What we're about

We are focused on reading great works of world literature that are at least 50 years old. We do so in discussion groups of 10 or fewer, to make the conversation more personal and focused. You can read the book in any language you wish, but the discussions will take place in English.

You can see the books we've read together here (https://www.meetup.com/Paris-Great-Books-Club/about/).

Upcoming events (5+)

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, Part I (The Journey Cycle)

myCowork Montorgueil

€4.00

This is the first of two meetups covering this lengthy work. This first meeting will cover Chapters 1-52. The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and the earliest canonical novel, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as the authors' choice for the "best literary work ever written". The story follows the adventures of a noble (hidalgo) named Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to become a knight-errant (caballero andante), reviving chivalry and serving his country, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. Throughout the novel, Cervantes uses such literary techniques as realism, metatheatre, and intertextuality. The book had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), as well as the word "quixotic" and the epithet "Lothario"; the latter refers to a character in "El curioso impertinente" ("The Impertinently Curious Man"), an intercalated story that appears in Part One, chapters 33–35. The 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer cited Don Quixote as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. When first published, Don Quixote was usually interpreted as a comic novel. After the French Revolution, it was popular for its central ethic that individuals can be right while society is quite wrong and seen as disenchanting. In the 19th century, it was seen as a social commentary, but no one could easily tell "whose side Cervantes was on". Many critics came to view the work as a tragedy in which Don Quixote's idealism and nobility are viewed by the post-chivalric world as insane, and are defeated and rendered useless by common reality. By the 20th century, the novel had come to occupy a canonical space as one of the foundations of modern literature. As with all our meetups, the 6€ charge includes rental of our space (which includes unlimited coffee/tea/hot chocolate) and dues. If you only want water, the cost is 4€. You can also pay with ticket restaurant/cheques vacances but no change will be given. If you have questions about dues, you can read more here (http://parispersonalmeetups.com/dues.html).

Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes, Part II (The Journey Cycle)

myCowork Montorgueil

€4.00

This is the second of two meetups covering this lengthy work. This second meeting will cover Chapters 1-74. The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes. Published in two parts, in 1605 and 1615, Don Quixote is the most influential work of literature from the Spanish Golden Age and the entire Spanish literary canon. As a founding work of modern Western literature and the earliest canonical novel, it regularly appears high on lists of the greatest works of fiction ever published, such as the Bokklubben World Library collection that cites Don Quixote as the authors' choice for the "best literary work ever written". The story follows the adventures of a noble (hidalgo) named Alonso Quixano who reads so many chivalric romances that he loses his sanity and decides to become a knight-errant (caballero andante), reviving chivalry and serving his country, under the name Don Quixote de la Mancha. He recruits a simple farmer, Sancho Panza, as his squire, who often employs a unique, earthy wit in dealing with Don Quixote's rhetorical orations on antiquated knighthood. Don Quixote, in the first part of the book, does not see the world for what it is and prefers to imagine that he is living out a knightly story. Throughout the novel, Cervantes uses such literary techniques as realism, metatheatre, and intertextuality. The book had a major influence on the literary community, as evidenced by direct references in Alexandre Dumas' The Three Musketeers (1844), Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), and Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac (1897), as well as the word "quixotic" and the epithet "Lothario"; the latter refers to a character in "El curioso impertinente" ("The Impertinently Curious Man"), an intercalated story that appears in Part One, chapters 33–35. The 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer cited Don Quixote as one of the four greatest novels ever written, along with Tristram Shandy, La Nouvelle Héloïse, and Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre. When first published, Don Quixote was usually interpreted as a comic novel. After the French Revolution, it was popular for its central ethic that individuals can be right while society is quite wrong and seen as disenchanting. In the 19th century, it was seen as a social commentary, but no one could easily tell "whose side Cervantes was on". Many critics came to view the work as a tragedy in which Don Quixote's idealism and nobility are viewed by the post-chivalric world as insane, and are defeated and rendered useless by common reality. By the 20th century, the novel had come to occupy a canonical space as one of the foundations of modern literature. As with all our meetups, the 6€ charge includes rental of our space (which includes unlimited coffee/tea/hot chocolate) and dues. If you only want water, the cost is 4€. You can also pay with ticket restaurant/cheques vacances but no change will be given. If you have questions about dues, you can read more here (http://parispersonalmeetups.com/dues.html).

Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen (Female Authors Cycle)

myCowork Montorgueil

€4.00

Northanger Abbey was the first of Jane Austen's novels to be completed for publication, in 1803. However, it was not published until after her death in 1817, along with another novel of hers, Persuasion. Northanger Abbey is a satire of Gothic novels, which were quite popular at the time, in 1798–99. This coming-of-age story revolves around Catherine Morland, a young and naïve "heroine," who entertains the reader on her journey to a better understanding of the world and those around her. In the course of the novel, she discovers that she differs from those other women who crave wealth or social acceptance, as instead she wishes only to have happiness supported by genuine morality. Austen first titled the novel Susan, when she sold it in 1803 for £10 to a London bookseller, Crosby & Co.. This publisher did not print the work but held on to the manuscript. Austen reportedly threatened to take her work back from them, but Crosby & Co responded that she would face legal consequences for reclaiming her text. In the spring of 1816, the bookseller sold it back to the novelist's brother, Henry Austen, for the same sum as he had paid for it. There is evidence that Austen further revised the novel in[masked] with the intention of having it published. Austen rewrote sections, renaming the main character Catherine and using that as her working title. After her death, Austen's brother Henry gave the novel its final name and arranged for publication of Northanger Abbey in late December 1817 (1818 given on the title page), as the first two volumes of a four-volume set, with a preface for the first time publicly identifying Jane Austen as the author of all her novels. Neither "Northanger Abbey" nor "Persuasion" was published under the working title Jane Austen used. Aside from first being published together, the two novels are not connected; later editions were published separately. As with all our meetups, the 6€ charge includes rental of our space (which includes unlimited coffee/tea/hot chocolate) and dues. If you only want water, the cost is 4€. You can also pay with ticket restaurant/cheques vacances but no change will be given. If you have questions about dues, you can read more here (http://parispersonalmeetups.com/dues.html).

Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson (The Journey Cycle)

myCowork Montorgueil

€4.00

Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". Its influence is enormous on popular perceptions of pirates, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders. Treasure Island was originally considered a coming-of-age story and is noted for its atmosphere, characters, and action. It is one of the most frequently dramatized of all novels. It was originally serialized in the children's magazine Young Folks from 1881 through 1882 under the title Treasure Island, or the mutiny of the Hispaniola, credited to the pseudonym "Captain George North". It was first published as a book on 14 November 1883, by Cassell & Co. As with all our meetups, the 6€ charge includes rental of our space (which includes unlimited coffee/tea/hot chocolate) and dues. If you only want water, the cost is 4€. You can also pay with ticket restaurant/cheques vacances but no change will be given. If you have questions about dues, you can read more here (http://parispersonalmeetups.com/dues.html).

Past events (72)

The Four Voyages, by Christopher Columbus (The Journey Cycle)

myCowork Montorgueil

€4.00

Photos (77)

Find us also at