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Los Angeles Stories: Apocalypse Myths

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University of Philosophical Research

3910 Los Feliz Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

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THE PRESIDENT'S CLASS - FALL QUARTER 2018

Los Angeles Stories: Mythical Dimensions of the City of Angels



“The City Burning” —Apocalypse Myths

“The city burning is Los Angeles’s deepest image of itself; Nathanael West perceived that, in The Day of the Locust; and at the time of the 1965 Watts riots what struck the imagination most indelibly were the fires. For days one could drive the Harbor Freeway and see the city on fire, just as we had always known it would be in the end. Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem

Apocalypse myths are a kind of creation myth as well because they arise from and signal a desire for a new beginning. It is understandable that a city that is constantly recreating itself would also have a plethora of apocalypse myths. Nature itself provides ample omens through earthquakes, fires, and floods, and the film industry has made much of the destruction of its home town, as have Angelenos ourselves. Join us as we explore Los Angeles through its myths of destruction and our own fascination with them.

About the Series:

“Los Angeles, give me some of you! Los Angeles, come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town.” John Fante, Ask the Dust

We are the stories we tell ourselves. Is a city the same? Here at the University of Philosophical Research, we think it is, and Los Angeles is a city that has a plethora of stories to tell. In fact Los Angeles has been the center of storytelling for centuries now, so its stories are different than other cities’ in kind if not in number. Some stories are small and shallow and fade quickly; others are large and deep and become myth. In this ten-week series, President Greg Salyer leads us through the mythical dimensions of the City of Angels by exploring its stories as mythology, from creation to destruction, from water to fire, and from heroes to tricksters. Join us to hear some great L.A. stories and see them in their mythological context.

About the Speaker:

Greg Salyer, PhD is the president of the University of Philosophical Research and the CEO of the Philosophical Research Society. For twenty-five years, he has been an administrator and scholar in higher education institutions, but his highest calling has always been that of teacher. Trained in interdisciplinary studies, Dr. Salyer moves through the disciplines of literature, philosophy, and religious studies looking for and helping his students find practical and profound wisdom in the stories, texts, and ideas created all over the world and throughout history.

Live-stream attendees:

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You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Dec 11, 2018 7:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Los Angeles Stories: Apocalypse Myths

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://zoom.us/j/835573126

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Webinar ID: 835 573 126
International numbers available: https://zoom.us/u/cbD6B763I


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University of Philosophical Research

3910 Los Feliz Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

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