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!


From Boswell to Wordsworth

Here's a link to the Boswell lecture by Borges. Enjoy!

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2013/07/28/lecture-johnson-and-boswell/

And now that you've made it through Boswell, Wordsworth is a breeze! While I've listed The Prelude as our main reading, try including the following additional poems and the prose Preface to Lyrical Ballads if you have them in your edition. (Parenthetical references are to the page number in the Oxford Classics edition, except for The Prelude, as noted below.)

The Ruined Cottage (31)

We Are Seven (83)

Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey (131)

"Strange fits of passion I have known" (148)

Lucy Gray (149)

To Joanna (201)

"There is an Eminence,--of these our hills" (203)

"The world is too much with us" (270)

She was a Phantom of delight (292)

Ode ("There was a time") (297)

"I wandered lonely as a Cloud" (303)

The Solitary Reaper (319)

Mutability (353)

The Prelude (375) - the following references are to Book and Line numbers within The Prelude

Book 1: 169-176; 227-304; 490-501; 648-674

Book 2, 69-78; 122-144; 170-193; 208-236; 348-395

Book 3, 69-81; 106-194; 392-407

Book 4: 33-34; 68-83; 140-180; 311-345

Book 5, 198-222; 575-629

Book 6, 253-256; 261-331

Book 7, 117-120; 145-204; 593-623; 645-696

Book 8, 62-82; 689-710; 347-390

Book 9, 1-17; 40-62; 170-177; 397-414; 642-645

Book 10, 197-201; 307-566; 627-629; 722-726

Book 11, 1-41; 138-149; 195-396

Book 12, 15-51; 69-93; 126-277

Book 13, 1-84; 120-122; 149-210; 268-278; 332-350; 386-452

Preface to Lyrical Ballads (595)


Selections for Boswell's Life of Johnson

Here are suggested readings for our discussion of Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson. Page numbers correspond to the Penguin Classics edition, edited by David Womersley, with years in brackets.

Don't panic! If one section doesn't grab you, move on to the next and explore in between. Much of the experience is in immersing yourself in Boswell's voice and method. Notice what he is noticing and consider why he chose to remember and include what he did. We learn much about Boswell himself, Johnson, and their times.

Pages:

19-21, 24-25 [1709], 38-39 [1726-28], 44 [1729], 48-49 [1732], 57-61 [1736-37], 68-69 [1738], 83-84 [1739]

104-06 [1747], 131-36 [1752], 139-43 [1754], 159-65 [1755-56], 169-79 [1756-58]

199-200 [1762], 204-11 [1765], 215-23, 226-29, 233-38, 244-52 [1763-64], 254-55 [1764], 257-60 [1765], 276-77 [1766], 281-85 [1767], 292-95 [1768]

304-06 [1769], 315, 342-45 [1772], 350-51, 369-74 [1773], 383-87, 397-99

400-12 [1773-74], 420-27 [1775], 435-47, 483 [1776]

502-11 [1776], 521-24, 533-57, 563-65, 574-81 [1777]

610-25, 629-33, 646-51 [1778], 655-58, 677-82, 685-99

700-10, 727-40 [1779], 749-50 [1780], 767-74, 781-86 [1781]

819-24, 849-57 [1782-83], 863-72 [1783]

916-18 [1784], 944-50, 999-1006


Romance of the Rose Selections

Welcome and great to see you all back! Here are initial selections for our discussion of The Romance of the Rose. I've used general line numbers since you all may be using different editions, and the English translation is becoming harder to find in print. 

The key selections for The Romance of the Rose are:
  • All of Part I (lines 1 - 4058); and 
  • For Part II, Discourse of Reason (lines 4059 - 7230)
From here on you can (optionally) concentrate on:
  • Nature's Confession (lines 15891-19438)
  • Genius's Solution (lines 19439-20703)
  • Venus's Conflagration and the Winning of the Rose (lines 20704-21780)

About Rachel, Monique and the Address Book

To get a richer impression of Sophie Calle's work, her relationship with her mother, and a moving portrait of her mother, this is the book to read and experience:

And here is a New Yorker piece on the Address Book, which created the controversy that threatened a suit for invasion of privacy:

Sophie Calle's "The Address Book," An Excerpt"

The Address Book, now re-published: