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Delve Online: To the Wedding by John Berger

May 12 - 19, 2020
6:30 - 8:30 (two sessions)
online via Zoom

This Delve takes place online with Zoom teleconferencing. Participants will receive instructions for how to log on to the Zoom meeting.

“I like quoting ancient verses when the occasion is apt.  I remember most of what I hear, and I listen all day but sometimes I do not know how to fit everything together.  When this happens I cling to words or phrases which seem to ring true.”

So begins John Berger’s To the Wedding (1995), a modern fable, at once lyrical and realistic, of life affirmed amidst death, of significance fashioned where meaning may not be found.  Writing in the wake of the AIDs epidemic and amidst the moral fatigue of post-Cold War Europe, Berger’s story of the lovers Ninon and Gino invokes the oldest traditions of storytelling to weave together the stands of several broken lives.  In this two week seminar we’ll examine Berger’s approach to storytelling and art in a time of crisis.

Some questions to consider:

  • Who is the narrator, and what is their role in the story?
  • How does history shape individual experience in the novel?
  • How does the story see the role of tradition in present day experience?
  • What is the significant of Gino and Ninon’s wedding?
  • What role do geography and landscape play in this book?

Reading Schedule

May 12, Week One:  pp. 3-104

May 19, Week Two:  pp. 105-202

Christopher Zinn

Christopher Zinn grew up in Pine City, New York, and was educated at Georgetown and at New York University, where he received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature. Christopher currently teaches humanities at the Portland Waldorf High School.
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