Tuesday, October 2, 2007

First Day of Book Discussion Group

I attended my first session of a discussion group on Jewish Graphic Novels, and I have to say that I'm glad that I found out about this because it was very interesting...and I'm getting free books in the process!

The first book (of five) that we read and discussed was Will Eisner's A Contract with God. It's a collection of four short stories that are about people living in a Jewish tenement house in 1930s New York. This book is the first in a trilogy of works that I'm going to have to hunt down because the stories were all fascinating. One in particular, "The Super", struck me as so sad that I felt very bothered by the ending [I won't reveal it, so you'll have to go and get it from your local library and read it yourself!] and was glad that I got to discuss it in the group.

The group is made up of approximately 25 people from all walks of life. Some are Jewish, some like reading graphic novels, and some didn't quite read the flyer closely enough but came anyway. We talked about some of the Hebrew symbols that you can see in the title story, and how the oppressor/oppressed relationship in The Super gets flipped before the end, and about cookaliens and how they really were like what we read in the fourth story. There was a man who went to cookaliens as a child in New York [And I understand them to be places out in the country where the wife would take her children while her husband stayed in the city to work weekdays and visit on the weekends. The wife would [typically] do the cooking for her family while there, which garnered some comments on how this wasn't so much a vacation for the wife, except that it was a vacation from the husband!] and there was someone who used to work at the resorts in the area in the summer a la Dirty Dancing, which I thought was really cool to learn about in the group.

We got our next reading assignment, Maus, and I'm looking forward to reading both volumes again. While I may not have articulated everything I heard in the group, I did get a great deal out of it. It's being led by an English Professor, and I feel as if I am going to have a better idea of how to formulate ideas for the Masters/PhD program I would like to embark upon. I just need to make sure I get into contact with every professor I spoke with this summer (as well as the two I need to still talk to) by the end of this week so that I can get into the meat of my application process. That, and I need to get more focused on my GRE preparations.

I'll have to let you know about the interview I did for The New Standard, if I haven't mentioned it already...because I can't remember what I've said recently and where.

That Brain Age 2 training has been helping, but I don't think my brain's gotten much better after a week of it.

Here's hoping that I'm going to be able to get "back on the wagon" of blogging more regularly. Later ;-)

Update: I forgot to mention that I need to send a thank you card to the man who paid for all of the books for this group. He's a member of the OSU Friends of the Libraries group and, upon hearing about the group, offered to buy the materials for the entire class!

1 comment:

Melinda said...

Interesting to know.