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Great Books Reading and Discussion Group
  Alfred, Lord Tennyson  
Alumni meet monthly to discuss one of the classics of literature

Cost: free, apart from the cost of food & drink
No Registration Required
The Great Books Reading Group continues its exploration of the character of Odysseus throughout literature from Homer to the present. For August and September we will be looking at how 19th Century Europe responded to the story of Ulysses and the early European world and the traditions of their colonial subjects in their popular and "middle brow" art. So while the readings are short, I'm sure the scope for discussion will be large.

In September, we will be reading Poems (1842) by Tennyson - We'll be focusing on "Ulysses" but you are welcome to read all of the contents of his 1842 volume of poetry. "Ulysses" was written in blank verse and completed in 1833. It is often quoted (e.g. "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield") and is a fine example of the dramatic monologue form. As an aging king, the hero Ulysses feels and talks about his discontent and restlessness upon returning to his kingdom, Ithaca, from his travels and talks about his strong desire to voyage again. The poem has largely been well-regarded by readers and critics, though there is argument about how much Tennyson identifies with Ulysses and how much the poem shows affirmation of the character, as opposed to treating his ironically. Tennyson's "Ulysses" has inspired other writers, such as T.S. Eliot, whose "Gerontian" is an analogue to Ulysses.

For an overview of the proposed long-term schedule for our study of Odysseus, please see our Google Doc

Event Contact
Larry Brown PhD, 1992

Staff Liaison


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Event Information
Monday, Sep 26 2016 at 6:15pm - 8:00pm [ iCal ]
Agora Restaurant
1527 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036 USA
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