?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.


Don’t confuse GBC with GNC, a chain of stores offering dietary supplements to enhance your life. I presume that means vitamins, health drinks, and protein powders.

GBC stands for “Great Book Club”; and, while it definitely enhances one’s lifestyle, it isn’t in the usual fashion. GBC members live across the country’s time zones from Utah to New York. They also come from different age groups and genders, different politics and professions.

What we have in common is an exploration of literature. Tonight’s discussion centered on the Russian author Gogol’s St. Petersburg Tales. These are short stories written in the early nineteenth century in the tone of the absurd. For instance, one man loses his nose, another his brand-new overcoat. The first retrieves his facial object and moves on; the latter dies and is doomed to be a ghost until he retrieves the lost overcoat or a facsimile.

I’m not much for literature of the absurd, but by the end of our discussion I was grateful to the woman who recommended this work. She broadened my reading world, brought sense to the nonsense, and incorporated a laugh or two.

Nutritional supplements were never mentioned!

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