Fall 2010 Voltaire's Coffee: Professor Carter
Sun, August 29, 2010 • 7:00 PM • Professor Carter's home; Maps provided to those registered in this VC
Voltaire (François-Marie Arouet)
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurt, led by Dr. Mia Carter, Associate Professor of English
Sunday, August 29, 2010
About the book:
Among its other wonders, this almost perfectly written novel, recently longlisted for the Man Booker, delineates what's arguably the most coruscating portrait of a plutocracy since Goya painted the Spanish Bourbons. To shade in the nuances of class, Hollingsworth uses plot the way it was meant to be used—not as a line of utility, but as a thematically connected sequence of events that creates its own mini-value system and symbols.The book is divided into three sections, dated 1983, 1986 and 1987. The protagonist, Nick Guest, is a James scholar in the making and a tripper in the fast gay culture of the time. The first section shows Nick moving into the Notting Hill mansion of Gerald Fedden, one of Thatcher's Tory MPs, at the request of the minister's son, Toby, Nick's all-too-straight Oxford crush. Nick becomes Toby's sister Catherine's confidante, securing his place in the house, and loses his virginity spectacularly to Leo, a black council worker... Disaster comes in 1987, with a media scandal that engulfs Gerald and then entangles Nick. While Hollinghurst's story has the true feel of Jamesian drama, it is the authorial intelligence illuminating otherwise trivial pieces of story business so as to make them seem alive and mysteriously significant that gives the most pleasure... This novel has the air of a classic."
About the professor:
Mia Carter is an Associate Professor of English. Her fields of specialization are British and Modern Literature, Imperial Studies, Cultural Studies, and European and World Cinema. Dr. Carter is a member of The Academy of Distinguished Teachers and a 2010 recipient of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. She is a past recipient of the Chancellor’s Teaching Award, Plan II’s Chad Oliver Teaching Award, and the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her hobbies include swimming, sculling, yoga, travel, and watching movies.