Courses / Literature

These courses are offered by the Quest Lifelong Learning Community. For more information on Quest, click here and also see more details at the bottom of this page.

A SAMPLING OF ISRAELI LITERATURE

Coordinators: Martha Drezin, Mary Ann Donnelly, Art Spar

We are excited to continue our discussion of Israeli literature. We will read short stories, poems, plays and essays by writers that represent different aspects of Israeli life during different eras. Presentations may include readings, dramatizations and other modalities designed to inspire class participation. Our goal is both an immersion in fine literature and a deeper understanding of the complexity of this vibrant country.

BLEAK HOUSE

Coordinators: Lynnel Garabedian, Sanford Kessler

Charles Dickens’ most highly acclaimed novel, Bleak House, is a compelling story involving a long-standing court case and how it touches the lives of numerous characters. The novel includes love stories and a murder but, most importantly, a condemnation of the corruption at the heart of English society. Its many themes are relevant to all societies today. The class will resume reading and discussing the book at Chapter XXXII.

CONTEMPORARY POETRY

Coordinators: Betty Farber, Martha Drezin, Frieda Lipp

Contemporary poetry enriches the lives of its readers. Join us to learn about it, how to read it, and which poets to look out for. Class members choose poems to present in class. The poems are read and discussed.

CONTEMPORARY SHORT STORIES

Coordinators: Nancy Richardson, Mary Buchwald, Frieda Lipp

At each session, two class members present stories from The O’Henry Prize Stories, 2015 Edition. Stories are also selected by the coordinators or other members. Background information is given and discussion follows.

FASCINATING NON-FICTION

Coordinators: Harriet Finkelstein, Jane Lubin, Bob Reiss

At each session, the presenter will tell you about a book you always wanted to read or about a book you never heard of but will be glad that you now have. Selections range from transit maps to Mt. Everest expeditions, American politics, Western women’s diaries, young Ernest Hemingway, black migration, the sinking of the Lusitania, Frank Sinatra, American restaurants, the evolution of mankind. Every semester an eclectic array of fascinating non-fiction awaits its audience.

GREAT CONVERSATIONS

Coordinators: Jane Lubin, Larry Shapiro

This class offers readings by classic and contemporary authors and lively class discussions. We will use the next book in the series, Great Conversations, Book 4. Authors include Plato, Plutarch, Thoreau, Arnold, James, and Shaw.

GREAT PLAYS

Coordinators: Roy Clary, Wayne Cotter, Frieda Lipp

Leading American and European plays are presented. Each session begins with a brief biography of the playwright followed by a “stage reading” of the play in an edited form. The audience is encouraged to share their insights.

MODERN HISPANIC PLAYWRIGHTS

Coordinators: Ruth Ward, Donna Basile

In this semester-long discussion class, presenters will introduce participants to plays by Spanish-speaking playwrights who deal with the often painful realities of modern life in Hispanic environments. Discussions will follow.

ORAL INTERPRETATION OF POETRY

Coordinators: Art Spar, Roy Clary, Mary Ann Donnelly, Sheryl Harawitz

In a fun, creative, supportive environment, poetry will come alive as participants read aloud and interpret poetry. After five successful years, this semester will conclude a wonderful journey through the world of poetry. Class leaders will prepare a surprise list of poets worthy of a concluding semester. Study topics will include meter, rhyme, alliteration, and other prosodic elements that influence a poem’s “sound meaning”.

SHAKESPEARE

Coordinators: Roy Clary, James Brook, Sondra Lipton Sahlman

The class will read aloud and discuss The Tragedy of Macbeth. In language both beautiful and profound, we witness a man who begins with noble intentions, but is ensnared by his appetites. His reign is one of terror as he strives for greater and greater power, but he comes to realize that a life without love, honor, and friends is ultimately a life “signifying nothing.”