Book Clubs

 

INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE
With Sarah McNally

Monday, July 13th at 7pm.

"I didn't think I was writing a novel. I was trying to find out the truth of Claudius. And there was some strange confluent feeling between Claudius and myself. I found out that I was able to know a lot of things that happened without having any basis except that I knew they were true. It's a question of reconstructing a personality."

- Robert Graves, in The Art of Poetry No. 11 for The Paris Review.

PHILOSOPHY
With Matt Wagstaffe & Kevin Cassem
Tuesday, May 5th at 7pm.

The zany, the cute, and the interesting saturate postmodern culture. They dominate the look of its art and commodities as well as our discourse about the ambivalent feelings these objects often inspire. In this radiant study, Sianne Ngai offers a theory of the aesthetic categories that most people use to process the hypercommodified, mass-mediated, performance-driven world of late capitalism, treating them with the same seriousness philosophers have reserved for analysis of the beautiful and the sublime.

This month, the group will discuss the introduction and Chapter 1, "The Cuteness of the Avant-Garde" (though p.109).


SMALL BUSINESS
With Henry Bell
Tuesday, April 14th at 7pm.

Drawing on his own groundbreaking work, Silver examines the world of prediction, investigating how we can distinguish a true signal from a universe of noisy data. Most predictions fail, often at great cost to society, because most of us have a poor understanding of probability and uncertainty. Both experts and laypeople mistake more confident predictions for more accurate ones. But overconfidence is often the reason for failure. If our appreciation of uncertainty improves, our predictions can get better too. This is the “prediction paradox”: The more humility we have about our ability to make predictions, the more successful we can be in planning for the future.

SPANISH BOOKCLUB

With Javier Molea

Friday, July 24th, 7pm

 

En la ciudad de Henoc, construida en el desierto para albergar exconvictos e inmigrantes ilegales, Agustín, guardián de la biblioteca, se encuentra implicado en una trama que lo lleva a enfrentarse a las autoridades. Mateo, su maestro en el orfelinato donde creció, pertenece a una secta religiosa que cree en la existencia de un traductor capaz de descifrar el idioma que mantiene viva la comunicación entre los seres humanos y Dios. Este involucra a Agustín en la búsqueda del próximo discípulo que habrá de mantener un diálogo con lo divino. Es así como la poeta y narradora Marta López Luaces desvela su propia angustia ante los más profundos conflictos humanos que –inevitablemente– se entrelazan con el tejido social. Esta lucha –siempre interior–, extrapolada en la novela, se nos revela histórica a causa de la pugna por el poder que incesantemente se ha dado entre la iglesia y los representantes del estamento laico.