Articles by: Melanie Blake

Writing for Their Lives: Interview with Toronto Pursuits leader John Riley

Writing for Their Lives: Interview with Toronto Pursuits leader John Riley

We at Classical Pursuits are excited to welcome back John Riley to Toronto in July 2018. In 2017, John led a seminar on the nature of knowledge. He recently spoke with us about his upcoming seminar, Listening to the Voices of Resistance. The seminar has its roots in John’s experience of […]

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Discovering Truth Through Myth

Discovering Truth Through Myth

[Editor’s note: We’re very happy to welcome longtime Classical Pursuits leader and classical painter Sean Forester back to Toronto. Sean’s 2018 seminar offers opportunities for both rigorous discussion about classic works and personal reflection on what roles myths play in our lives.] In a bit of the witty repartee Oscar […]

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Beyond “In Flanders Fields”: Seeing WWI Poetry Anew

Beyond “In Flanders Fields”: Seeing WWI Poetry Anew

What happens when large numbers of literate soldiers are “plunged into inhumane conditions?” (1) World War I was the first global conflict in which (with some exceptions) most soldiers could read and write. The result was an outpouring of novels, memoirs, plays, songs, and above all, poetry. More than 2,000 […]

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Destiny, Realpolitik, and the Will to Power

Destiny, Realpolitik, and the Will to Power

[Editor’s note: Betty Ann Jordan is the founder of Art InSite cultural tours and a Toronto-based arts commentator. She operates whenever possible at the intersection between art, architecture and literature. We are thrilled to have her the leader of Memoirs of Hadrian: Power Embodied in July 2018.] In our politically […]

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That Golden Sun Still Shines: A San Francisco Love Story

That Golden Sun Still Shines: A San Francisco Love Story

What happens when you love a city but it doesn’t love you back? Local writers had gathered in San Francisco’s Make-Out Room, with its Saturday-Night-Fever-meets-natural-history-museum vibe, to read their stories about a city that, by many accounts, was losing its unique spirit. San Francisco has attracted adventurers, eccentrics, and strivers […]

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Learning to See: Invisible Man and the Power of Imagination

Stage production of Invisible ManThe Huntington/Flickr

Each time I plunge back into this book, I feel the battering that Invisible Man endures when he is thrust into the “battle royal.” Our unnamed narrator, thinking he has arrived at a meeting of his town’s white business and civic leaders to receive a prestigious scholarship, is thrown into […]

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In Memoriam

In Memoriam

It has been a sad summer and autumn for Classical Pursuits, as several long-time participants have passed away. Of course, in a small organization like ours, our participants and travellers are also our friends. Some have known Ann for years or decades and travelled with her and other leaders all […]

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Genius and Cultural Kitchens: Savouring the Flavours of Renaissance Florence

Genius and Cultural Kitchens: Savouring the Flavours of Renaissance Florence

[Editor’s note: We are very happy to welcome Stuart Patterson back to Toronto Pursuits. His seminar promises to be a literary and visual feast of the richness of Florence from the 14th through the 16th centuries. In true Renaissance spirit, it brings together works by four thinkers whose interests and […]

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Strange Eyes for Strange Landscapes

Strange Eyes for Strange Landscapes

[Editor’s note: We are thrilled to welcome Mandy Burton as a Toronto Pursuits leader. Her imaginative, multi-genre seminar will take us into realms both ancient and futuristic, where a cast of non-human characters helps us consider with piercing clarity those questions we as humans yearn so deeply to answer: Who […]

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Travel Pursuits Poland: The Best-Laid Plans

Travel Pursuits Poland: The Best-Laid Plans

Adjacent to Kraków sits Nowa Huta, an in-your-face proletarian antithesis to the medieval and Renaissance architecture found in Poland’s hub of intellectual and artistic expression. Begun in 1947, and funded by the Soviet Union, Nowa Huta is considered one of the finest examples of deliberate social engineering in the world. […]

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