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Los Angeles Stories: Hero 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



“Sometimes there's a Man [or Woman]” —Hero Myths

“Sometimes there’s a man… I won’t say a hero, ‘cause, what’s a hero? But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about the Dude here. Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He fits right in there. And that’s the Dude, in Los Angeles.” The Stranger, The Big Lebowski

And he abides. Every city has its heroes, and some cities have founding heroes, like Rome and Aeneas. Los Angeles is not that simple though, and, as we will see, what counts as a hero for a city—and for this city in particular—is an interesting and difficult calculation. As the Stranger says, “what’s a hero?” Let’s take his definition though: a person for his time and place who “fits right in.” If we use that criterion, we have some interesting candidates. Join us as we explore the myths of L.A. heroes, those people who fit into their time and place in the City of Angels and who advanced the city mythologically through their quests.

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.


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University of Philosophical Research

3910 Los Feliz Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

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