September 2009

We will be meeting to read Books 4-6 of the Fitzgerald translation of The Aeneid on October 4, Sunday at 12:45 pm at the Plymouth District Library.

Thanks and hope to see you there!

Prashant Andrade (

This is a reminder that we will be meeting to read the third play in the Henriad tetralogy, “Henry IV, Part 2” at the Plymouth District Library on Sunday, September 27 at 12:45 pm. We will be in the Dunning Room.

Also here are the Shakespeare dates for the rest of the year:

October 18, November 15, December 6

One of the interesting things that always catches my attention in Henry IV, Part 2 is what Prince Hal (later Henry V) tells his father (Henry IV) he said and did as Henry IV lay dying as opposed to what he really said and did. This sets the stage for a much darker reading of Henry V, namely trying to figure out just what Henry V really means behind the veil of the things he says. In a modification of the words of Albany at the end of King Lear, I think Henry V does not “speak what he feels” but says “what he ought to say”.

Another thing that stands out in this play to me is Henry IV’s curiously distorted vision of peace when he is on his deathbed despite all the paeans to peace that he has been making throughout the plays, remember his “Find we a time for frighted peace to pant” exhortation at the beginning of Henry IV, Part 1? Here is what he says on his deathbed, I don’t think he is going win a Peace Prize for this:

Therefore, my Harry,
Be it thy course to busy giddy minds
With foreign quarrels; that action borne out,
May waste the memory of former days.

In other words as Goddard puts it cynically, his advice is “Make war, dear boy, and God grant your reign may be a peaceful one.” and sure enough next thing we know Henry V is invading France after rejecting Falstaff and indirectly condemning him to his death of heartbreak.

Switching gears here, we will be reading “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at our October 18 reading in honor of the Shakespeare’s Globe Theater that is performing the play in late October at the Power Center in Ann Arbor. Many group members are going to see that production and the reading will be a nice preparation to help understand more of the sparkling dialog that livens the play that is thought by a few critics to be the most incredible feast of language that Shakespeare created. I know we were due for a tragedy but the timing of the Power Center performance and the fact that many people are not very familiar with the play seemed to scream out to me that the play be done at our October reading.

Finally, my wife and I are organizing a read aloud of A Christmas Carol at our house in what looks like is going to be early December. We will also have a potluck style tea with Victorian era snacks. I will pass a sheet around at the reading. If you are interested, please put your name down and the dates listed that you can attend.

Prashant Andrade (

Thanks to everyone who showed up to read The Aeneid.

Special thanks to first time student attendees, Madison and Mary.
You guys read wonderfully and it was nice to see you and other group members work out events in the book and relate them to the great Homeric epics. We hope to see you back and also other students. If you do not return, we wish you the joy of periodically revisiting this great book and mining its inexhaustible riches for yourself. Many of us in the group have read the book a few times but each rereading seems fresh and a revelation.

Thanks also to first time attendee, Phil Howell. Sorry you had to leave early Phil. It took a while for us to find our rhythm and the action really picked up in Book II with the Trojan Horse and the Fall of Troy and the Sea Wanderings of Book III. We hope to see you back.

Thanks also to George and Sharon Hunter for attending. George and Sharon, thanks for trying to stick it out for a while without having the translation we were using. Things were difficult enough for those who had the translation in front of us with allusions, seeming digressions and tales flying at you with ferocious rapidity.

Thanks to Mike Nader for reading us the opening of the poem in Latin so that we could get a sense of the sound and the meter and for starting us off wonderfully before he had to leave.

I think that most of the readers who were there till the end will agree that the reading was challenging and required a lot of concentration and stamina but at the same time also was energizing and exhilarating with an intense immersion into the story of Aeneas and his flight from Troy ending up in Carthage (so far).

Thanks again to everyone for deciding to spend some of your time on a rather “difficult pleasure” and literally giving breath to life at the reading.

Prashant Andrade (

Book 1
1 Virgil-A (1-246) ***
2 Virgil-B (247-509, not 312-343, not 347-398, not 456-506) ****
3 Virgil-C (532-709), *****
4 Virgil-D (758-1031, not 762-786, not 809-831, not 840-861, not 907-940) * **
5* Jupiter (347-398)
6** Aeneas (510-531,809-831)
7*** Venus (312-343, 456-506, 907-940)
8**** Ilioneus (710-757)
9***** Dido (762-786, 840-861)

Book 2
1 Virgil (1-2) *
2 Aeneas-A (3-272, not 106-141, not 147-195, not 209-267) ***
3 Aeneas-B (273-491) **
4 Aeneas-C (492-729) ****
5* Aeneas-D (730-1045, not 780-812, not 1007-1025)
6** Sinon (106-141, 147-195, 209-267)
7*** Venus (780-812)
8**** Creusa (1007-1025)

Book 3
Aeneas-A (1-213, not 143-162) ****
Aeneas-B (239-502) * *****
Aeneas-C (503-757, not 510-616, not 632-641) **
Aeneas-D (758-948, not 794-804, not 811-867) ***
5* Virgil (949-952)
6** Anchises (143-162)
7*** Phrygian hearth-gods (214-238)
8**** Priest (510-616, 632-641)
9***** Achaemenides (794-804, 811-867)

Prashant Andrade (

This is a reminder that we will be meeting to read The Aeneid on September 20 at 1:00 pm at the Plymouth District Library. We will be in the Friends room.

It’s great to be starting the Aeneid this Fall and this should take us through the end of the year!

We will be reading Books 1-3 of the Fitzgerald translation. I will have my copy marked up demarcating the reading roles and if you have the time, you might want to do the same with pencil or note tabs.

It was wonderful to hear Andrea read the first few lines of the Canto in Italian when we read The Inferno. If anyone can read the first few lines of Book 1 in Latin, please let me know and we can start off the reading that way!

Cyndi, could you please let me know if there are any students interested coming to this reading? The Friends room can accomodate up to 12 people, so I might have to limit the number of students this time. I can ask for the bigger Dunning or Walldorf room for future readings. Thanks again, for coordinating this with the students.

As before, we will be having short discussions during the breaks. Readers are welcome to bring up things or questions they want to discuss.

Since we might have a few new readers, it might be worthwhile to repeat the primary “rule” that the group follows: No interrupting, correcting or praising readers while they are reading. Once in a while, a reader will solicit input regarding pronounciation and that is fine.¬†

I have been trying to think of the differences between a solitary silent reading and the experiences of reading aloud and here is what they are to me:

i) Sustained, vital immersion in the text for an extented length of time
ii) Thrill of hearing characters speak in different voices
iii) Freshness of material when you hear many voices speaking
iv) Slowing the text down, really hearing things that you might have glossed over in silent reading
iv) Sense of satisfaction of each reader  in contributing to this unique performance of the text, no matter how small the role

I love solitary silent reading and I do it all the time, but I am thankful that we can also get together as a group and share this wonderful experience.

Also, I am going to try something new towards the holiday season this year. My wife and I are thinking of hosting a reading of The Christmas Carol at a potluck dinner including “exactly the kinds of food that old Ebenezer Scrooge might have snacked on with his cup of tea”. Please let me know if this sounds like something you might be interested in doing. On a whim I searched Amazon and of course there is a book published just for an occasion like this, the Christmas Carol Cookbook and also probably dozens of recipes available online:

Prashant Andrade (