Welcome to Brilliant Minds

A companion site for courses by Peter Arcese on classics, contemporary literature, and the arts ... Here you will find items related to our readings and discussions ... Ideas, images, background information, suggested readings, bibliographies, and notes on related performances, all find a presence here ... Enjoy your reading and check back regularly for new posts!

Following is the reading list for Fall 2018 with recommended editions and translations. 

Download Fall 2018 syllabus PDF


Coming up to Kerouac

Here is a link to the Original Scroll:

On the Road: The Original Scroll

The book I highly recommended in class to consider reading along with On the Road, is the following collection of Allen Ginsberg’s lectures on the Beats:

The Best Minds of My Generation: A Literary History of the Beats

Another great work to consider is Robert Frank’s seminal photobook (Kerouac wrote the Introduction):

The Americans

More resources to come, especially on the influence of music and eastern traditions.


Preview of recommended editions

For those of you looking to get a head start on next semester, here are a few recommended editions of our upcoming books:

Aeschylus, Persians, translated by Lembke and Herrington (Greek Tragedy in New Translations / Oxford UP)

Elias Lonnrot, The Kalevala, translated by Keith Bosley (Oxford World Classics)

Giovanni Boccaccio, The Decameron, translated by G. H. McWilliam (Penguin Classics)

Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I, edited by Mowat and Werstine (Folger Library / Simon & Schuster)

George Eliot, Silas Marner, edited by David Carroll (Penguin Classics)

John Steinbeck, East of Eden, intro by David Wyatt (Penguin Classics)

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (Penguin Classics)

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (Vintage)


George Eliot, Genre Painting, and Street Photography

I can't get the links at Victorian web to work, so I suggest you Google: "George Eliot and the Visual Arts" to find it on victorianweb.org.

The two street photographers we looked at were: Joel Meyerowitz and Bruce Gilden. For a particularly British point of view on the ordinary, consider Martin Parr. Also, at the suggestion of Frank Maresca, consider Rosalind Solomon.