“Useless Knowledge” by Bertrand Russell

useless knowledge pdf

 

This is your next reading assignment.  It is part of the foundation for why we are doing this whole literature thing.   It is a difficult essay, filled with challenging vocabulary and arcane allusions.  Hang in there.  You can get it, the essence of it, if you try.  Hey, maybe even look up some words and allusions.  We  will be discussing this.

 

Complete by Tuesday, September 19.  Print this pdf, write the date of 9/19 in the upper right corner, and place in your notebook in the “Notes/Homework” section of your notebook.  Questions due the 19th are coming in a subsequent post.

Books for Summer Reading

I have books for all students, yet some students prefer to buy their own.  If you are inclined to buy your own, the book and ISBN numbers are identified below.  It is important to get the correct edition, especially with The Death of Ivan Illych, as there are multiple translations.

The Catcher in the Rye   J.D. Salinger  ISBN:  978-0-316-76948-8
The Death of Ivan Illych  Leo Tolstoy    ISBN:  0-553-21035-1

 

The Death of Ivan Illych Assignments

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Gerasim comforts Ivan.

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Tolstoy on his death bed.

 

So, this is the same routine as The Catcher in the Rye assignments.  Simply follow the directions from the  The Catcher in the Rye Assignments post.

FIRST ASSIGNMENT:  VIDEO 

Note: What’s really cool about this video is that Tolstoy’s youngest daughter is interviewed as the basis for its content.  Imagine, you are hearing from the daughter of the man who wrote this book in the 19th century.  Talk about connecting to the past in a direct fashion.  What a wonderful opportunity. .

CRAZY RUSSIA NAMES: AN EXPLANATION

Russian names can be confusing.  Read this brief explanation before reading the novel.  It will clarify many confusions you might otherwise experience.

Russian names

Russian Names 2

SECOND ASSIGNMENT: READ BOOK, COMPLETE STUDY QUESTIONS BELOW

Ivan Illych Study Guide Questions

REMEMBER, objective test on the novel when you return.

 

 

 

Catcher in the Rye Assignments

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FIRST ASSIGNMENT: VIDEO

Before reading the book, view the video link below.  It is a BBC documentary on J.D. Salinger entitled J.D. Salinger Doesn’t Want to Talk.  It will give biographical information and insights into his obsessions and intentions that influenced the novel.  While viewing take notes, two pages minimum.  You will turn them in.  Write down any interesting facts or opinions you encounter.  Be sure to include information regarding Salinger’s personal life, his psychology, the events and people surrounding the novel, historical tidbits, etc.  Some general information from this may find its way onto the objective test on the novel.

 

SECOND ASSIGNMENT: READING AND STUDY QUESTIONS

So, next read the book (always a good idea).

As you read, answer the questions attached below, using complete sentences, vivid and specific detail, and ostensible logic, explaining when necessary.  Please present your answers in a neat and organized fashion, indicating chapters and question numbers on your responses.  DO YOUR OWN WORK.  ANSWER IN YOUR  WORDS, not your classmate’s.  These responses will assist you on the objective test (multiple choice, true/false, matching) you can expect the first week of your return.

Catcher Study Questions

REMEMBER, you will have an objective test on the novel  when you return.