Articles by: Melanie Blake

Philosophy in the World: Interview with Toronto Pursuits Leader Wendy O’Brien

Philosophy in the World: Interview with Toronto Pursuits Leader Wendy O’Brien

We are very happy to welcome new leader Wendy O’Brien to Toronto Pursuits. Participants in her seminar The Second Sex 70 Years Later dig deep into this major work—and into their own lived experience—of what it means to be a woman or a man.  Classical Pursuits director Melanie recently talked […]

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Chekhov Three Ways

Chekhov Three Ways

[Editor’s note: We warmly welcome back Sean Forester, a longtime seminar leader, to Toronto Pursuits. Sean will serve up a delicious blend of literature, art, and film in his seminar on one of the most important playwrights and short story writers in world literature.] It will come as no surprise […]

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Medieval Stories, Modern Pilgrimages

Medieval Stories, Modern Pilgrimages

[Editor’s note: We warmly welcome Denise Ahlquist back to Toronto Pursuits. A senior consultant at the Great Books Foundation, Denise has been a longtime leader of discussion groups for children and adults. Join her on an unforgettable journey in her seminar on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.] “When April comes and with […]

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Art à la Mode

Elizabeth I, c. 1576-78

[Editor’s note: Every year Betty Ann Jordan brings colour and style to Toronto Pursuits, and 2019 will be no exception. Join her for Seeing Through Clothes, a seminar that weaves art and history into a larger exploration of what clothes say about us.] Lingering in front of a historical portrait, […]

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By the pricking of my thumbs …

By the pricking of my thumbs …

… a Great Books weekend this way comes. Explore all manners of literary wickedness at the Great Books Foundation’s annual Chicago weekend, May 3 to 5, 2019. Book lovers from across North America will gather to discuss four readings that centre on the wickedness people contemplate and perpetrate: The Handmaid’s […]

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What Does This Book Have to Do with Me?

Women's March in Washington, D.C.Library of Congress

[Editor’s note: We are thrilled to welcome Wendy O’Brien to Toronto Pursuits. Wendy is a philosopher and teacher whose wide-ranging interests have brought lively guided walks and museum visits to previous Toronto Pursuits programs. In 2019 she will lead a seminar on Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. It’s a […]

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“I Paint Because I Am”

Wheatfield with CrowsVan Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

I first met van Gogh when I was a 14-year-old bookworm devoted to exploring the richness of the local public library’s holdings. I had been making my way through the English literary canon and was already deeply committed to the written word when I found myself casually browsing through the […]

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The Splendour of Russia Through an Artist’s Eyes

The Splendour of Russia Through an Artist’s Eyes

One heavy step, then another. Straps across their chests, they pull. It’s Russia, 1869. In Repin’s Barge Haulers on the Volga, you can feel the heat and the workers’ exhaustion. If you look closely, you’ll notice a steamship on the horizon; this back-breaking labour is no longer necessary. Like Dickens […]

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Southern Exposure: Reading Flannery O’Connor in Savannah

Southern Exposure: Reading Flannery O’Connor in Savannah

The 2019 Travel Pursuits season opens with one of our most popular trips, Mystery and Manners: Flannery O’Connor in Savannah. Mystery and manners—that’s a funny kind of name for a trip, you may be thinking. Maybe you’re envisioning genteel lady detectives, or lighthearted satire set in elegant Southern drawing rooms. […]

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Is Music a Universal Language?

Is Music a Universal Language?

Among the recent events marking the centenary of the end of World War I, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a passionate speech at the base of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris warning against the current rise of nationalism in the world. Speaking in French, Macron likened this trend to […]

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Travel Adventures for the Mind
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