The Center regularly holds reading discussion groups in our home at 17 E. 47th Street, led by contemporary writers and critics. You can register online or may also call 212-755-6710 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to register.
Led by Burton Pike
Led by William Mottolese
The Individual in Conflict with Society: Five Novels
Led by: Burton Pike
Meets: First Thursday of the Month
Dates: Feb. 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6
Characters in fiction have always had trouble when the intensity of their inner lives comes into confrontation and conflict with the fixed reigning attitudes, customs, and practices of the societies they find themselves in; it is almost the definition of the novel as a literary form. We discuss five outstanding examples: Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (Modern Library edition); Balzac, Lost Illusions; Kafka, The Trial; Zamyatin, We (Modern Library Classics edition), and Forster's A Passage to India.
Burton Pike is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and German at the CUNY Graduate Center. He co-translated Musil’s The Man without Qualities, and has translated Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, Rilke’s novel The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, and Gerhard Meier’s Isle of the Dead, which won the Helen and Kurt Woolf Translation Prize. Other of his translations have appeared in numerous periodicals.
Contemporary Irish Literature after Joyce
Led by: William Mottolese
Meets: Fourth Thursday of the Month
Dates: Feb. 28, March 28, April 25, May 23, June 27
Like the Beatles in popular music, modern literature was never the same after James Joyce. Joyce’s legacy is everywhere and even writers attempting to shake his influence have had to, in some way, account for his monumental achievements. As complex and experimental a modernist writer as he was, he was also an intensely Irish Writer. To some degree, all Irish fiction since Joyce has had to grapple with Joyce’s legacy: his portraits of Dublin life, his depiction of the Irish family, his lyricism, his esoteric abstruseness. While his immediate successors in Ireland, Samuel Beckett and Flan O’Brien, drew upon the recondite elements of Joyce’s work, recent generations of writers have crafted more accessible fiction but have embraced the legacy of Joyce’s literary art usually in the context of very Irish settings. This course will focus on contemporary Irish works that owe something to James Joyce: Edna O’Brien’s The Country Girls (1960), Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (1993), John Banville’s The Book of Evidence (1989), Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark (1996); and Anne Enright’s The Gathering (2007).
William Mottolese has taught at Fordham University and Saint Joseph’s College in Indiana. He has published widely on such subjects as Olaudah Equiano, Laurence Sterne, and James Joyce and is presently at work on a book manuscript on James Joyce and ethnography. He has won numerous teaching awards.
Meets: The second Thursday of every month
The Literarians is a free discussion group open to members of The Center. The Literarians read a wide variety of novels and vote every few months on a new theme to explore. The group is led by our executive director, Noreen Tomassi, and our managing director, Kristin Henley.
We're discussing novels by Israeli and Palestinian writers for spring and summer 2013. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to join the group.
May 9 Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
June 13 The Liberated Bride by A. B. Yehoshua
July 11 The Attack by Yasmina Khadra
August NO SESSION
September 12 The Smile of the Lamb by David Grossman