Articles by: Melanie Blake

What Does It Mean to Write a Life? David Saussy on Hamilton

What Does It Mean to Write a Life? David Saussy on Hamilton

Hamilton. Many love it. Some just hate it. I’m one of those who love it. And my kids love it too. I love the big thesis of the show that you don’t have to look like the founding fathers (that is, be white) to learn from and be inspired by […]

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Narrative Magic: Interview with Wendy O’Brien

Narrative Magic: Interview with Wendy O’Brien

Since Classical Pursuits went online at the beginning of the pandemic, leader and philosopher Wendy O’Brien has been nothing of short of a force of nature. She’s led seminars on Montaigne, 20th-century women painters, and much more. Her latest seminar is on Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel Atonement. This novel went […]

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Language That Keeps Us Here: Interview with Hunter Dunn

Language That Keeps Us Here: Interview with Hunter Dunn

We are happy to bring dramatic works, long a part of Classical Pursuits, to our online seminars. English teacher, improv actor and longtime Classical Pursuits leader Hunter Dunn is pairing two giants of 20th-century theatre, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Endgame. These plays, so stripped-down in setting and plot, […]

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Richard Wright’s Unflinching Eye

Richard Wright’s Unflinching Eye

Today Classical Pursuits talks with John Riley, who is leading our upcoming seminar on two short story collections by the hugely influential Richard Wright. Largely self-taught, Wright became part of the Federal Writer’s Project in 1932. The success of Uncle Tom’s Children (1938) led to a Guggenheim Fellowship that helped […]

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A Spirited Study of Shakespeare

A Spirited Study of Shakespeare

Upon that night, when fairies light On Cassilis Downans dance, Or owre the lays, in splendid blaze, On sprightly coursers prance; Or for Colean the route is ta’en, Beneath the moon’s pale beams; There, up the cove, to stray and rove, Among the rocks and streams To sport that night. […]

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Beauty and Slow Time: Interview with Leader Sean Forester

Beauty and Slow Time: Interview with Leader Sean Forester

We are happy to welcome longtime Classical Pursuits leader Sean Forester to our online programs. Following his Armchair Art Tours museum series in March, Sean will be offering a small-group seminar on Solitude and Beauty. The seminar combines presentations with discussion of art, photography, poetry and nature writing. Melanie Blake: […]

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In Uncharted Lands: Talking Jazz Age Creativity with Denise Ahlquist

In Uncharted Lands: Talking Jazz Age Creativity with Denise Ahlquist

You are in for a multi-sensory treat with our new online seminar Self on the Line: The Multimedia Psyche of the Jazz Age. Classical Pursuits executive director Melanie Blake recently talked with creator and leader Denise Ahlquist about what you can expect in this seminar, a Classical Pursuits exclusive. Melanie […]

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Key Artists of Renaissance Florence

Key Artists of Renaissance Florence

Join us Thursday, March 26 at 2 p.m. Eastern/noon Central/11 a.m. Pacific for a FREE virtual tour of the Gallerie degli Uffizi and other major sites of Renaissance Florence. REGISTER HERE. To help you better ennjoy the webinar, we are including brief bios of the artists discussed. Giotto di Bondone […]

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Nietzsche, Freud and Derrida: The Radicals’ Appetite for Acceptance

Portrait of Derrida in Rhône-Alps, France

by John Riley, leading Putting the Post in Post-Modernism at Toronto Pursuits 2020 Friedrich Nietzsche was a very, very sick man for the last twenty years of his life. His body racked by the long-term effects of dysentery and diphtheria along with brain illness consistent with syphilis, he produced no […]

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The Impressionists’ “Bold Manner of Seeing Things”

The Impressionists’ “Bold Manner of Seeing Things”

By Wendy O’Brien, who is leading Impressionism: From Seeing to Feeling at Toronto Pursuits 2020 Bonne année, mes amis! I’m writing you from Paris where I’ve come to celebrate the holidays and explore the city as I think about the impressionists — their project and their influence. I’m getting ready […]

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