Fall 2021 Conference – Peloponnesian Protagonists

Peloponnesian Protagonists: Destiny and Freedom; Honor and Power; Love and Sacrifice – The Trojan War from perspectives 25 centuries apart

The Tampa Bay Great Books Council announces the Fall 2021 Conference on October 15th. With a unique pairing of ancient and contemporary treatments of characters and events, the program will concentrate on one of the last creations of a giant of Greek drama (Euripides) and the first novel by a classicist and rising superstar (Madeline Miller).

If your last reading of Homer’s “Iliad” was years ago, you may barely remember the character Patroclus – friend and confidante of Achilles. You will think differently after our discussions of Madeline Miller’s first novel, “The Song of Achilles” — the story of two young men, trained from childhood for war and glory, and their inevitable fate at the walls of Troy.   TBGBC Moderator Emeritus Patrick DeMarco leads the morning discussion via ZOOM.  (Paperback available for under $11 on Amazon.com.  ISBN: 978-0062060624.)

Two millennia have passed since Euripides earned a spot beside Sophocles and Aeschylus as one of the three greatest Greek playwrights. “Iphigeneia at Aulis” is one of his last plays, focusing on the single event that ignited the Trojan War.  Amid capricious gods and prideful humans, a powerfully modern story unfolds with tales of honor, sacrifice, and the true costs of war.  Linda Feeney, OLLI/GB Moderator, leads the afternoon discussion via ZOOM.  (Specific text required: Translator: W.S. Merwin, Oxford University Press.  ISBN: 978-0195077094.  Around $10 on Amazon.)

Friday, October 15, 2021

Morning session: 10:00 AM. Afternoon session: 1:00 PM.

Click here to register. The Zoom link will be e-mailed to you before the conference to registered participants.

Hyde, George 04 crop

George Hyde, a member of the Board of the Tampa Bay Great Books Council and the Immediate Past Chairman of the OLLI-USF Advisory Board, asked the most active members of TBGB for books what they would recommend for enjoyment and enlightenment during our mandated period of social distancing. See what they choose and why.

If you enjoy the intellectual stimulation and social interaction that OLLI-USF offers, you’re probably a little miffed at how the Coronavirus is affecting your daily life right now and for at least a few weeks to come.

Let’s face it…government and University officials are taking prudent steps to protect us from a disease with disproportionately adverse impact on older people – “the OLLI Generation,” if you will.  Now we’re being told that one of the most important behaviors under the COVID-19 threat is “social distancing,” just as we’re settling into a schedule of Spring classes with instructors and classmates whose company and whose ideas we enjoy!  So, with OLLI classes in hiatus or cancelled, how can you avoid going stir-crazy?

We asked some of OLLI’s most active members for books they would recommend for enjoyment and enlightenment during our mandated period of social distancing, and some of their ideas are listed below.  The criteria were simple – enjoyable and thought-provoking reads with easy availability (by Amazon delivery or Kindle download, for example).

Linda Feeney of New Tampa is a regular participant and discussion leader

Mystic River

in OLLI Great Books courses, and was one week into leading her new course (“Up for Discussion: Memoirs and Novellas”) when the ban on public gatherings went into effect, putting her course on hiatus. Here’s Linda’s list of “Five Books to Curl Up With”:  “The Man Who Smiled” (Henning Mankell), “Mystic River” (Dennis Lehane), “The Plot Against America” (Philip Roth), “Villette” (Charlotte Bronte), and “Alias Grace” (Margaret Atwood).

Barbara Brown of Temple Terrace managed to complete her

Water Dancer

latest OLLI course on Bob Dylan (“Jokerman: Dylan’s Personas, Masks, and Music”) before classes were suspended.  A former teacher of English in Hillsborough County, Barbara is also active in Literature and Poetry discussions, and serves as an Officer of the Tampa Bay Great Books Council. Barbara offers these ideas to enjoy during this period of enforced social distancing: “The Mirror and the Light” (Hilary Mantel), “The Water Dancer” (Ta-Nehisi Coates ), “American Dirt” (Jeanine Cummins), “The King at the Edge of the World” (Arthur Phillips), and “The Mercies” (Kiran MilIwood Hargrave).

Finally, we checked in with Patrick DeMarco of Riverview, a co-founder of Tampa Bay Great Books and moderator of the OLLI Great Books programs for more than a dozen years.  Patrick’s suggestions include: “Wolf Hall” (Hilary Mantel), “The Italians” (John Hooper), “The Cider House Rules” (John Irving), “On the Plain of Snakes” (Paul Theroux), and “Twenty-five Books That Shaped America” (Thomas Foster).

There you have it – fifteen terrific texts to interest, inspire, and entertain you during this period of reduced social and intellectual engagement. Enjoy!

Tampa Bay Great Books

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Joel Fyvolent offer his input during the Fall conference.

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