The American Dream? Rules of Civility and The Great Gatsby

Posted By:  Liz Goodrich
Date Posted:  4/15/2012

Joel ClementsDeschutes Public Library is pleased to welcome Joel Clements to the Redmond and East Bend Public Libraries for two programs as part of the 2011 A Novel Idea …. Read Together community wide reading project. Both programs are free and open to the public

Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 6:30 pm
Redmond Public Library

Thursday, April 26, 2012, 6:30 pm
East Bend Public Library

This year’s Novel Idea selection, Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles, delves into the world of Katey Kontent, a young woman living in New York City, 1938. Throughout the course of that singular year in their lives, Katey and her friends discover what it means to live authentic lives in a world on the verge of change.

It’s not hard to draw parallels between the character of Tinker Grey from Rules of Civility and Jay Gatsby of The Great Gatsby. Both characters possess a magnetism that is hard for others to resists and both are masters at illusion, going to great lengths to mask their true selves. During his presentation, modernist literature scholar Clements examines the connections between Tinker and that embodiment of modern literature, Jay Gatsby.  He will uncover the traits the two share, explore the American notion that we can be any identity we construct, and discuss the modern concept that the American Dream can become a delusion.

Clements received his MA in modernist literature, with a focus on Post-Victorian Colonialism.  He is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric.  He is a writer, a professional humorist, and frequent public speaker who lives in Bend.  His previous public academic lectures include "Images of the Media in Film" and "Examining Race in Conrad's Heart of Darkness."  He teaches writing and rhetoric for COCC and Mountain View High School.

For more information about this or other Novel Idea programs, please visit the library website at People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 312-1032.

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