Thursday, November 02, 2006

Minutes 12/10/2006

Book club Meeting October 12th, 2006
Present: Willow Pearce, Craig Harris, Amin Smith
Regrets: Martha Ferguson, Laura Sweet

The meeting was held at Willow’s house and began at 6:15PM.
To generate further publicity it was decided to ask the Bermuda Bookstore if they would kindly add a link to our blog on their website. Craig is to investigate this possibility.
In the future it was agreed that Craig would no longer email ‘reminders’ to club members. Members will be expected to record meeting dates, or access the blog, and attend if interested.
The last book, ‘Orwell’s England’ by George Orwell, was discussed.
Although unable to attend, Laura offered the following comments via email: she found ‘Wigan Pier’ (This essay appears within the book) fascinating, not only in terms of the vivid depiction of slum life but also in Orwell’s trying to fathom the causes for the squalor and suggestions on how it might be remedied. She added, that in terms of class and social division, she thought his sentiments were as relevant now as they were 60 years ago, especially as it pertains to the UK. Laura found it interesting that Orwell’s notion of class was based more on educational and cultural attainments rather than money. This was something that she believed was very current today in England.
Laura considered Orwell a ‘great writer’ (as well as a ranter) and was inspired to read more of his work.
Willow considered Orwell ‘an interesting guy who died too young’. He added that he led a hard life when he was young and was nearly tried for treason.
Commenting on his socialist leanings, Craig noted that Orwell considered his first literary success as being published in the Left Book Club.
Willow noted that without ‘Animal Farm’ he would never have been so highly thought of as an author.
Willow also recommended ‘Down and Out in London and Paris’.
Craig enjoyed the discussion of England’s class system. This sparked great debate on class and castes. Where do they still exist? Do they exist in Bermuda? What form do they take? Is there a difference between a class and caste system?
Discussion continued on topics such as India’s program of forced sterilisation and China’s ‘1 child per family’ decree.
Orwell’s masterpiece ‘1984’ was thoroughly discussed. All who have read it agree it is a riveting book and very prescient.
Amin likened it to the film ‘Minority Report’.
It was questioned whether Orwell’s socialist beliefs were properly explored in ‘1984’?
Amin questioned whether ‘1984’ was actually an endorsement of socialism or not?
Craig thought that ‘1984’ showed what socialism would become in post WW2 Russia.
Interestingly Amin traced the connection of socialism back to the era of Rasputin.
Finally Craig countered that he believed the book was actually a discouragement of socialism.
In the ‘Page Turner/Page Burner’ segment of the meeting Amin offered ‘Father’s & Sons’ by Ivan Turgenev. It was commented that this book has been mentioned previously in ‘Alexander II’. Craig suggested the members might enjoy ‘What We’ve Lost’ by Graydon Carter, a liberal expose of modern American politics.
The club’s recent film night was discussed. On September 28th we viewed ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Those who attended enjoyed this film and it was agreed we should hold another Film Night in the future.
Craig mentioned that a new film on Marie Antoinette was being released. The membership agreed that we would attempt to see it together if it is shown locally.
The next meeting was set for November 20th when we will discuss ‘Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton’ by Edward Rice.
The meeting ended at 8:05PM.


At December 01, 2006 4:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As The sun sets in the west.......


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