Reading the Japanese Classics - Tale of the Heike
Tuesday April 14 | 5:00PM - 6:00PM
Please join us online as we read through some of the Japanese classics, one chapter at a time, and discuss them! We're going to be starting with the Tale of the Heike, a roughly 700 year old story that tells the story of the fall of the proud and arrogant Taira Clan of samurai and the extremely unlikely revival of the Minamoto Clan to power. It's a samurai epic, but one that includes some historic romance, as well. It's regarded as a classic of Japanese literature, and has spawned plays, movies, woodblock prints, and modern retellings. Perhaps best of all, it is an episodic tale that is meant to be parceled out in nightly installments, making it ideal for a group like this!
This discussion group will be meeting Tuesdays at 5 PM. Our next meeting on April 14 will discuss Chapter 3. You can join us online using Zoom at: https://zoom.us/meeting/168158583
What is Lincoln's bloodstained towel doing here? Hidden treasures in the McGill Library
Thursday April 16 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Many Montrealers are unaware of the many weird and wonderful things held right downtown at McGill University. The Library has items dating back over four thousand years that make up some of the most important research collections in the world. Like any good collection, there are plenty of gems and surprises. This talk will give you a taste of these. Join us via Zoom to hear this talk and have some Q&A. Please RSVP via email@example.com to register and receive the password for the event. About our speaker: Christopher Lyons has been Head Librarian of Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University since 2017. He joined the McGill Library in 2004 as a liaison librarian at the Osler Library of the History of Medicine, where he was subsequently appointed Head Librarian. Chris has presented and published in the fields of rare books librarianship and library history. Picture: Hore intemerate virginis Dei genitricis Marie for the use of Rome. Paris, 1516. Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University.
Book Club with the Author - Chih-Ying Lay
Thursday April 23 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Join us for our latest Book Club with the Author, where we invite local authors to talk about their work with us! For our April meeting, we will be discussing the new short story collection Home Sickness from Chih-Ying Lay.
About the book:
Connecting is not easy, but proximity is unbearable. The characters in these brilliant and intense stories are longing for escape, but they inevitably find themselves homesick. Chih-Ying Lay, a Taiwanese-Canadian, explores our desperate need for beauty and belonging–-and the cost when what is found is the opposite of both. Lay’s characters are outsiders, whether queer, indigenous, unloved, or lost, and each discovers that home is not the sanctuary it was meant to be. Sometimes, however, they find a place to call their very own, as if to tell the reader: You can, too.
About the author:
Born in Taipei, Chih-Ying Lay came to Canada in 2008 to obtain his Ph.D. in Microbiology at McGill University. Stories from his first collection, The Escapist, published in Taiwan in 2008, have been awarded the Formosa Literature Prize and the Liberty Times Literature Prize. He has published a novel, The Ideal Family (2012), and another collection of short fiction, The Comic Lives of Losers (2016). A guest broadcaster both in Taiwan and for Radio Canada International in Montreal, Lay sings in Ensemble Sainte-Anne Singers and Musica Orbium. He works as a senior research scientist in Montreal.
Genji Book Club
Friday April 24 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
UPDATED: We have postponed this event to April 24. If we're in a position to meet in person at that time, we can do that; if not, we'll proceed with this via the video conferencing software Zoom. We'll let you know when we get closer!
The Tale of Genji, written by Murasaki Shikibu around the year 1000, is often considered the world's first novel. Her story of the Shining Prince of the Imperial Court and his life, culture, and relationships with women, has stood the test of time and form an important piece of the foundation of Japanese literature.
For 2020, the Japan Book Club, presented in collaboration with the Argo and JETAA Q/A, is meeting monthly to discuss this important and still lively work. You can read the complete Tale of Genji in any of its English translations, by Arthur Waley, Edward Seidensticker, Royall Tyler, or Dennis Washburn; we have all of them available for sale in the store. You can also choose to read it in French or other languages, if you prefer.
In our third edition, we will be discussing Chapters 6-10 of the Tale of Genji in whatever translation you are reading. Please join us for this trip through a historic yet timeless tale!
Japan Book Club - Spring
Thursday May 28 | 7:00PM - 9:00PM
Looking for a lively read for springtime in Montreal? The Argo Bookshop, in conjunction with the JET Alumni Association of Quebec and Atlantic Canada, will be hosting its spring Japan Book Club on May 28.
For this meeting, we'll be discussing The Makioka Sisters by Tanizaki Jun'ichiro. A masterpiece of 20th century Japanese literature, this is the tale of four sisters of a proud Osaka family over a turbulent period in Japan between the two World Wars. As the world becomes dimmer and the second war approaches, the sisters must adjust to a decline in their way of life. Picture a Henry James in Japan with a hint of the supernatural and a warm, ticklish humour, and you'll have this book.
Come for a lively discussion of a thoughtful and offbeat piece of Japanese literature, and enjoy some snacks and refreshments! You can read the book in any language. You're also welcome to come if you haven't read the book, but there will likely be spoilers.