I just discovered three Yahoo! discussion groups focussed on the Great Books of the Western World. The groups were established about six months ago by Alan Nicoll to follow the GBWW ten-year reading plan recommended in Volume 1, The Great Conversation. (“The Great Conversation” refers to the gradual development of Western philosophy, science, literature, politics, etc., though dialogue with other thinkers, past and present.)
“I have a vision about what this kind of group could become. You get together five or ten people who are willing to make a commitment, for maybe five years, toward educating themselves–and toward the group. You make your best effort to read the assignment and give it your full attention for as long as it takes to “get it,” and you write: your impressions, what you’ve learned, how it affects your world view. Frequently and at length. And everyone reads what the others have written and comment back and forth. Clearly, a group like this will work only with a group both willing to stick with it for a while, and willing to write often. But the rewards could be fantastic. Not only a “liberal education” as envisioned by Robert Hutchins, but perhaps a small group of intimate friends you’ve never met.”
His website contains great information on the GBWW reading program with links to supporting materials online. I’m half a year too late to join his discussion group (and I have yet to invest in my own GBWW set) so I guess I’ll have to wait until 2015 to catch the next go-round!