THE CHICAGO LITERARY CLUB
William Barnhart opened our season at The Fortnightly on
October 7 with the customary good fare and good company. His Presidential Address was
entitled, "Four Score." Noting that the bi-centennial of Lincoln's birth was fast approaching,
he analyzed Lincoln's abilities as an author, rather than as a statesman. He found Lincoln the
author to be every bit as capable as Lincoln the statesman, and particularly made reference to
the Gettysburg Address, the Second Inaugural, and the House Divided speeches.
Papers 2002 - 2003
Donald Hermann delivered "Having the Crown and
Marrying, too: Alternatives Available to Edward VIII During the Abdication Crisis" on
October 14. True to his title, he discussed the progression of the crisis, arguing that Edward
need not have abdicated had the crisis been better managed, and that Edward was essentially
bored by the duties of the monarchy, for which he was not temperamentally suited.
Manly Mumford delivered his 21st paper on October
21, "Competition Is a Loser," in which he argued that competition should be regarded as a
tool of society, not as a goal in itself.; He noted the destructive social aspects of competition
in Japan and in the quest for the "right" college in the USA, among other examples.
Francis Lackner gave us "Shakespeare's Faeries" on
October 28, noting that in both comedies and tragedies alike that the characters of the
supernatural govern the human element in those plays in which they appear, using as
examples Macbeth, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and The Tempest.
Payson Wild's "Megistotheos And My Animula Vagula," a
report from the soul of the author regarding the cosmic human hatchery, originally read in
1923, was re-read by Francis Lackner on November 4.
Kenneth Clarke and his guest Amanda Lichtenstein presented an evening of "Hands-on
Poetry" on November 11. Demonstrating at first hand the poetry-in-the schools program that
the Club helps to sponsor, they helped each one present to create a poem, and those who
wished to present.
Anthony Batko gave us "The Ultimately Reverend Anthony Palazzolo," the author's anecdotal
account of a friendship that began in the Air Force and continues to the present, on
November 18. The prospect of taking priestly vows frames the story, which covers almost
fifty years. The subject of the paper was also present for the reading.
Stanley Allan delivered "Building the Pentagon" on
November 25. A member of the original
carpentry crew for this monumental building, the author gave us his reminiscences of its
Stanley Schade gave us "A Christian Reads the Koran,"
a description of Islam derived from reading its holy work, on December 2.
Joel Dryer delivered an erudite, historically grounded summary of the history of the Jews and
their connection to the land of Palestine on December 9, in "Whose Land Is It Anyway?",
concluding that the Israelis are entitled to their claims by the prior promise of God.
Paul Stack told the tale of "The Leviathan" on December 16, one of the engineering
breakthroughs of the nineteenth century. The ship, which came to be known as the Great
Eastern was "one of the great structures for the glory of Mammon." The author being called
away at the last minute, Anthony Batko read the paper.
Theo Green told the fictional tale of "The Death of
the Reverend Doctor John Ellen Profrock" on January 6. This told the story of a forceful,
powerful black minister with an outgoing relationship to women and his relationship to death
and medicine, as told in relationship to his new physician, a future Surgeon-General of the
Ted Gross delivered the Arthur Baer Fellowship Address on January 13 at the Chicago
Historical Society, "The Auditorium Theatre and Roosevelt University." As President of the
University during some of its most contentious, and successful, years with the Auditorium
and the Auditorium Theatre Council, Dr. Gross is uniquely situated to understand the
architectural treasure that he inherited, and the conflicts that grew from its management, and
he shared that with us in this paper.
Gayle Guthrie kindly substituted on January 20,
giving us "It Isn't Easy Being Free; River Wards Are River Wards No Matter What River"
which delineated her experience as an election observer in the Ukraine, and offered
opportunities to compare the election hijinks of Chicago with those of the newly-democratic
Armando Susmano offered a multi-media
presentation "On Writing Music" on January 27 as he offered a Socratic dialogue between
Fred (the composer) and his friend Ray, delineating his progression from cardiologist
(retired) to pianist and composer. This was all accompanied by tantalizing snippets of
performances of his own compositions.
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