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Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Choisya and I briefly discussed works by and about Sir Thomas More at the board for The Faith Club. We could discuss both U and AMfAS, since neither is very long. Is anyone interested in doing this, perhaps in February?

B&N Classics paperback edition of Utopia by Thomas More:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9781593082444

B&N Classics hardcover edition of Utopia by Thomas More:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9781593083694


pmath wrote (message linked here):
Since the play is now a British classic, it would also be a good choice!

Choisya wrote (message linked here):
...More's Utopia might be a good book to discuss in the British Classics section.

pmath wrote (message linked here):
I first learned about [Sir Thomas] when I read Robert Bolt's thought-provoking play, A Man for All Seasons, which I highly recommend:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?EAN=9780679728221

You can see his famous portrait, by Hans Holbein the Younger, at The Frick Collection in New York City:

http://www.frick.org/education/looking_more.htm


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donyskiw
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Yes. I might be interested. I don't think I have this one so I'll need to get it but I've wanted to read it.

Denise
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

I have read and appreciated both works, but at some point the number of potential works to discuss becomes absurdly overwhelming to those of us who have lives outside of B&N. there are a few posters who seem able to spend pretty much 24.7 here, particularly in the winter, but for the rest of us, there just isn't the time to read and discuss huge numbers of books.

The problem is that if too many books get put forward, that dilutes the number of people who are able to focus on any given book, to the detriment of all the discussions.

So while More and Bolt are worth reading and discussing, the question is how those works might be fitted into the new BN format without diluting all the discussions to the point of insipidity.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

[ Edited ]
Just a quick reply here. Sorry for being a little out of the conversation loop today. We are reading these suggestions, which are good. And we'll continue to prepare a long-range schedule, informing you of what we're thinking as we go.
Thanks again for these ideas
Ilana

Message Edited by IlanaSimons on 12-13-200609:00 PM




Ilana
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More on More

Denise, I'm very glad to hear you're also interested! There's some more information at this website:

http://www.northern.edu/hastingw/utopia.html

Thanks, Ilana! I think Choisya's suggestion is very good: my guess is that there are many here who haven't yet read Utopia.


Ilana wrote:
We are reading these suggestions, which are good.

donyskiw wrote:
Yes. I might be interested. I don't think I have this one so I'll need to get it but I've wanted to read it.

pmath wrote:
We could discuss both [Utopia] and [A Man for All Seasons], since neither is very long. Is anyone interested in doing this, perhaps in February?

Choisya wrote (message linked here):
...More's Utopia might be a good book to discuss in the British Classics section.



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IlanaSimons
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Re: More on More

Yes--I must say, some More would excite me too. We'll get there.



Ilana
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Choisya
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Utopia was suggested by pmath before you suggested Paradise Lost Everyman, so if the Moderators work on a 'first come first served' basis then it may become a choice. And on the same basis, you suggested Paradise Lost before someone asked to read Dante's Inferno, so that may become another choice. Not all (or any?) are likely to be put up for discussion in any one month. And I believe that Laurel suggested Shakespeare's Twelfth Night before all of these and a Shakespeare Club is shortly to become an actuality for those whose general preference is the Bard.




Everyman wrote:
I have read and appreciated both works, but at some point the number of potential works to discuss becomes absurdly overwhelming to those of us who have lives outside of B&N. there are a few posters who seem able to spend pretty much 24.7 here, particularly in the winter, but for the rest of us, there just isn't the time to read and discuss huge numbers of books.

The problem is that if too many books get put forward, that dilutes the number of people who are able to focus on any given book, to the detriment of all the discussions.

So while More and Bolt are worth reading and discussing, the question is how those works might be fitted into the new BN format without diluting all the discussions to the point of insipidity.


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IlanaSimons
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Hi all--
We are considering Utopia and Paradise Lost. Shakespeare Club is certainly on its way.
One way of avoiding overload is to remember that you'll pick and choose--and don't need to join each club we post. Hopefully we will get to the books you want. Thanks for your ongoing input.
Ilana



Choisya wrote:
Utopia was suggested by pmath before you suggested Paradise Lost Everyman, so if the Moderators work on a 'first come first served' basis then it may become a choice. And on the same basis, you suggested Paradise Lost before someone asked to read Dante's Inferno, so that may become another choice. Not all (or any?) are likely to be put up for discussion in any one month. And I believe that Laurel suggested Shakespeare's Twelfth Night before all of these and a Shakespeare Club is shortly to become an actuality for those whose general preference is the Bard.




Everyman wrote:
I have read and appreciated both works, but at some point the number of potential works to discuss becomes absurdly overwhelming to those of us who have lives outside of B&N. there are a few posters who seem able to spend pretty much 24.7 here, particularly in the winter, but for the rest of us, there just isn't the time to read and discuss huge numbers of books.

The problem is that if too many books get put forward, that dilutes the number of people who are able to focus on any given book, to the detriment of all the discussions.

So while More and Bolt are worth reading and discussing, the question is how those works might be fitted into the new BN format without diluting all the discussions to the point of insipidity.








Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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donyskiw
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

I'm also hoping we aren't going to post all of the books within the context of the American Classics and British Classics clubs because I share Everyman's concerns, which were also posted by Choisya and Ziki somewhere else, that if too many discussions going on, it simply distills them down. And, like Everyman, I don't care to dedicate that much time to a online discussions when real life calls. I also don't want to miss anything so I'd rather have some of the books put off until later. We don't have to schedule them all at once. We can let BN post some of them as clubs which tend to be a bit structured. If you want to wait for structure, let BN post them as a separate club. E.Lee mentioned a frustration that I also share that we've started several different books and followed up with shallow discussion. And I've had a sense of rushing around trying to get reading done for this like it was a college English lit class. Let's all calm down and let this process get ironed out a bit. Especially now with the holidays (which are always busy for everyone) upon us.

Peace,
Denise
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LitEditor
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

Just following on to bolster Ilana's remarks above: we're reading along and working out the upcoming schedule of featured, standalone classics discussions a la The Jungle, Kafka's short fiction, etc. These will run alongside the continuing conversation in this board and the American Literature Book Club.

It takes us a little time to nail these kinds of things down, but rest assured we're working on February and beyond. So, there will be plenty to talk about in the coming weeks. (Including Shakespeare.) We'll let you know about the planned titles as we have them finalized.




donyskiw wrote:
I'm also hoping we aren't going to post all of the books within the context of the American Classics and British Classics clubs because I share Everyman's concerns, which were also posted by Choisya and Ziki somewhere else, that if too many discussions going on, it simply distills them down. And, like Everyman, I don't care to dedicate that much time to a online discussions when real life calls. I also don't want to miss anything so I'd rather have some of the books put off until later. We don't have to schedule them all at once. We can let BN post some of them as clubs which tend to be a bit structured. If you want to wait for structure, let BN post them as a separate club. E.Lee mentioned a frustration that I also share that we've started several different books and followed up with shallow discussion. And I've had a sense of rushing around trying to get reading done for this like it was a college English lit class. Let's all calm down and let this process get ironed out a bit. Especially now with the holidays (which are always busy for everyone) upon us.

Peace,
Denise


See the latest news about book clubs in the Book Clubs Blog.
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Picking and Choosing

Great! Ilana, I agree with you about picking and choosing: I certainly don't plan to participate in every B&NBC literary classics discussion myself.


IlanaSimons wrote:
We are considering Utopia and Paradise Lost. ...
One way of avoiding overload is to remember that you'll pick and choose--and don't need to join each club we post.
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donyskiw
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

I'll be in the Kafka discussion (already got the book - thanks for the advance) and I'm going to pass on The Jungle. I figure Moby Dick will still be going on and I want to see what will be offered first in the new Shakespeare club.

Denise
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book-nut
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS

YES, YES! I am definately in for this discussion. Sir Thomas More is one of my favorite historical figures, and I always discover new facets to his writing, even when I've read his books many times.

Cheryl
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Thomas More's UTOPIA and Robert Bolt's A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS



book-nut wrote:
YES, YES! I am definately in for this discussion. Sir Thomas More is one of my favorite historical figures, and I always discover new facets to his writing, even when I've read his books many times.

Cheryl


I'm so glad to hear it, Cheryl.
I like More a lot too...we're going to get there
Ilana



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UTOPIA: March 2007 Discussion Schedule

[ Edited ]
Friends, we plan to start discussing Thomas More's Utopia on Monday, March 19, 2007 (our planning discussion is linked here).

Here's a suggested discussion schedule:

March 19-21 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday):

Book I and introduction to Book II
March 22 (Thursday):

Of Their Towns, Particularly of Amaurot
Of Their Magistrates
Of Their Trades, and Manner of Life
Of Their Traffic
March 23 and 26 (Friday and Monday):

Of the Travelling of the Utopians
March 27 (Tuesday):

Of Their Slaves, and of Their Marriages
March 28 (Wednesday):

Of Their Military Discipline
March 29 and 30 (Thursday and Friday):

Of the Religions of the Utopians

Message Edited by pmath on 03-09-200710:12 AM

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Choisya
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Re: TO OUR LIT EDITORS & MODERATORS - A PLEA!

[ Edited ]
Denise wrote:
I'm also hoping we aren't going to post all of the books within the context of the American Classics and British Classics clubs because I share Everyman's concerns, which were also posted by Choisya and Ziki somewhere else, that if too many discussions going on, it simply distills them down.....We don't have to schedule them all at once. We can let BN post some of them as clubs which tend to be a bit structured. If you want to wait for structure, let BN post them as a separate club. E.Lee mentioned a frustration that I also share that we've started several different books and followed up with shallow discussion.


This is a very important point Denise, please take note LitEds & Mods! If there are too few readers per book a good discussion can't ensue. We don't want distilled brews, we want 'draught[s] of vintage that hath been cool'd a long age in the deep delved earth! :smileyvery-happy:


I know that Ilana has said that we don't have to read them all but those of us who are keen on the British and American classics want to read as many of them as we can alongside a fair number of our fellow readers. And until this new set-up gets as many readers per book as did the old BNU, I think we need to 'hold some horses'. And as well as starting several books that had shallow discussion, folks have also bought books that had no discussion at all!





LitEditor wrote:
Just following on to bolster Ilana's remarks above: we're reading along and working out the upcoming schedule of featured, standalone classics discussions a la The Jungle, Kafka's short fiction, etc. These will run alongside the continuing conversation in this board and the American Literature Book Club.

It takes us a little time to nail these kinds of things down, but rest assured we're working on February and beyond. So, there will be plenty to talk about in the coming weeks. (Including Shakespeare.) We'll let you know about the planned titles as we have them finalized.

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-16-200712:41 PM

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donyskiw
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Re: TO OUR LIT EDITORS & MODERATORS - A PLEA!

Unfortunately, my frustration is still with me. I've been on this new format since the beginning in October and, instead of enjoying it, I feel like it's a chore I'm plugging along with. I'm finding myself more and more just wondering if I should give up and just give up on BNBN and read my books by the fire in whatever order I please instead of having to read all the ones that everyone has picked because if I don't read them now during the discussion I won't have a chance to be a part of the discussion and trying to get them all read at the same time and and and oh oh oh....wait, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Oh, yeah, and there's the two-hour-message-reading-ritual every day. I've had to start skimming them and I'm sure I miss some of the good ones.

Denise



Choisya wrote:
Denise wrote:
I'm also hoping we aren't going to post all of the books within the context of the American Classics and British Classics clubs because I share Everyman's concerns, which were also posted by Choisya and Ziki somewhere else, that if too many discussions going on, it simply distills them down.....We don't have to schedule them all at once. We can let BN post some of them as clubs which tend to be a bit structured. If you want to wait for structure, let BN post them as a separate club. E.Lee mentioned a frustration that I also share that we've started several different books and followed up with shallow discussion.


This is a very important point Denise, please take note LitEds & Mods! If there are too few readers per book a good discussion can't ensue. We don't want distilled brews, we want 'draught[s] of vintage that hath been cool'd a long age in the deep delved earth! :smileyvery-happy:







LitEditor wrote:
Just following on to bolster Ilana's remarks above: we're reading along and working out the upcoming schedule of featured, standalone classics discussions a la The Jungle, Kafka's short fiction, etc. These will run alongside the continuing conversation in this board and the American Literature Book Club.

It takes us a little time to nail these kinds of things down, but rest assured we're working on February and beyond. So, there will be plenty to talk about in the coming weeks. (Including Shakespeare.) We'll let you know about the planned titles as we have them finalized.




donyskiw wrote:
I'm also hoping we aren't going to post all of the books within the context of the American Classics and British Classics clubs because I share Everyman's concerns, which were also posted by Choisya and Ziki somewhere else, that if too many discussions going on, it simply distills them down. And, like Everyman, I don't care to dedicate that much time to a online discussions when real life calls. I also don't want to miss anything so I'd rather have some of the books put off until later. We don't have to schedule them all at once. We can let BN post some of them as clubs which tend to be a bit structured. If you want to wait for structure, let BN post them as a separate club. E.Lee mentioned a frustration that I also share that we've started several different books and followed up with shallow discussion. And I've had a sense of rushing around trying to get reading done for this like it was a college English lit class. Let's all calm down and let this process get ironed out a bit. Especially now with the holidays (which are always busy for everyone) upon us.

Peace,
Denise







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Choisya
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Re: TO OUR LIT EDITORS & MODERATORS - A PLEA!

PLEASE stay with us Denise - you have been such a valuable contributor over these past two years or so, on BNU and here. I find I can only keep up with a couple of books at a time and just 'pass through' others occasionally. I tend to stick with the books that have the most contributors because the discussion is usually better. Midsummer Night's Dream is going very well at the moment, as is Pride & Prejudice.




donyskiw wrote:
Unfortunately, my frustration is still with me. I've been on this new format since the beginning in October and, instead of enjoying it, I feel like it's a chore I'm plugging along with. I'm finding myself more and more just wondering if I should give up and just give up on BNBN and read my books by the fire in whatever order I please instead of having to read all the ones that everyone has picked because if I don't read them now during the discussion I won't have a chance to be a part of the discussion and trying to get them all read at the same time and and and oh oh oh....wait, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Oh, yeah, and there's the two-hour-message-reading-ritual every day. I've had to start skimming them and I'm sure I miss some of the good ones.
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Re: TO OUR LIT EDITORS & MODERATORS - A PLEA!



donyskiw wrote:
Unfortunately, my frustration is still with me. I've been on this new format since the beginning in October and, instead of enjoying it, I feel like it's a chore I'm plugging along with. I'm finding myself more and more just wondering if I should give up and just give up on BNBN and read my books by the fire in whatever order I please instead of having to read all the ones that everyone has picked because if I don't read them now during the discussion I won't have a chance to be a part of the discussion and trying to get them all read at the same time and and and oh oh oh....wait, this is supposed to be fun and relaxing.

I know exactly what you're saying, Denise. With BNU you chose which courses or books to sign up for well in advance so you could prepare, and those were the only choices you saw when you signed on; there wasn't the temptation of all those choices facing as there is n now.

I have really enjoyed your participation and contributions, and hope you can work out the best way to continue to participate. While some people are retired or otherwise seem able to spend much of their day (and sometimes night!) here, others like you and me are working, have family at home, or are otherwise limited in the time they can spend here.

For myself, I have realized that I need to exert self-discipline to just participate in a few of the groups and let the others go. I was active in Cranford, but skipped North and South; when the schedule for Moby Dick was moved up I realized I couldn't meet the new schedule and so skipped that discussion even though I had planned to participate, and although I like Kafka I realized that I couldn't do justice to a discussion there on top of everything else. I have found my on-line life more relaxed since I decided to limit myself to a few books I can devote serious discussion time to and just let the others go without feeling guilty about it.

If this kind of approach would work for you, I do suggest that you give it a try. Make a commitment to yourself just to participate in the number of books you can enjoy and have fun reading and discussing, and free yourself from any felt obligation to read every book and every post made here!

But I do hope that you won't drop out. I'm enjoying your participation in P&P, and am looking forward to hearing what you have to say about Paradise Lost!
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Laurel
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Re: UTOPIA: March 2007 Discussion

That looks like a good schedule, Pmath. Thanks for working it up!
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