Articles by: Melanie Blake

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 […]

Read more

 

“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 […]

Read more

 

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 […]

Read more

 

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. […]

Read more

 

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 […]

Read more

 

Why Middlemarch Can Change Your Life

Why Middlemarch Can Change Your Life

[Editor’s note: Longtime Toronto Pursuits leader Nancy Carr returns in 2019 with a seminar on the unforgettable Middlemarch. The seminar is already half full; register today!] Middlemarch is the one book I’m willing to tell people they should read. I recommend many books, and advocate strongly for a few. But […]

Read more

 

Everything’s Coming Up van Gogh

Everything’s Coming Up van Gogh

For those of you who, like me, read everything on Vincent van Gogh you can get your hands and eyes on, there are several recent works you may enjoy, from books to films to art exhibits. First is Bernadette Murphy’s 2016 work Van Gogh’s Ear. Scrupulous as to details, research […]

Read more

 

On Food and Friendship: Anthony Bourdain Tribute, Part 2

On Food and Friendship: Anthony Bourdain Tribute, Part 2

[Editor’s note: This is the second in a series on the role food has played on Classical Pursuits trips as we remember the formidable, exuberant Anthony Bourdain. Enjoy!] By Ann Kirkland Unlike so many, I came late to the charms of Anthony Bourdain. It was when I heard he would […]

Read more

 

On Food and Friendship: Anthony Bourdain Tribute, Part 1

On Food and Friendship: Anthony Bourdain Tribute, Part 1

[Editor’s note: This is first in a series on the role food has played on Classical Pursuits trips as we remember the formidable, exuberant Anthony Bourdain. Enjoy!] By Nella Cotrupi Often, it is the most modest of food that creates the ambience for friendships to bloom and take root. During […]

Read more

 

Why Walk the Camino de Santiago?

Facade of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

by Classical Pursuits founder and longtime walker Ann Kirkland For some, walking is a time-wasting and arduous chore when there are so many faster ways to get from A to B. And days-long hiking is a pointless and punishing undertaking. For others, the idea of a pilgrimage smacks of self-denying […]

Read more

 
 
 
 

Travel Adventures for the Mind
with The world's best books, art and music as Your guides