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A Serial Reading of Bleak House

A Newberry Library Adult Education Seminar

See https://www.newberry.org/F20BleakHouse for full registration information.

This seminar presents Charles Dickens’s masterpiece Bleak House in eight manageable weekly serial installments. We’ll read each installment and discuss it—with no spoilers—until we reach the novel’s end. Our discussions will explore Dickens’s humor, social commentary, psychological depth, and dazzling assortment of narrative styles. It may look like a novel, but we’ll come to see that Bleak House is really a variety show with a plot, and serial reading invites us to fully experience the many layers of this fascinating work. For the first session, please read only chapters 1-3. Do not read the book’s introduction or preface. After that, we will follow the schedule of installments below.

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Essentials of Literary and Film Theory

A Newberry Library Adult Education Seminar

This seminar, scheduled for the winter/spring 2020 term, is now concluded.

This seminar offers a lively survey of literary and film theory basics. Through literary excerpts, film clips, lecture, and discussion, our sessions will explore how writers, filmmakers, philosophers, and artists—from Plato to Toni Morrison—help us appreciate the importance of a good beginning, how characters and their thoughts are represented in literature and film, the effects of patterning and framing, why books and movies often rely on the same plots, and what’s up with adaptations. Six sessions.

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