ONLINE SEMINAR
September 7 | American Gods

$250.00

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is a book about America. But America, as one Gaiman’s characters Mr. Wednesday says, is so unusual in that — unlike countries such as Norway or Mozambique — America really doesn’t know itself. What is America after all?

Alexis de Tocqueville asked the same question in the early 19th century, which resulted in Democracy in America. American Gods is not a work of political sociology, but a best-selling novel by a master storyteller. Nevertheless, one can place it in the line of such studies of America as Tocqueville’s. One of the big questions on Tocqueville’s and Neil Gaiman’s minds concerns love: Is it possible to love America, which is so wild and messy, so vulgar, and riven with conflicts and paradoxes as it is?

When: Four weekly sessions on Wednesday at 12 noon Eastern, starting September 7, 2022

Duration: 2 hours per session

Cost: C$250 plus 13% HST (approx. US$195 plus 13% HST)

Group Size: 12-participant limit

How: We meet on Zoom; you will receive joining instructions approx. 3 weeks before the seminar start date.

Online seminar payments are nonrefundable. Discount codes must be used at the time of purchase.

In stock

Description

LEADER

David Saussy is the President of Symposium Great Books Institute, and a regular seminar leader at Classical Pursuits. David led an online seminar with Classical Pursuits on Democracy in America in the fall of 2020, which is what inspired him to lead this seminar.

BOOK

American Gods: A Novel, by Neil Gaiman
(William Morrow Paperbacks, 2021)
ISBN-13: 978-0063081918

Please be sure to obtain this edition.

We encourage you to support local bookstores or other independent sellers, especially as alternatives to Amazon.

In the US and the UK, try Bookshop.org, World of Books, or Ebooks (electronic books only)

In the US and Canada, try Powell’s Books, IndieBound, and Thiftbooks (used books only in Canada)

In Canada, try McNally Robinson

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is a book about America. But America, as one Gaiman’s characters Mr. Wednesday says, is so unusual in that — unlike countries such as Norway or Mozambique — America really doesn’t know itself. What is America after all?

Alexis de Tocqueville asked the same question of America in the early 19th century, which resulted in his magisterial Democracy in America. American Gods is not a work of political sociology, but a best-selling novel by a master storyteller. Nevertheless, one can place it in the line of such studies of America as Tocqueville’s. One of the big questions on Tocqueville’s and Neil Gaiman’s minds concerns love: Is it possible to love America, which is so wild and messy, so vulgar, and riven with conflicts and paradoxes as it is?

The novel thing about American Gods is its mythological approach to this fundamental question. When people came to America, says Gaiman through Mr. Wednesday, they brought their gods with them. They brought Odin, and Loki, and Thor, Anansi and the Lion-God, Leprechauns and Churacans, the Banshees, Kubera, and Frau Holle, and Ashtaroth. All of these gods travelled with the settlers to the new lands across the ocean. Soon enough, the settlers abandoned their gods, stopped believing in them. The gods were left, lost and scared, dispossessed, and causing problems. They were the Old Gods, in a new land without gods. And yet, to make matters worse, there are new gods of late which have sprung up: the gods of media and technology, gods of credit card, internet and freeway. The climax of American Gods is a theomachy — a war between old and new gods — reminiscent of the theomachy within Greek gods sung about by Homer. For anyone possessed by the question of America — What is it? And can it be loved? — American Gods is sure to offer a feast for thought.

“People believe, thought Shadow. It’s what people do. They believe, and then they do not take responsibility for their beliefs; they conjure things, and do not trust the conjuration. People populate the darkness; with ghosts, with gods, with electrons, with tales. People imagine, and people believe; and it is that rock solid belief, that makes things happen.”
― Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Online seminar payments are nonrefundable. Discount codes must be used at the time of purchase.

All seminars are subject to a minimum enrollment of 7 participants. See full terms and conditions for Classical Pursuits online seminars. By registering for a seminar, you agree to abide by our code of conduct.

 

Additional information

Choose registration type

Standard registration, Toronto Pursuits 2020 credit