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The San Diego Great Books Council consists of two discussion groups, San Diego Downtown and Del Mar.  Both of these groups have been meeting for many years to discuss readings of classic works of Philosophy, Imaginative literature, Science, Political Economy and History.  We follow the University of Chicago Great Books Tradition of Shared Inquiry continued by Mortimer Adler and Robert Hutchins. To participate in our discussions you must have read the reading and be prepared to answer questions which the leader poses about the text. Visitors are welcome, of course. 


There is no lecture on the author or the reading.  We try to focus on the reading itself and not on outside sources. For more on how our meetings are run, please see the FAQs.

Next Meetings

(last updated December 15, 2014)

San Diego Downtown

 Sunday, February 8, 2015


San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego, Room 221

2:00—4:00 PM


Reading:  Yasunari Kawabata: First Snow on Fuji

In 1968 Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972) became the first Japanese novelist to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.  The Award Committee  commended him "for his narrative mastery, which with great sensibility expresses the essence of the Japanese mind".   His works combined the beauty of old Japan with modernist trends, and his prose blended realism with surrealistic visions.   This short story was first published in 1958 and first translated in English in 1999.

Our goals, in addition to having a harmonious discussion, are to better understand these texts and to clarify differences in interpretation, not necessarily to reach agreement. We believe these texts have meaning for today. If the Great Ideas interest you and the opportunity to learn through Shared Inquiry intrigues you, please join us.

Library Logo

Del Mar

Friday, January 23, 2015


Meets at Bookstar (Barnes & Noble) in the Costa Verde Shopping Center,

8650 Genesee Avenue, Suite 230, San Diego, CA 92122


Please contact Sara Clark at

for further information


6:45—8:45 PM



Reading:  Karl Marx:Alienated Labor”

In The Adult Great Books Program, 1st Series, Vol. 1