Tag Archives: Peter Frazer

Library Book Club now reading My Ántonia

On Friday, March 15th, Dr. Peter Fraser will lead a discussion of My Ántonia, by Willa Cather. An acknowledged classic of American literature, My Ántonia (1918) is the author’s depiction of life in late-nineteenth century Nebraska, where American pioneers and European immigrants carved out a new life on the fertile but unforgiving prairie. The title character, Ántonia Shimerda, is from Bohemia, and the novel includes characters from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, and Austria. In later life, Cather said that she could recall as a child spending an entire day in Red Cloud and not hearing a single word of English.

Willa Cather was born on a sheep farm near Winchester, Virginia in 1873 and moved with her family to Nebraska in 1883. Cather later described the experience of moving as a child from the rolling and verdant Shenandoah Valley to the open prairie as “a kind of erasure of personality.”

My Ántonia is around 175 pages and written in an accessible style, making it a perfect book to enjoy on your upcoming spring break. The Library has several copies, and an attractive web version is available from Americanliterature.com. The novel is also a Big Read selection from the National Endowment of the Arts, which has an excellent website devoted to the novel.

The discussion will take place at 12:00 in the Library Conference Room (located inside Library Administration). For information about this or other Library Book Club events, please contact Harold Henkel at harohen@regent.edu.

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Special literature and cinema events on November 9th

On Friday, November 9, the Library Book Club will host two special events: At 12:00 Professor of Language and Literature Dr. Peter Fraser will lead a discussion of James Joyce’s Dubliners, concentrating on the final story, “The Dead.” In the evening at 6:30, Professor of Cinema Andrew Quicke will screen and lead a discussion of John Huston’s cinematic adaption of “The Dead.”

According to Harold Bloom, “The Dead” (1914), although written in a naturalistic style, “inaugurates the art of the mature Joyce.” John Huston’s film of “The Dead” (1987) was the director’s final film and is exceptionally faithful to Joyce’s story, making it particularly interesting to watch following a reading. The endings of both the story and the film are extraordinarily beautiful and will more than repay your time and effort in getting to know these works.

If you still think Joyce is only for high-brow types, do not be afraid! Dr. Fraser and Prof. Quicke are expert, gentle guides, and as always, the Library is here to help. You will find excellent educational videos on James Joyce and John Huston from FMG Films on Demand (Regent ID & password required). Our English literature and Cinema databases contain a wealth of helpful articles such as these two articles on the relationship between the story and film: