Join six LLI members as they lead interesting and lively discussions of contemporary titles and old classics.
March 9 – The Trial by Frantz Kafka, Michael Mugnolo, presenter
Written in 1914 but not published until 1925, a year after Kafka’s death, The Trial is the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer, who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and made to defend himself against a charge about which he can get no information. Whether read as an existential tale, a parable or a prophecy of the excesses of modern bureaucracy wedded to the madness of totalitarianism, The Trial has resonated with chilling truth for generations of readers.
March 16 – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Bob Marafioti, presenter
Aldous Huxley’s novel is a vision of an unequal, technologically advanced future when humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order. Brave New World has enthralled millions of readers and retains its relevance to this day.
March 23 – Elephant Company by Vicki Constantine Croke, Amy Ewing, presenter
At the onset of World War II, Billy Williams formed Elephant Company and was instrumental in defeating the Japanese in Burma and saving refugees, including on his own ‘Hannibal Trek.’ The true-life heroics of Elephant Company during World War II highlight how animals and humans can achieve the extraordinary. The author’s evocative writing and deep understanding of the animal-human bond bring to life Elephant Bill’s great passion and almost mystical connection with his magnificent beasts.
March 30 – Myth and Meaning: Cracking the Code of Culture by Claude Levi-Strauss, Mark Albertson, presenter
Ever since the rise of science and the scientific method in the seventeenth century, we have rejected mythology as the product of superstitious minds. Only now are we coming to a fuller appreciation of the nature and role of myth in human history. The author offers, in brief summations, the insights of a lifetime spent interpreting myths and their significance for human understanding.
April 6 – The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, Miwako Ogasawara, presenter
First published in 1952, the novel concerns an adulterous affair in England during World War II. With the war and the affair over, Maurice Bendrix seeks an explanation of why his lover, Sarah Miles, broke off their relationship so suddenly. Within this setting, the author explores themes of love and hate, faithfulness and the presence of the divine in human lives.
April 13 – Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis, Tom Madden, presenter
This is, to many readers, the classic academic novel and a classic comic novel as well. In the story of one Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university, Amis leads readers through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, fakes and neurotics with whom Dixon must contend to hold on to his academic perch and win the girl of his fancy.