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Choisya
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Re: British Classics Discussions

That's OK pmath - you are doing fine by me and my new copy of Utopia, complete with lots of Notes is on its way:smileyvery-happy:




pmath wrote:
Everyman, I always get Ilana's approval and permission first, and she's the boss here. This is supposed to be fun, and I'm tired of all this conflict. I was organizing the discussion of Utopia for Choisya, but whoever would like to take over is free to do so.


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IlanaSimons
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Re: British Classics Discussions

[ Edited ]

Choisya wrote:
That's OK pmath - you are doing fine by me and my new copy of Utopia, complete with lots of Notes is on its way:smileyvery-happy:




pmath wrote:
Everyman, I always get Ilana's approval and permission first, and she's the boss here. This is supposed to be fun, and I'm tired of all this conflict. I was organizing the discussion of Utopia for Choisya, but whoever would like to take over is free to do so.






You guys are right that reader-led clubs shouldn't overlap too much.
I know we've got three set to go.
Utopia
Paradise Lost
perhaps Mansfield Park?
I see Utopia dates were posted for March, but I also know Paradise Lost is soon set to go.
Should we order them one after the other in the order above?
Ilana

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 02-16-200704:50 PM




Ilana
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Choisya
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Re: Scheduling & length of PARADISE LOST Discussion

[ Edited ]
There has been absolutely nothing to stop anyone stepping forward from the back of the class to moderate anything they fancied, but in four months no one but Lizzie Ann and Pmath have volunteered. Thanks are due to them, not brickbats. Their experience will probably prove to be invaluable to the discussions of other books and we know from our experiences here that they have learned a lot about organising the threads, keeping the discussion going etc. Knowing how to use the internet is also a valuable resource and they have shown themselves to be capable there too. As for the time scale, I think the professional Moderators and probably the LitEditors have to have a hand in deciding how the boards are used for any particular discussion and pmath probably consults them. If you wish to re-schedule the Paradise Lost discussion or to apply for a longer time scale, it may be best that you ask Ilana.




Everyman wrote:
While you and I may have our ideas on how long any discussion should take, pmath, it is really up to a sense of the group to consider how long they want to spend on any given work. When the work was first proposed, several participants specifically mentioned their desire to read it at a slow pace, whatever they meant by that.

Now that we have had some experience with reader-moderated discussions, what do people think would be an appropriate time frame for reading Paradise Lost?

You've done yeoman duty, pmath, in moderating or co-moderating most -- all? -- of the reader moderated books here to date, but perhaps we need to give you a break and encourage some other, perhaps more shy, participants to step forward and volunteer to do some moderating too. When I was teaching I always tried to be sensitive to the talented but shy student lurking in the back of the room who had to be encouraged to come forward and become an active participant, but turned out to have a great deal to offer when they were pressed to.

With the excellent examples you and LizzieAnn have set, I'm sure there are other talented participants here who could also do excellent jobs moderating but may be shy to step forward when others seem to be forging ahead with their own plans.

pmath wrote:
Everyman, this is fine as long as the PL discussion doesn't extend well beyond April: otherwise, the BC board will be tied up for too long. I was thinking of May for MP anyway.


Everyman wrote (here):
Up to now, we have followed a clear pattern of one reader-moderated discussion at a time, and that has seemed to work well for us.


IlanaSimons wrote (here):
This space is certainly yours--and you're free to discuss _Mansfield Park_.
...
The Austen discussion has, of course, been one of the best we've had.

pmath wrote:
Just as we first discussed Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford and then her North and South, it would be a good idea to discuss another one of JA's novels after our discussion of P&P. Ilana, since the discussion of Paradise Lost will probably be relatively lengthy, is it okay with you if we discuss Mansfield Park here concurrently? (Some readers may also be interested in reading one but not the other.)




Message Edited by Choisya on 02-16-200704:50 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Twenty

LOL what eagle eyes you two have! All this experience you have accumulated will make you invaluable in future book 'moderations'. I think B&N ought to be paying you!!:smileysurprised:




pmath wrote:
I had caught those, too, Liz, but I put them here instead: divide et impera!

As Mr Bennet says in Vol I, Ch I of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice,

"Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will
visit them all."
It's time to foot it, folks!


LizzieAnn wrote:
... you're only missing 3.

pmath wrote:
... I combed through the board, and I think I've got everything, but you and Everyman may wish to check and see that my list of threads is indeed complete, here.

Message Edited by pmath on 02-15-200712:33 PM




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Everyman
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Re: British Classics Discussions


IlanaSimons wrote:
You guys are right that reader-led clubs shouldn't overlap too much.
I know we've got three set to go.
Utopia
Paradise Lost
perhaps Mansfield Park?
I see Utopia dates were posted for March, but I also know Paradise Lost is soon set to go.
Should we order them one after the other in the order above?

Mansfield Park is certainly a wonderful book, and probably already well known to many of us here. But perhaps before we do another Austen, since some people don't particularly care for Austen and her characters, we should put in some other authors? Thackeray's Vanity Fair? A Dickens, or a Hardy, or a Trollope, or an Eliot (Middlemarch was mentioned some time back)?

Or something a bit less well known, perhaps, that might be new to more people here so the first time readers wouldn't feel so outnumbered -- Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho, Kipling's Kim or The Man who Would be King, one of the lesser known Scotts, Kingsley's Hereward the Wake, or some other less well travelled text? I'm sure Ilana could suggest a number of very worthy offerings that might be new to many of us; for myself, I would look forward to the chance to take a look at something I've never read before.

Also, classics don't have to be just fiction. We could take a look at some essays (Elia and Orwell spring instantly to mind), or some philosophy (Britain hasn't produced that many classic philosophers, but Locke and Hume are certainly worth reading and discussing.)

To get our reader moderated sessions started it was good for people to step forward and get things moving, but now that we're well underway perhaps it would be good to hear more expressions of interest from participants before we get too settled on too many future reads. Perhaps we could even set up a thread for people to make suggestions and then after a week or two allowing for suggestions take a vote on which ones seem most popular?

Just a thought to make sure that as many people as want to can get involved in choosing what we read and discuss here, which will perhaps ensure the most active discussions.
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Choisya
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Re: Wild weather

An entire 50ft fence blew down on one side of my garden due to Easterly gales:smileysad: It cost me a lot to have it repaired and I was jolly glad I had cancelled my Tenerife holiday:smileysurprised:




LizzieAnn wrote:
I know what you mean about the winds whistling and shaking. The land where I now live is so flat that the wind is a constant companion; and the wind does play havoc on trees. Mother nature seems to be its own worst enemy at times.

Back in October, there was a freak winter storm here - Buffalo & much of the surrounding area were hit with anywhere from 18-22 inches of heavy wet snow. Needless to say this heavy wet snow on big old trees that were still covered with leaves proved to be too much; the weight of it all damaged thousands and thousands of trees. The estimate was somewhere around 33,000. I recently heard that there's a 5-year plan to replace the trees, at the rate of at least 6,000 per year.

The destruction was unbelievable, and for weeks all you saw by the side of the roads were tons of cut down tree branches. Parks particularly suffered a lot of devestation. A Buffalo park (that I believe they said was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead) had damage done to every single tree.



Everyman wrote:
I know those of you in the Midwest and Northeast have been having your weather woes, but out here we haven't been totally spared. We've had gale force and higher winds much of the day, coming straight in off the water, whistling past the corners of the house and shaking the windows as the come in. About 2:00, at high tide, we went out to watch the waves coming crashing in over the rocks, dissolving in a frenzy of white and foam and dampening us with blown spray even up on the top of the bank.

I have to admit that I dislike wind more than almost any other weather event, and live in almost constant worry that one of our huge trees will decide to end it life in the middle of our living room. But since I can do nothing about it (except cut down the trees, which my wife and daughters absolutely will not allow), I just listen to the wind howl and leave the rest to Mama Nature.





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Re: Scheduling & length of PARADISE LOST Discussion



Choisya wrote:
There has been absolutely nothing to stop anyone stepping forward from the back of the class to moderate anything they fancied, but in four months no one but Lizzie Ann and Pmath have volunteered.


Perhaps you have momentarily forgotten that Laurel and I have stepped forward to moderate Paradise Lost. I look forward particularly to your comments as one who is a less than enthusiastic believer in the truth of the underlying Paradise Lost theology, and so will offer a useful counterbalance to Milton's enthusiasm.
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Re: Wild weather



Choisya wrote:
An entire 50ft fence blew down on one side of my garden due to Easterly gales:smileysad:


I'm sorry to hear that, Choisya. I know how much your garden means to you.
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Wild weather

I hope the damage was just to your fence and didn't extend any further and that your garden is safe. English gardens always seem to be a beautiful combination of color and abundance, and I hope this spring your garden is all you want it to be. :smileyvery-happy:



Choisya wrote:
An entire 50ft fence blew down on one side of my garden due to Easterly gales:smileysad: It cost me a lot to have it repaired and I was jolly glad I had cancelled my Tenerife holiday:smileysurprised:
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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Laurel
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Re: British Classics Discussions

Utopia with Pmath sounds great to me. Will that be in March, and then Paradise Lost begins in April? Paradise Lost should take at least twelve weeks--a week per book. Having something lighter at the same time is a good idea, I think. Perhaps have only Paradise Lost the first two weeks in April, along with the selections that Ilana and Bob will do, and then add an Austen the third week of April. Not everyone will make it all the way through Paradise Lost the first time, but we should all try at least the first two books.



pmath wrote:
Everyman, I always get Ilana's approval and permission first, and she's the boss here. This is supposed to be fun, and I'm tired of all this conflict. I was organizing the discussion of Utopia for Choisya, but whoever would like to take over is free to do so.


"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: British Classics Discussions

IlanaSimons wrote:

You guys are right that reader-led clubs shouldn't overlap too much.
I know we've got three set to go.
Utopia
Paradise Lost
perhaps Mansfield Park?
I see Utopia dates were posted for March, but I also know Paradise Lost is soon set to go.
Should we order them one after the other in the order above?
Ilana

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 02-16-200704:50 PM






Whoops. I wrote my suggestion before reading on. This would work fine, too.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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For Everyman: Handshake

No, Everyman, I'm not offended, but I'll gladly shake your hand nevertheless!


Everyman wrote:
If I have offended, give me your hand and let all be mended.
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For Laurel: April/May Discussion of MANSFIELD PARK

Thanks, L! Yes, and in this case, we could also read and discuss Mansfield Park slowly, one chapter per day (there are 48 altogether), so those who would like to participate in both discussions can comfortably do so, if they wish.


Laurel wrote:
Utopia with Pmath sounds great to me. Will that be in March, and then Paradise Lost begins in April? Paradise Lost should take at least twelve weeks--a week per book. Having something lighter at the same time is a good idea, I think. Perhaps have only Paradise Lost the first two weeks in April, along with the selections that Ilana and Bob will do, and then add an Austen the third week of April. Not everyone will make it all the way through Paradise Lost the first time, but we should all try at least the first two books.
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For Ilana: U, PL and MP

[ Edited ]
Yes, Ilana, we plan to start discussing these books in this order, but after our discussion of U, Laurel and I are thinking of nesting a (perhaps seven-week) discussion of MP within a twelve-week discussion of PL.


IlanaSimons wrote:
You guys are right that reader-led clubs shouldn't overlap too much.
I know we've got three set to go.
Utopia
Paradise Lost
perhaps Mansfield Park?
I see Utopia dates were posted for March, but I also know Paradise Lost is soon set to go.
Should we order them one after the other in the order above?

Message Edited by pmath on 02-17-200708:26 AM

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Choisya
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Re: Scheduling & length of PARADISE LOST Discussion

[ Edited ]
No I hadn't forgotten Everyman but as I was replying to you, I took that as read - sorry. (Besides, you and Laurel are at the front of the class:smileyhappy:)

I don't think I will be able to add anything useful to PL as with such a religious book my atheism might upset folks. It is therefore unlikely that I will participate, although I might be tempted to pop in from time to time to give Satan a hand:smileyvery-happy:. Like Blake, I admire the poetry of Milton but I can't relate to the content. I do quite like his take on God though because he is irreverent and sarcastic at times.




Everyman wrote:


Choisya wrote:
There has been absolutely nothing to stop anyone stepping forward from the back of the class to moderate anything they fancied, but in four months no one but Lizzie Ann and Pmath have volunteered.


Perhaps you have momentarily forgotten that Laurel and I have stepped forward to moderate Paradise Lost. I look forward particularly to your comments as one who is a less than enthusiastic believer in the truth of the underlying Paradise Lost theology, and so will offer a useful counterbalance to Milton's enthusiasm.

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-17-200706:30 AM

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Choisya
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Re: For Laurel: April/May Discussion of MANSFIELD PARK

There are times when I think I should get my books down from the loft - packed away in case I die or move... - because I am having to buy them all over again! However, the Wordsworth Classics are very cheap (only 1p if I buy them 'used'!) and they have good Introductions by leading UK academics. I agree that having something serious running alongside something lighter is a good idea.

(BTW is anyone thinking of doing Paradise Regained because it I re-buy PL I might get the duo instead.)




pmath wrote:
Thanks, L! Yes, and in this case, we could also read and discuss Mansfield Park slowly, one chapter per day (there are 48 altogether), so those who would like to participate in both discussions can comfortably do so, if they wish.


Laurel wrote:
Utopia with Pmath sounds great to me. Will that be in March, and then Paradise Lost begins in April? Paradise Lost should take at least twelve weeks--a week per book. Having something lighter at the same time is a good idea, I think. Perhaps have only Paradise Lost the first two weeks in April, along with the selections that Ilana and Bob will do, and then add an Austen the third week of April. Not everyone will make it all the way through Paradise Lost the first time, but we should all try at least the first two books.



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Re: For Laurel: April/May Discussion of MANSFIELD PARK

"(BTW is anyone thinking of doing Paradise Regained because it I re-buy PL I might get the duo instead.)"

I think whoever makes it all the way through Paradise Lost intact will be capable of reading Regained on his own.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: For Laurel: April/May Discussion of MANSFIELD PARK



pmath wrote:
Thanks, L! Yes, and in this case, we could also read and discuss Mansfield Park slowly, one chapter per day (there are 48 altogether), so those who would like to participate in both discussions can comfortably do so, if they wish.


Laurel wrote:
Utopia with Pmath sounds great to me. Will that be in March, and then Paradise Lost begins in April? Paradise Lost should take at least twelve weeks--a week per book. Having something lighter at the same time is a good idea, I think. Perhaps have only Paradise Lost the first two weeks in April, along with the selections that Ilana and Bob will do, and then add an Austen the third week of April. Not everyone will make it all the way through Paradise Lost the first time, but we should all try at least the first two books.





I think it would work. That way, people who come in a little late would not feel that they could never catch up. Let's see what Ilana thinks.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Everyman
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Re: Scheduling & length of PARADISE LOST Discussion



Choisya wrote:
I don't think I will be able to add anything useful to PL as with such a religious book my atheism might upset folks. It is therefore unlikely that I will participate, although I might be tempted to pop in from time to time to give Satan a hand:smileyvery-happy:.


The way Milton wrote Satan, I don't think he'll need a hand. Many people have been concerned that he seemed to have made Satan, rather than God, the hero of the story.

Guess it was true then, as now, that nasty is much more interesting to most people than good, as we can tell just from turning on the TV.
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Re: For Laurel: April/May Discussion of MANSFIELD PARK



Laurel wrote:


pmath wrote:
Thanks, L! Yes, and in this case, we could also read and discuss Mansfield Park slowly, one chapter per day (there are 48 altogether), so those who would like to participate in both discussions can comfortably do so, if they wish.


Laurel wrote:
Utopia with Pmath sounds great to me. Will that be in March, and then Paradise Lost begins in April? Paradise Lost should take at least twelve weeks--a week per book. Having something lighter at the same time is a good idea, I think. Perhaps have only Paradise Lost the first two weeks in April, along with the selections that Ilana and Bob will do, and then add an Austen the third week of April. Not everyone will make it all the way through Paradise Lost the first time, but we should all try at least the first two books.





I think it would work. That way, people who come in a little late would not feel that they could never catch up. Let's see what Ilana thinks.




This sounds ok to me. Let's keep it as a tentative schedule and re-pole the crowds in late March. Does everyone agree? Everyman, you're leading PL, so you should chime in too, if this sounds ok.
But we'll certainly retest the waters in late march or early april.
Ilana



Ilana
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