“When a class has this much enthusiasm for a book, it bodes well for its future.”

August 3rd, 2009 by admin

Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2008 3:59 PM
To: Stephen Bergman
Subject: a master’s class and “The Spirit of the Place”

Dear Steve,

I have just finished teaching a Master’s class where we had a wonderful time. The work for today was “The Spirit of the Place.”  All these students had read “The House of God” first.  They really loved talking about both novels, but I think we may be the first class to read and discuss “Spirit.”  You will meet all these students because they will be at the symposium.  I thought you’d like to know that I could hardly get a word in as they discussed Columbia, Selma, Orvy, Cray, Miranda, Bill, Henry, Milt, Amy, Penny.  Often the class broke out in loud laughter (as in the dynamiting of the ice fishing hole).  Other times everyone was sad and sober (as in Selma’s last letter and her last appearance to Orvy). They discussed the problems of keeping secrets and not revealing important truths. They were keenly aware of the transitions from anger and hurt to compassion and caring.  They saw Bill and Orvy in some ways as versions of Fats and Roy 20 years later.  They rejoiced in the 3-dimensional characters and the strong women. They recognized some local politician in Henry, and wholeheartedly believed that Orvy was being symbolic when he gave Henry the bird.

So congratulations, Steve.  When a class has this much enthusiasm for a book, it bodes well for its future.

Carol Donley
Hiram College Institute of Medicine and Humanities

Comments are closed.