Fall-Winter-Spring Discussion Series: Classics Revisited

Chevy Chase Library

Fall-Winter-Spring Discussion Series: Classics Revisited

The Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library will continue its popular book discussion series this November, the theme of which will be “Classics Revisited.”  Italo Calvino once wrote that a classic “is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”  Therefore, whether you are reading the books on this list for the first time or rereading them we should all come away from the experience having discovered something new.   
 
We will be looking at these classics through the lens of authors and scholars who have an intense and passionate interest in a particular classic work.   In addition to reading classic texts, we will be reading works that argue for the work’s importance and its continued resonance in modern life.  We will also be hearing from local experts who have personal connections to the work we will be examining. 
 
The books and discussion dates are below. The book discussion series will meet at Chevy Chase Neighborhood Library once a month on Sundays at 2 pm.  Please contact emily.menchal@dc.gov to receive emails about the program.
ManWhoInventedChristmasNOV. 17
2 p.m.

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits
by Les Standiford

Les Stanisford tells the story of how Dickens’ classic came about and it changed how we perceive the Christmas holiday to this day.
ChristmasCarolDEC. 15
2 p.m.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

Arguably the second most popular Christmas story in the Western canon, Dickens’ holiday ghost story has been interpreted and re-interpreted so many times that a visit to original text should be enlightening. 
WhyreadMobyDickJAN. 12
2 p.m.

Why Read Moby-Dick?
by Nathaniel Philbrick

Nathaniel Philbrick argues passionately for Melville’s beloved (but intimidating) classic, drawing from his experience as a sailor, an historian, and as a reader.
Moby DickMARCH 9
2 p.m. 

Moby-Dick: or, The Whale
by Herman Melville

Considered by many to be “The Great American Novel,” Moby-Dick tells the classic story of Captain Ahab and his single minded hunt for Moby Dick, the great white whale who maimed his leg. 
How ProustAPRIL 6
2 p.m. 

How Proust Can Change Your Life
by Alain De Botton

De Botton combines two genres -- literary biography and self-help manual -- to make the case for Proust’s continued importance in modern life.
Swann'sWayJUNE 8
2 p.m.

Swann’s Way
by Marcel Proust (any translation)  

The first part of Proust’s seven volume novel In Search of Lost Time (also known as Remembrance of Things PastSwann’s Way follows our narrator through memories of his childhood in late 19th-century France.