Journal

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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Nine Symphonies That Changed the World

Nine Symphonies That Changed the World

by Rick Phillips, leader of our 2020 Toronto Pursuits seminar on Beethoven The major anniversaries of the births and deaths of great composers are always lauded and celebrated. They give us a chance to honour and re-evaluate the roles these figures play in our modern world. Remember 1985 and the […]

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Reading Some of the World’s Most Familiar Stories with Fresh Eyes

Jesus Cursing the Fig Tree

By Mandy Burton, who will be leading In Remembrance of Me: Jesus Before Christianity at Toronto Pursuits 2020 When I started teaching at a major public university after a lifetime of studying and working at smaller schools, I found that I had to adjust my expectations about the rhythms of […]

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Where Words Unfreeze: The Terra Incognita of Rabelais

Where Words Unfreeze: The Terra Incognita of Rabelais

by Denise Ahlquist, leading Seriously Funny: The Fantastical Worlds of François Rabelais “When they were upon the open sea, feasting, singing and holding discreet intercourse in fair discourse…” Imagine you are there, enmeshed in one of the worlds of words created by Rabelais—a world we will bring to life in […]

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“Three things extremely hard”

“Three things extremely hard”

by Gary Schoepfel, leader of the 2020 Toronto Pursuits seminar The Proper Study of Mankind is Man You’ll read it on tattooed bodies. It makes an appearance in the Matrix films. It was a Delphic maxim echoed by Aeschylus, Socrates and Plato. It shows up in political writings, paintings, anatomical […]

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From (19th-century) Russia, with Love

From (19th-century) Russia, with Love

by Sean Forester, leader of our September 2019 trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg For many of us, the images we have formed of Russia are rooted in Soviet times: We picture a tyrannical and bureaucratic country full of dreary buildings. Or maybe our images come from Hollywood and its […]

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Beyond the Femme Fatale

Art for The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by Michel Landi

by Joyce Wayne, novelist and leader of Toronto Pursuits 2020 seminar Women Spies in Cold War Fiction A remarkable study showing that 70 percent of the world’s fake news and digital media manipulation emanates from Russia was recently published by The Economist. The finding takes me back to the Cold […]

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Life Writ Large: Guillaume Apollinaire

Life Writ Large: Guillaume Apollinaire

There will be no shortage of forceful personalities on the Classical Pursuits trip They Came to Paris: Literature 1910–1940. The French capital nurtured and attracted strivers, artists, dreamers, writers and flâneurs of all kinds. We will meet many of them, from Hemingway and Stein to Picasso to Kiki of Montparnasse. […]

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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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Travel Adventures for the Mind
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