FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why a monthly fee?
There are dozens if not hundreds of pre-recorded courses available online that will cover many of these books. Some of these courses are taught by world renowned literary scholars. We do not discourage watching these. What we are offering is the live experience.
We charge a fee to help with the organization of the club and the work that goes into preparing materials and the expertise of the club leader.
How much will I need to read?
You will need to read approximately 50 pages per week. That is 200 pages per month. Sometimes you may need to read slightly more. At other times, you may read slightly less. As an example, the version of The Iliad we will be reading is about 440 pages. We have allotted 2 months for this work.
We will be sending guides and helpful hints on how to read these great literary works. On average we estimate that you will need to put aside 2-3 hours of dedicated reading time each week.
How many live meetings will I be attending?
There is one (free) mixer we will have prior to the start of your session. This gives everyone a chance to meet and discuss their interest in the Literary Canon. The session leader will also give preliminary guidance and reading tips for the works to be covered in that session.
After the initial mixer, we will officially meet once per month for 90 minutes. There will be optional mixers throughout as well.
Can I choose which session I join?
Yes and no. You can join any session during open enrollment. But not all sessions will be available. Currently, we are accepting enrollment in session one: The Ancients.
Why THESE Books?
After years of careful study and consideration, we have chosen the works that we believe are vital for all humans to read. This is a debatable list! It happens to be the one we are using. Please sign up to receive an email with the list of works.
We believe strongly that these are the books every human should read before they die. These works were selected from the canonical lists of other literary scholars, namely Mortimer Adler, Harold Bloom, Leonard Peikoff.
Must I go through the entire Literary Canon with the group?
No. We have broken the canon into shorter sessions. Each session is 6 months long (with one exception that is 3 months long). If you wish to join us for Session One: The Ancients, but you want to skip session Two: The Middle Ages, then that is absolutely acceptable. You can rejoin us for Session Three: Late Medieval & Renaissance.
However, we do encourage everyone to read all the way through the works. The educational experience and joy in the artwork is insurmountable.
What are the sessions that will be covered in The Canon?
Our goal is to "touch on the high points of literature in each era," as Dr. Leonard Peikoff puts it. Here are the basic eras we have selected works to read from. Please reserve your spot in the club to receive the full list of works we will be reading.
Session I: The Ancients
Session II: The Middle Ages
Session III: Late Medieval & Renaissance
Session IV: Enlightenment
Session V: 19th Century (part one)
Session VI: 19th Century (part two)
Session VII: 19th Century (part three)
Can I listen to the books on audio?
No. While it is true that you can purchase an audiobook of The Iliad and read it without informing the group, I would encourage you not to do this. One reason to read a great book: it will make you a better reader. Despite what many people believe, listening to audiobooks is not the same as reading the book. In fact, it is categorically different. Children learn to speak and hear auditory words before they can decipher text on a page. Textual reading is a much more complex skill than mere listening. By signing up for LCC, you will receive posts that will teach you to be a better reader.
None of this is to disparage audiobooks or auditory conversations. The point is that there is a major difference between listening to Milton's Paradise Lost and reading it for yourself. After you have read these works at least once yourself, then it may be enjoyable to hear them read by someone else. For instance, there is a wonderful reading of The Odyssey by Ian McKellen (Gandalf, Magneto) currently available.