|About the Book|
It is often said that you cant explain Chautauqua to someone who has never been there. Of course you can. Its just that few people have three months to devote to the listening. But that difficulty is not, for me, the real curiosity. I keepMoreIt is often said that you cant explain Chautauqua to someone who has never been there. Of course you can. Its just that few people have three months to devote to the listening. But that difficulty is not, for me, the real curiosity. I keep wondering why so many people familiar with Chautauqua feel the need to explain to anyone else in the first place. A lot of us have visited Scranton or Wichita or Phoenix, but we dont get compulsive about explaining them to people who have not. Now that I think about it, it doesnt even stop with that. We Chautauquans dont just try to explain the place to people whove not been there- we keep trying to explain it to each other. What is it about Chautauqua that it demands to be shared in this peculiar way, yet makes itself so difficult to explain? And why do even veteran Chautauquans keep wanting to hear each others stories about the place? Surely, part of it must be that each season launches a whole new explosion of ideas, artistic expression and spiritual groping. But its more. I think it is because Chautauqua is a story that is never fully told, one that is forever changing, shaped as much by our collective experience as we are shaped by it. Chautauqua is the story- but we are the dramatis personae. This book is one small part of the telling. These are some of my memories, and a few meditations on why Chautauqua is so special to me. I hope that you will feel at home in them- but more, I hope that they rekindle memories that are your part of the story.