdly: Pepys actually seems more interested in a tonne of other topics smack-dab in the middle of the Plague; what gets him the most worked up, it seems, is making sure that his wigs are made with Plague-free corpse hair), only from the point of view of Daniel Dafoe. Join us for a discussion of his A Journal of the Plague Year at the Bethesda Library.
My primary interest, as a reader and a facilitator, is nineteenth century literature. Novels were novels then. They were dense and chewy and grappled with society. (Sometimes they were dark and twisted, too, but still with a chewy center.) Except for a (mostly) focused time-line, though, I have no agenda. A discussion about literature should be a discussion about literature, and not about structuralism or post-colonialism or queer studies — (maybe I do have an agenda) — I want to talk about what the author wrote. I want to gossip a little about the characters. And I believe that these books in particular offer not just an interesting historical perspective; I think they often speak directly to our current condition.
Novels help us understand what we're feeling and how we're feeling it.
The discussions are absolutely free and open to the public — whether the public has read the novel or not. We meet the third Tuesday of every month, from 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Come at the beginning, leave in the middle, stay until the end: all are welcome.
Questions about the program, the books, or the nineteenth century can be sent my way: mbevel at gmail dot com. (I'm Mike, by the way. Nice to meet you, too, Internet Stranger.)
The full year's list can be viewed here: https://classicsincontext.wordpress.com/2015-list/ (mbevel1972)