Written by Harold Henkel, Associate Librarian
This summer treat yourself to a first or second reading of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. Great Expectations is not only one of Dickens’ greatest achievements, but one of the most accessible of his major works. We will read the novel from May through July. With three months total, that comes to only around 150 pages per month. Dr. Susannah Clements, Chair of the English department, will lead three discussions on the novel. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, June 8th at 12:00. If you have been feeling a bit deficient in the classics lately, here is a perfect opportunity to rediscover the joy of reading great literature.
In August, we will read selections from the Arabian Nights, one of the world’s great collections of stories. Also known as the One Thousand and One Nights, the title refers to the 1,001 successive nights in which the heroine, Scheherazade, avoids an unhappy fate by telling her husband, the Persian king, the beginning of a new story that he must wait until the next night to hear completed. Of Indian, Persian, and Arabic origins, the Arabian Nights have been immensely popular in the West since the first complete translation into French in 1704. Charles Dickens loved the Arabian Nights and alluded to it more frequently than any other work of literature.
Great Expectations image by Felix O. C. Darley, 1861. Scanned by George P. Landow. Available from The Victorian Web at http:www.victorianweb.orgartillustrationdarley2.html.