The Rocinante Literature Club began in the Autumn of 2004. My younger brother and I, who was living with me at the time, spent many hours talking about books and literature and decided we wanted to get together with like-minded individuals to continue these discussions. Out first meeting consisted of four individuals—my brother and I and two former students, and our first book was The Song of Roland. After that first meeting we knew we were onto something good.
In addition to discussing our selected book, we always ended up reading favorite poetry to each other and that tradition has continued. Members of the club have come and gone over the years. We even held club meetings in China one Autumn when I and most of our members were there doing a Study Abroad.
Though we meet physically on occasion, this blog is an attempt to connect with former members who have moved away but would like to keep in touch and participate in our discussions. I hope it will also be a venue to share our thoughts about the literature we are reading.
Back in 2004, we came up with this statement—
“We read for the pleasure of reading. We talk about literature because it enriches our lives by expanding our minds, broadening our perspectives, and increasing our understanding of the human condition. We are not a group of literary critics. We do not subscribe to any specific literary theory.
We seek out, read, and discuss all good literature including fiction, poetry, religious texts, non-fiction and anything else we deem worthy of our attention, regardless of historical time period. We welcome those who love literature and desire to share their ideas and reactions to great literary works. This is not a social club but a society of like-minded individuals passionate about the written word and how it affects our lives.”
A note about the name of the club—Both my brother and I love the great classic Don Quixote. We would sit around reading passages to each other and laughing at Quixote’s ridiculous, but somehow profound adventures. Rocinante, of course, was Don Quixote’s faithful steed. It carried him on all his adventures. Likewise literature carries us into the adventures of the written word. Rocinante then is the vehicle that takes us to the imaginary worlds of great literary minds.