For some time now we have been considering creating a means to communicate with discussion leaders in Northern California to support them with ideas about forming and maintaining Great Books groups and provide a forum for leaders and readers to communicate with us and others. This is in addition to the excellent Leader/Reader Workshop held by Kay White and her crew in March every year. For several years we have been starting GB discussion groups in San Francisco and they are all doing well. We now have seven groups where there was one previously, but that is a subject for another article. We hope what we do here will be of use to discussion leaders and the readers who participate in discussion groups.
Leaders ask questions to hold discussions. Readers ask questions of what they read as part of the skeptical attitude they should employ while attempting to understand. Here is a simple exercise, almost no reading required. The building in the photo is a library in Shetland in the north of the British Isles. It used to be a church. Come up with some questions regarding a church being changed into a library. I’ll start: Has the mind of Man replaced the mind of God? If so, why? How? Do Man and God cohabit the building? How? OK, so my questions are lame. Come up with your own. Write a short story or scenario in your mind and question it. Use your imagimation. Einstein reminded us that imagination is more important than knowledge.
Write something down considering the simple idea of a church becoming a library. In a recent article in The Great Books Foundation Blog by Sharon Crowley titled Does Writing Improve Reading? she relates that William Faulkner was once asked how to improve one’s writing, to which he replied “Read, read, read! Read everything—trash, classics, good and bad; . . .” According to a Carnegie Corporation report, it is also beneficial when learning to read well to write, write, write. But, that is what the GBF has been doing with the Junior Great Books for decades. The article is well worth a read. Click on the underlined title above.
Write something about tne simple idea of a church becoming a library and come up with interpretive or evaluative questions. Write something using poetry, philosophy, psychology, history, religion, literature, community development, recycling, or sustainability. Sustainability? What does that have to do with Great Books? We will examine that question in the next issue of our GBSF E-Newsletter and this Blog with Sustainable Development: What would Aristotle do?
Whatever you come up with, send it to me and we'll report it. Just reply to the E-Newsletter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it in the Post a Comment section below.
The photo above is from rigmover.com who works, travels, takes photos. He works on a crew that moves drilling rigs and living quarters around the North Sea taking photos when he can. To view an interactive, larger photo in black and white or color, CLICK HERE. If you click on the photo there it will enlarge for closer inspection.