Behind the Bookcase | Book Arts

Date / Time

  • March 4, 2020
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Do you prefer to judge a book by its cover, or does the inside matter more? In this tour of book arts, we’ll take a look at various rare books in The Rosenbach collection, their aesthetics, their functions, how the processes in creating books inform how we use them today, and vice versa.

Course: Ulysses by James Joyce (Thursdays) [In Progress]

Date / Time

  • March 5, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • April 2, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • May 7, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • June 4, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Heralded as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century, Ulysses is also considered one of the most daunting. The Rosenbach offers a welcoming discussion-based environment and unparalleled access to primary resource materials from our James Joyce collection to deepen readers’ understanding of the text and the author himself. First-time Ulysses readers and returning fans alike are welcome in either group.

Behind the Bookcase | Dialogues: Native American History

Date / Time

  • March 6, 2020
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

American history is the history of dialogues among the many peoples who have called—and call—America home. Highlighting The Rosenbach’s remarkable collection of books, manuscripts, and printed documents that reveal how Native Americans engaged with European and Euro-American peoples, this Behind the Bookcase Tour will invite attendees to think in new ways about American culture.

Course: Ulysses by James Joyce (Sundays) [In Progress]

Date / Time

  • March 8, 2020
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • April 19, 2020
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 17, 2020
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 7, 2020
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

There are infinite routes through James Joyce’s dense, funny, thrilling, frustrating masterpiece Ulysses. If you’ve always wanted to read it, this is a great way in: with good company and monthly conversation. If you’ve read it before, join us to discover something new again in the novel.

Course | Little Women in 20/20: Classic Novel, Modern Lens

Date / Time

  • March 10, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • April 7, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • May 5, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Over our four sessions, we will read Little Women, a selection of Alcott’s short writings, and some essays about the phenomenon that is her best-known work. We will discuss why Little Women endures, is so beloved, and why, perhaps, such devotion is best viewed through a critical lens.

Course | Henry James’s Ambassadors: “Live all you can; it’s a mistake not to”

Date / Time

  • March 11, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • April 15, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • May 13, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • June 10, 2020
    6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

The quotation in the title of this course comes from Book 5 of James’s novel. The novel’s goal is to consider what it means to “live all you can.” James regarded The Ambassadors as his favorite novel and it’s not hard to see why. It is a difficult book, but it is marvelous. The ending is so complex that courses on the subject have been known to devolve into shouting matches! In this book, James addresses what those who have never known the aesthetic life might gain from it. In James’s view, the aesthetic life teaches how to be, in his phrase, “a social animal.” It does so by practice in observation and appreciation of sensuous particulars—the smell of the air, the sound of footsteps on the pavement, the thickness of a napkin, but more important, in taking in individual people–their tone of voice, gesture, bearing. In short, the aesthetic life teaches one to pay attention. Observation and appreciation heighten imagination, especially imagination of what fellow social animals are themselves struggling with. Finally, they teach both patience and generosity in making judgments. In the end, the novel’s primary concern is the difficulty of making wise judgments.