Multcolib Hillsdale: Pageturners classics 2014-2015
Annotation:Join the discussion on Sept. 13, 2014. "The Song of Roland" extols the chivalric ideals in the France of Charlemagne through the exploits of Charlemagne's nephew, the warrior Roland, who fights bravely to his death in a legendary battle.
Annotation:Join the discussion on Oct. 11, 2014. One of the great classics of European literature, "Faust" is Goethe's most complex and profound work. He tells the tragic story of one man's pact with the Devil in exchange for knowledge and power.
Annotation:Join the discussion on Nov. 8, 2014. "Cheri," together with "The Last of Cheri," is a story of a love affair between a very young man and a charming older woman. The amour between Fred Peloux, the beautiful gigolo known as Cheri, and the courtesan Lea de Lonval tenderly depicts the devotion that stems from desire, and is an honest account of the most human preoccupations of youth and middle age.
Annotation:Join the discussion on Dec. 13, 2014. "The Bacchae," a profound exploration of the human psyche, deals with the appalling consequences of resistance to Dionysus, god of wine and unfettered emotion.
Annotation:Join the discussion on Jan. 10, 2015. As an Epicurean, Lucretius argues with philosophic clarity and poetic power that natural causes are the forces behind earthly phenomena and dismisses divine intervention.
Annotation:Join the discussion on Jan. 24, 2015. Greenblatt tells the story of how Lucretius' "On the Nature of Things" was rediscovered and how it influenced the science and philosophy of the Renaissance.
Annotation:Join the discussions on Feb. 14 and March 14, 2015. In the Modern Library edition, read pages 1-278 for February and pages 278-end for March. The story of Lucien Chardon, a young poet who tries desperately to make a name for himself in Paris, is a brilliantly realistic and boldly satirical portrait of provincial manners and aristocratic life. Denied the social rank he thought would be his, Lucien discards his poetic aspirations and turns to hack journalism; his descent into Parisian low life ultimately leads to his own death.
Annotation:Join the discussion on April 11, 2015. In "Ivanhoe," Scott fashioned an imperial myth of national cultural identity that has shaped the popular imagination ever since its first appearance in 1819. Set at the time of the Norman Conquest, this novel tells of the disinherited Saxon knight Ivanhoe's return from the Crusades to claim his inheritance, the love of Rowena, and of his involvement in the struggle between Richard Coeur de Lion and his Norman brother John.
Annotation:Join the discussion on May 9, 2015. A mild middle-aged American is dispatched to Paris to discover what, or who, is keeping his patron's son Chad in the notorious city of pleasure, and to bring him home. But he finds Chad transformed by the influence of a remarkable woman and as the Parisian spring advances, he himself succumbs to the allure of the “vast bright Babylon” and to her mysterious charm.
Annotation:Join the discussion on June 13, 2015. One of Molière's most masterful and popular plays. Condemned and banned for five years in Moliere's day, "Tartuffe" is a satire on religious hypocrisy. Tartuffe worms his way into Orgon's household, blinding the master of the house with his religious "devotion," and almost succeeds in his attempts to seduce his wife and disinherit his children before the final unmasking.
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This book group meets on the second Saturday of each month at 3 pm, plus the fourth Saturday in January. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. - Shannon L.