Did you miss out on reading the classics? Never had the time in high school to finish Wuthering Heights, The Bluest Eye, the Arabian Nights, or The Tale of Genji? We are here to get them read! We read the classics of the world--a wide range of modern, ancient, medieval and contemporary literature across time periods and cultures--and discuss them over dinner, wine, and movies!
If you join, please participate regularly. We have been worming our way through great reads since Sept 7, 2010!
The worms will be discussing The Gate by Natsume Soseki. One of the central masterpieces of 20th-century Japanese literature, The Gate describes the everyday world of the humble clerk Sosuke and his wife Oyone, living in quiet obscurity in a house at the bottom of a cliff. Seemingly cursed with the inability to have children, the couple find themselves having to take responsibility for Sosuke's younger brother Koroku. Oyone's health begins to fail, and news that her estranged ex-husband will be visiting nearby finally promotes a sense of crisis in Sosuke and forces him temporarily to quit his life of quiet domesticity.
Highly prized for the beauty of its description of the understated love between Sosuke and Oyone, the novel has nevertheless remained in many ways mysterious. An analysis of the novel by Damian Flanagan casts fresh insights into its complex symbolism and ideas, establishing The Gate as one of the most profound works of the modern age.
The worms will be discussing This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The debut novel by Fitzgerald, published in 1920. The book examines the lives and morality of American youth in the aftermath of World War I. Its protagonist Amory Blaine is an attractive student at Princeton University who dabbles in literature. The novel explores the theme of love warped by greed and status seeking, and takes its title from a line of Rupert Brooke's poem Tiare Tahiti. The novel famously helped F. Scott Fitzgerald gain Zelda Sayre's hand in marriage; its publication was her condition of acceptance.
The worms will be discussing The Guide by R. K. Narayan. Formerly India's most corrupt tourist guide, Raju—just released from prison—seeks refuge in an abandoned temple. Mistaken for a holy man, he plays the part and succeeds so well that God himself intervenes to put Raju's newfound sanctity to the test. Narayan's most celebrated novel, The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country's highest literary honor.
The worms will be discussing Red Star by Alexander Bogdanov. A communist society on Mars, the Russian revolution, and class struggle on two planets is the subject of this arresting science fiction novel by Bogdanov, one of the early organizers and prophets of the Russian Bolshevik party. The red star is Mars, but it is also the dream set to paper of the society that could emerge on earth after the dual victory of the socialist and scientific-technical revolutions. While portraying a harmonious and rational socialist society, Bogdanov sketches out the problems that will face industrialized nations, whether socialist or capitalist.