Melville & Eliot’s debt to Cervantes

Professor Anna Nardo, a fellow Mission Impossible participant, has written a provocative essay in which she investigates literary connections between Don Quixote and other novels we have read.  She is kindly making the essay available to all MI’ers.  Professor Nardo builds a strong case for the claim that 19th Century literature owes a deep debt to Cervantes.  Quixote foreshadows many later characters — such as those in Herman Melville’s and George Eliot’s novels — through questing, delusions, or monomania.  Some parallels are obvious, some less so.  Professor Nardo explores them all thoroughly.  We thank her for her generosity in sharing her insights with us and we welcome your comments.  The essay is below: Continue reading “Melville & Eliot’s debt to Cervantes”

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Welcome to MI:9!

Ulysses? Check. War and Peace? Check. Flannery O’Connor? Check. Proust, Middlemarch, Moby-Dick, Don Quixote, and Dostoevsky? Check, check, check, check, and… check. That’s eight missions accepted and eight missions accomplished, and that’s not too shabby. But make no mistake, brave readers, our literary adventures are far from through, and retirement is not an option. Instead it’s time to get your bookmarks ready because Mission Impossible: Faulkner is about to begin.

For MI:9 we will be reading Faulkner’s masterpieces As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and Absalom, Absalom!, and on Thursday, September 6 at 7 pm, Mission Impossible veterans and new recruits alike are invited to our Kick-off Extravaganza in the Community Meeting Room of EPL’s Main Library.  The meeting will feature a lecture by Dr. Julia Stern – the Herman & Beulah Pearce Miller Research Professor in Literature at Northwestern University who lectures on Faulkner at the Chicago Humanities Festival and teaches NU’s popular course “Race and Politics in Major Novels of Faulkner.” After Dr. Stern briefs us on all things Faulkner, attendees will be able to register in-person for a discussion section, and starting September 7, readers can also register online or by calling (847) 448-8620.

Regular discussion meetings for MI:9 will begin mid-October at various locations including EPL’s Main Library, the Celtic Knot, Bookends & Beginnings, and EPL’s North Branch. Please visit our Discussion Groups page for the dates, times, locations, and leaders of all our small groups.  Copies of As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and Absalom, Absalom! will be available in limited quantities at the RA Desk on the 2nd floor of the Main Library.

So please join us on September 6 for the start of Mission Impossible: Faulkner and our most ambitious reading adventure yet!