F411 Summer 2018 Literary Potpourri
Thursdays, 11:50–1:15, June 28–July 26
Course coordinators: Patricia Bangs, Jackie Gropman, Katie Mitchell
Potpourri equates to a selection, a mix, a mélange, a variety—exactly what this course promises.
- June 28: What Should You Read Next? Novelist Plus and Goodreads: Emily Riley, branch manager of the George Mason Regional Library (Fairfax County Public Library) will teach us how to use the library resource Novelist Plus and the social networking website Goodreads to find our perfect next book, keep track of our reading, and connect with other readers.
- July 5: Ernest Hemingway's Secret Adventures
1935-1961: Nicholas Reynolds
is a historian with a PhD from Oxford University. He has worked in the fields of military and intelligence history for both the History and Museum Division of the USMC and the CIA Museum. He will discuss his recent book, Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy,
on Hemingway’s personal brand of political activism, which included a heavy dose of intelligence work, and the personal costs for him.
- July 12: Losing Marmee: A Mother, A Daughter, and Six Years in Assisted Living: Martha Powers is an OLLI member who keeps very bsy presenting classes at OLLI on a variety of subjects. She wrote Losing Marmee after witnessing her mother’s decline and the lessons she learned from it. It is a memoir with a purpose: to give caregivers a sneak preview of the surprises that may come their way, even under the best of circumstances.
- July 19: Facing the Dragon: Learning about Aging from Beowulf: Joyce Johnston was trained as a medievalist who reads Anglo-Saxon, Old Norse, and Medieval French. The Department of English at George Mason University has no such position, so she specializes in online civility, digital intellectual property, and advanced research writing, but has never ceased to marvel at the intensity and excitement of early epics. She describes her class this way: He was young, handsome, charismatic. Then he was mature, successful, respected. And then one day, he wasn’t. With his life goals accomplished, there was no future to build towards. People thought he had retired or even died. His accomplishments were fading into the past. Young people stopped listening to him. His family died or disappeared. All alone, he faced an evil dragon and with it, the specter of pain, disability, and tortured death—the embodiment of the ignominious fate that every aging person dreads. Across 2000 years, this intense poem dramatized the major issues confronting senior citizens in any era. Each dilemma leaps into sharp relief until the reader longs to know how Beowulf—and we, his audience—will overcome his fate even as he inevitably meets it. Important Note: No knowledge of Anglo-Saxon or the poem is required for this class. Seamus Heaney’s acclaimed translation, vivid photos, and an avid instructor combine to provide all that is needed.
- July 26: Bookselling in a Brave New World: Anna Thorn is currently employed at Busboys and Poets. Her career encompasses the roles of bookseller/buyer and manager. She has engaged in national conversations about the book industry in an effort to educate and advocate around issues such as diversity and publisher relationships. She will discuss trends in bookselling and publishing with a focus on the innovative models independent bookstores have adopted in the age of Amazon. The subject will be explored through stories and data. The session will end with a quick round of book recommendations.