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Great Books group

10 Nov 22 - 12:02 PM (#4157261)
Subject: Great Books group
From: GUEST,Bobberanggg

I'm wondering if any of the mudcatters are interested in forming a great books group?


10 Nov 22 - 12:14 PM (#4157262)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Reinhard

How can you ensure that a books group you form will be great and not mediocre or boring?


10 Nov 22 - 12:15 PM (#4157263)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Joe Offer

Possible, but that would be a non-music topic and open only to members. To join, email me, joe@mudcat.org


10 Nov 22 - 12:31 PM (#4157266)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: GUEST,Bobberanggg

Joe - I sent you an email. I mean Great Books of The Western World group. It does not have to be non-music oriented, since I count the music scores of Bach, Beethoven, Erik Satie and others as great books. So, we would be reading those, plus Aristotle, Plato, Darwin, Mill, Kant ...
also great works of science and math. I'm currently reading Geometry by Descartes, Fourier, Apollonius, Euclid and Dobzhansky. I would be interested in discussing these books in the vocabularies and grammars of these books, like, E=mc2, or the vocabulary of genetics for Dobzhansky. I don't know the vocabulary of genetics but it would be fun to learn.

We do not have to meet here permanently but could do a pilot group to develop interest, then move on once we¬°ve got things going.


10 Nov 22 - 12:39 PM (#4157267)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: GUEST,Bobberanggg

Joe. I had to resend the email. You should have it. I'd like to invite you to a chat. We could form this group using google spaces. I have a lot of prepared materials to get us started and presentations are easier to make in Spaces.

If people have electronic libraries we could sawp materials, pdf's, image files, wotnot. I have just finished converting many books to png image files that will post nicely in a google Space.


10 Nov 22 - 12:42 PM (#4157270)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: GUEST,Bobberanggg

Is there a chat here on this site? Or reply to my email and I'll invite you to google chat.


10 Nov 22 - 01:47 PM (#4157274)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Sounds interesting - putting this thread on the tracer.


10 Nov 22 - 02:01 PM (#4157277)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: GUEST,Bobberanggg

What's the tracer? I was thinking of doing this on some other platform because we could share materials, but we could start here in this thread. What are you reading? I'm browsing many books now.


10 Nov 22 - 03:13 PM (#4157291)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

This isn't a music thread, and Guests aren't allowed to start BS threads. Is this guy for real or are you being strung along?

If it is for real, I would suggest that Bobberanggg join Mudcat, or stick to discussing music in the music section.

Great Books? Syntopicon and all? How 1950s.


10 Nov 22 - 05:02 PM (#4157301)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: GUEST,Bobberanggg

OK. The group is starting and we are meeting on Google Spaces. Because this requires an email, you will probably be able to join only by invitation from another participant. If you post an email address here, I'll send you an invitation to the Book Browser. In the BB, we will just be leafing through books (including classical music scores and other books pertaining to music) and getting familiar with what people want to discuss and read.

Take notice of the "rules" of the group which I refer to as "propositions."

Proposition 1A
No automated moderation shall be performed without the consent of a majority of the active elected membership.

Proposition 1B
No member shall block any other member without the consent of a 2/3 majority of the active elected membership.

Proposition 2
Rules 1a and 1b shall not be amended without a majority of   2/3rds of the active elected membership.


10 Nov 22 - 07:48 PM (#4157321)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

So this guy who has never participated on Mudcat before (according to name or IP address) comes along and starts a BS topic in the music section and asks to set up a Great Books of the Western World (the set published in 1952) book group. Not music, even if he does consider Bach to be a book.

Asking people to email him.

Why is he asking on Mudcat? How did he get here, and why is anyone giving him the time of day?

Join and ask in the BS section. This is just a bit too hinky to be taken seriously.


11 Nov 22 - 10:54 AM (#4157349)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Bonnie Shaljean

I'd only be interested if it took place within a Mudcat thread, and never had any intention of allowing my email to be harvested by some unfamiliar external source.

I'd envisioned it as something like a books Permathread, downstairs in the BS because of not being primarily music-related.

That's a hard pass from me.


11 Nov 22 - 11:11 AM (#4157351)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Bonnie Shaljean

Hafta confess that I only read the first three posts (Guest, Reinhard, Joe) before I started skimming, so I missed everything that followed. The sole reason I expressed interest was because

BOOKS!!!!


11 Nov 22 - 07:24 PM (#4157393)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Bill D

I had the Great Books 50 years ago, left them with my step daughter to share. She still has them. I mostly was interested in the philosophers, but in college I had them in easier formats.

Too late to start again.


11 Nov 22 - 08:31 PM (#4157397)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

When I was in high school there was an English class that spent the semester working with and reading these books. It was interesting - and it was 50 years ago. As you say, too late to go back. I found some interesting tools in the Syntopicon, but they concepts in there are possibly naive and quite dated, with a core that is still probably a good starting point. They would be particularly useful for philosophy, but they end with what? 19th century scholars? Way too many paradigm shifts have come and gone since those books were grouped and published.

The way the thread was started was the problem - who and why, those questions have weight here.


17 Nov 22 - 06:57 PM (#4157967)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: keberoxu

maybe there could be a books thread without the individual who started this one?


21 Nov 22 - 02:02 PM (#4158284)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Donuel

The Song of the Cell

New directions of the T cell are curing cancer without attacking the host. Going beyond authoritative science based on unproven old assumptions and changing a flexible scientific method to incorporate new paths as with Covid. New hypotheses include Arthritis as a Stem Cell disorder and not just auto-immune.


21 Nov 22 - 05:26 PM (#4158302)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Donuel

song of the cell


21 Nov 22 - 06:30 PM (#4158306)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: keberoxu

Robert Louis Stevenson is underrated as an author.

His novel, The Master of Ballantrae, amazed me.


21 Nov 22 - 07:01 PM (#4158314)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

Mortimer Adler was an interesting figure in the world of American thought and literature and was the main driver behind The Great Books of the Western World. I remember hearing him interviewed (I'm willing to bet I saw him on Dick Cavett - and quite possibly on William F. Buckey's Firing Line).

I took a class that used the set; I may have read portions of the books in the first edition but I've actually read quite a few in the second edition as literature.

The project was interesting but incredibly short-sighted as far as how it was assembled. It was a well-to-do white man's book collection, the Classics as defined by white eggheads. Akin to the Harvard Classics.


21 Nov 22 - 07:06 PM (#4158316)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Donuel

"I would never respect a group that would lower itself to have me as a member"
Woody Allen


21 Nov 22 - 07:40 PM (#4158319)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Steve Shaw

The only novels I've ever read were the ones I was forced to read in order to pass exams by the age of 16. Whether that means I've missed out or not, I'll never know (and it annoys me to be told that I've missed out). I read lots of non-fiction and I like to read opinion pieces. There are several books I love to dip into again and again, mostly books about the great composers.   If I could take just one to my desert island, it would be the one about the Beethoven string quartets written by Joseph Kerman. Whaddam I like....


21 Nov 22 - 08:30 PM (#4158321)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: meself

"Robert Louis Stevenson is underrated as an author."

He made Harold Bloom's Western Canon. Treasure Island - but not, if I remember correctly, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde - go figure ... !


21 Nov 22 - 11:00 PM (#4158325)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

I loved Moby Dick and Huckleberry Finn and Heart of Darkness and several more.


22 Nov 22 - 03:32 AM (#4158333)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Senoufou

I studied English Literature at school and at University, which involved just the classics of course. I liked them, but got a bit jaded in time. I don't much like fiction. One of my favourite authors is Bill Bryson.


22 Nov 22 - 04:48 PM (#4158423)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: meself

I've started in on the Quran, on Harold Bloom's advice. So far, lots of threats and promises about the horrors awaiting non-believers, and a litany of complaints about the Jews. Not too far into it, though; maybe it will brighten up ... !


22 Nov 22 - 05:51 PM (#4158434)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: robomatic

"People send me copies of both the Bible and the Koran. I've read them both. My conclusion, one of them is better than the other."

Andy Rooney


22 Nov 22 - 08:02 PM (#4158449)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: meself

Interestingly, the complaints about the Jews/Israelites have the tone of some frustrated person venting about a wayward family-member, and at times the two peoples seem to merge into one, and then they are two distinct entities again ("the Christians" make a few cameo appearances, as well).....


23 Nov 22 - 04:07 AM (#4158463)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Senoufou

I've just ordered on Amazon Bill Bryson's book 'Understanding The British'. I'm looking forward to reading it - he's a very entertaining writer.


23 Nov 22 - 04:35 AM (#4158470)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Steve Shaw

One of my very favourite books is Mind The Gaffe, written by Larry Trask (who died far too young). It's an idiosyncratic, alphabetical take on the misuse and correct use of English. There's mischief in them thar pages! Bill Bryson wrote a tome on similar lines, but it's Larry Trask I always turn to if I need backup for my excoriations of clumsy solecisms here on Mudcat...


23 Nov 22 - 06:46 AM (#4158476)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Dave the Gnome

clumsy solecisms

Don't use a big word when a singularly unloquacious and diminutive linguistic expression will satisfactorily accomplish the contemporary necessity


23 Nov 22 - 07:59 AM (#4158477)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Steve Shaw

"excoriations of clumsy solecisms"

OK, Dave. Should've typed "bollockings for daft balls-ups..." :-)


23 Nov 22 - 08:45 AM (#4158478)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

I'll note here that in Melville's Moby Dick I've read criticisms that say "skip the chapter about the whale," but don't. It's wonderful. Also, when you're reading Clemen's/Twain's Huckleberry Finn, take it most seriously up to the last 12 chapters. Those chapters when the drama changes and Tom Sawyer appears were only added because the publisher thought the book wouldn't sell if Tom didn't appear. Now that is bollocks, and it reduced Jim's character to a trope, not a fleshed-out human being.


25 Nov 22 - 02:21 AM (#4158667)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Senoufou

I am a daft old biddy! That book 'Understanding The British' arrived yesterday, and it's by some geezer called Adam Fletcher, not Bill Bryson! Amazon promoted it on their website, craftily alongside many of Bryson's books. I've started to read it and it's quite entertaining however.
I also like Sherry Argov's books 'Why Men Love Bitches' and 'Why Men Marry Bitches' (very funny and instructive!), plus Susan Maushart's 'Wifework' and 'What Women Want Next' (both feminist, well-written by a PhD graduate in Sociology and interesting).
I've waved Shakespeare, Jane Austen and all the other classics goodbye!


29 Nov 22 - 09:20 AM (#4159167)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: keberoxu

The science-fiction writer Octavia Butler just got a big article in the New York Times (she is deceased).
Special attention to the book Parable of the Sower.


29 Nov 22 - 11:28 AM (#4159189)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

Butler's death was a tragedy, she was lost way too soon. She died of a head injury from a fall.


29 Dec 22 - 12:20 PM (#4160617)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: EBarnacle

If you don't mind heavy books, try Caro's "The Power Broker." It explains a lot about the structure of government in America. It's also good reading.
Just finishing up Mayflower," by Philbrick. Also quite readable.


29 Dec 22 - 12:31 PM (#4160620)
Subject: RE: Great Books group
From: Stilly River Sage

A houseguest was looking for something to read so I have given her the two volumes of Roald Dahl's autobiography - Boy, and Going Solo. He was a really gifted writer, author of my favorite short stories to read and reread.