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Shakespeare Comedies.

Shakespeare Society: Twelfth Night

What appeals to you -- Netflix and chill or Amazon Prime and commitment? Whatever your choice, either preference reveals a risk for excess and indolence. Binge watching all eleven seasons of The Walking Dead with your sweetheart may sound like a relaxing good time, but it’s also a recipe for deep vein thrombosis and a couch full of potato chip crumbs.

Shakespeare Society flyer

Shakespeare Society: The Merchant of Venice

How do you define The Good? Portia, from The Merchant of Venice, takes a gander at this question that has preoccupied, and has arguably eluded, philosophers for millennia: “If to do were as easy as to know what were good to do," she observes, "chapels had been churches, and poor men’s cottages princes’ palaces.”  Knowing good vs. doing good -- and if you're able to apply this knowledge into action, why on earth would there ever be a disconnect? (That is a rhetorical question, by the way.)

Shakespeare Society flyer

Shakespeare Society: All's Well That Ends Well

When was the last time you swore? No, not with those choice, largely unprintable four-letter words uttered when you realize that you forget your wallet after a fancy dinner or step on a Lego in the middle of the night.

Portrait of Ori Soltes

2022 Ori Soltes Lecture Series: The Call of the Wild

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, 22 enthusiastic participants gathered virtually via Webex for the first lecture in the 2022 Ori Soltes Lecture series. In its fourteenth year, this series is sponsored by the West End Neighborhood Library Friends. For the Spring 2022 series, Georgetown professor Ori Soltes introduces to readers a variety of works focused on this theme: The Age of Adventure and Exploration  

Swann's Way flyer

The Intimidating Book Club: In Search of Lost Time

Swann's Way

Overview of The Intimidating Book Club Intended for those who have always wanted to read that one classic novel of gargantuan proportions but never did (or didn't finish). This group will read a notoriously lengthy book widely considered a classic, section by section, and meet monthly at 6:30 p.m. ET for a minimum one-hour discussion that may last through 8 p.m. Together, we'll get to the finish line. One word at a time.

Shakespeare Society: As You Like It

Einstein’s Theory of Relativity posits that time is relative. A Kantian would insist that time is a form of intuition. However, a Fool -- indeed, the Fool in As You Like It -- aptly describes time as an unforgiving, continuous series of hours: “It is ten o’clock. Thus we may see,” quoth he, “how the world wags. ’Tis but an hour ago since it was nine, And after one hour more ’twill be eleven. And so from hour to hour we ripe and ripe, And then from hour to hour we rot and rot, And thereby hangs a tale.” (2.7.23-29)

Portrait of Ori Soltes

Ori Soltes Lecture Series, Spring 2022

The Age of Adventure and Exploration

Update: This is a virtual program. Please email to register and for updates. Please see library staff for assistance with the reading materials, which are available upon request. All gatherings are from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Overview The West End Library Friends Present: Ori Z Soltes: The Age of Adventure and Exploration

Shakespeare Society flyer

Shakespeare Society: The Problem Plays

The Shakespeare Society is a monthly Shakespeare reading and discussion group. We meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 6:30 p.m.  We intend to read and discuss every single Shakespeare play in series-order, grouped in several series reflecting his tragedies, comedies, problem plays, romances, and histories. There is no preferred edition. The West End Neighborhood Library's adult services librarian will facilitate the discussion.

The Brothers Karmazov 1 flyer

The Intimidating Book Club: The Brothers Karamazov, Books IV-VI

In the New Testament, Jesus Christ fasts for forty days and forty nights, a feat that, in and of itself, requires at least some modicum of superhuman strength. What I find more extraordinary, however -- indeed, this is the most extraordinary, superhuman thing -- is when Jesus resists the temptation to "stick it" to his nemesis. "If you're as great as you claim," the devil essentially says, "turn these stones into bread."

Shakespeare Society: Much Ado About Nothing

In a catchy dance track that has continuously blessed pop radio airwaves since 1993, Trinidadian-German artist Haddaway wonders: "What is love?" This is doubtless a pressing question that has preoccupied not only Presocratic philosophers but early 90s hedonistic revelers hellbent on Bacchanalian surrender at Tunnel. Yet, for me, the more interesting part has always been Haddaway's baritone-soaked rejoinder: "Baby, don't hurt me." And, indeed, it is Benedick who says in Act 5.2: