The Miser’s obsession with philosophy probably introduced as much statics as clarity into his pursuit of the thorny questions of life. But the idea that discipline can be a source of consolation has endured, from the sixth century opus by Boethius “The consolation of philosophyâTo Alain de Botton’s self-help treatise with a similar but considerably lighter title of 2000.
Existentialism and romantic love, a series of three Saturday afternoon lessons offered by Skye cleary at the Jefferson Market branch of the New York Public Library, starting this weekend, aims to enlighten lovers and sorrows by explaining how the ideas of existential philosophy can be applied to our love lives. Counter intuitive ? May be. But then people like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and de Beauvoir all got involved in epic affairs of the heart.
You can prepare yourself by delving into the suggested readings, which include classic doorstops such as Kierkegaard’s âEither / orâ and Sartre’s âBeing and Nothingnessâ. Classes are free, but you must register in advance – and in person – at the library.
(Saturday 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., 425 Avenue of the Americas, 10th Street, Greenwich Village; 212-243-4334, nypl.org.)
Those who love deeply sublime and cerebral literature will not miss the second biennial âMoby Dick Marathon This weekend. For three days at three locations, dozens of dedicated readers will bring Melville’s masterpiece to life. Saturday’s session, covering Chapters 31-99, is moderated by the South Street Harbor Museum, a suitably Melvillian setting, and writers Nathaniel Philbrick, Elif Batuman and Rowan Ricardo Phillips should read. Admission to the three sessions, including that from Friday to Ace Hotel, and Sunday at Housing Works Bookstore CafÃ©, is free.
(Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., 12 Fulton Street, Front Street, Lower Manhattan; mobydickmarathonnyc.org.)
TRIBUTE TO A POET-ACTIVIST
As part of Puerto Rican Heritage Month, the Bronx Music Heritage Center will host âPueblo poems: The revolutionary poems of Julia de Burgos published in Pueblos Hispanos â, a tribute to this poet by focusing on her tenure as newspaper columnist in the 1940s, on Saturday afternoons. The event begins with a film, “Julia, Toda in Mi, followed by a poetry reading with Sery ColÃ³n, Nancy Mercado and Veronica Verdad, and ends with a performance by Milteri Tucker Concepcion and the Bombazo Dance Company. Admission is free, although a $ 5 donation is suggested.
(Saturday at 4 p.m., 1303 Louis Nine Boulevard, near Freeman Street, Crotona East, Bronx; 718-839-1196, whedco.org.)