A theme is suspected
Results of two- vs. three-day survey
By Rob Calvert
Preparations are in full swing for the Asilomar Spring Conference, GBSF’s largest and longest-standing annual event. It takes place on April 20-22, in Pacific Grove. As is the custom for Asilomar weekends, discussions will cover a wide range of literary genres including selected
poems, an essay, a work of fiction, and a play.
This year’s essay is Eugen Herrigel’s Zen in the Art of Archery, an account by an early 20th Century German philosopher of his journey into Japanese Zen Buddhism by way of the study of archery.
The play will be Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit, a work that exerted a profound influence on both the theatre and the philosophy of the 20th century.
The work of fiction will be James Joyce’s “The Dead,” a short story that depicts an annual holiday party. The story is packed with lovingly portrayed characters. It’s the final chapter in the set of linked stories that Joyce assembled and published as Dubliners. “The Dead,” following in the wake of last year’s Mrs. Dalloway, will be Asilomar’s second consecutive work of fiction in which a party forms the central event. (Do I detect a Theme?)
Registration for Asilomar is under way. A registration form is available on the Council’s web site at http://www.greatbooks-sf.com/events/asilomar.htm. Books and poems are mailed soon after each registration is received.
In the fall issue of Reading Matters, I asked for thoughts about changing the format of the Asilomar Weekend from three days to two. This is GBSF’s longest and most expensive event, and with rental fees continuing to escalate we are looking for ways to keep a lid on costs. Many thanks to those who replied to firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s always gratifying to learn what a special experience Asilomar is for so many of you, as it is for me. While opinions were not unanimous (What would be the fun in that?), responses were heavily in favor of keeping the three-day format.