Think of the literary salon as precursor to the modern book club.
For centuries, the salon offered an atmosphere conducive to lively discussions about literary and philosophical topics.
Silver Lake College students are reviving the tradition and invite the public to join them for “An Evening in Middlemarch: A Literary Salon” from 4:05 to 5:20 p.m. on Dec. 8 in the Zigmunt Library on campus, 2406 S. Alverno Road.
The discussion will center on English author George Eliot’s classic 19th century novel about provincial life. Refreshments will be provided.
The salon is part of Professor Albert Sears’ class, “Literary Criticism and Theory.” Students planning, organizing and participating in the salon include Sarah Grosskopf, Alex Brendemuehl, Courtney Dekanich and Keith Neilitz.
Sarah will discuss the role of book’s narrator, who helps influence the reader’s thoughts and feelings about the novel’s characters.
The author creates an unlikeable character, while the narrator tries to convince readers to be sympathetic towards that character, Professor Sears said.
“I’ll be focusing on reception — how the book was received at the time it was written and how it’s viewed today,” Alex said.
Courtney will share her thoughts on the expectations and disappointments of the main characters, a unifying thread throughout the novel. “A lot of the overarching themes are still relevant today because they relate to everyday life,” she said.
“I want people to come to hear the students give their take on why literature is relevant and why it matters,” Sears said.